What is a Cutlet?
Cutlets are thin slices of meat that are perfect for quick cooking methods like sautéing, air frying, or deep frying. Cutlets typically come from veal, chicken, or pork, and are often cut from a less tender cut of meat like a shoulder or rear leg. Sometimes cutlets are tenderized, either with a meat tenderizer at a butcher shop, or at home with a meat mallet. Beef cube steaks are a type of cutlet as well, but usually don’t get lumped in with other cutlets.
Making cutlets out of these less expensive, but less tender cuts of meat helps them seem more tender after you cook them. Thin cuts give you less resistance when chewing, and tenderizing cuts through the tough connective tissues so you don’t have as much chewing to do when you eat the meat. The thinner cuts also cook much faster, so cutlets are a smart way to enjoy less tender (and less expensive) cuts of meat without having to cook them all day.
Cutlets are often breaded before cooking, but you don’t have to bread them. Many of the most famous cutlet recipes (think wiener schnitzel) are breaded, but we also enjoy cutlets that don’t have breading. Keep reading to check out some of our recipe picks to find ways you can make these yummy and affordable cuts of meat.
How Can I Make Cutlets at Home?
then take thin slices (.25″ – .5″ thick) from the meat. Once you take the slices, place plastic wrap or parchment paper over them, then take a meat mallet and pound them to an even thickness. If you want to tenderize them, we suggest using a Jaccard meat tenderizer to make the meat more tender. If you don’t have one, you can purchase the model we recommend on Amazon using this link.
We also suggest making larger chicken breasts (like we sell) into cutlets so they cook faster and more easily. To make chicken breast cutlets, all you need to do is lay the breast flat and slice it flat into pieces. You can then pound the breast into pieces of even thickness for consistent cooking. For a step by step guide, visit Serious Easts for a complete tutorial.
Cutlets at Lake Geneva Country Meats
A pork cutlet in a frying pan.
We sell three types of cutlets at Lake Geneva Country Meats. Each different type of cutlet has its own use, and we love them all. Here’s an overview to help you pick what type of cutlet is perfect for you.
Veal cutlets are used for many traditional recipes, and they are a consistent seller at Lake Geneva Country Meats. We cut these from the veal round (rear leg), a less tender and expensive cut of veal, then we run them through our tenderizer to help make them easier to eat. These cutlets have a velvety texture and a delicate flavor. They are delicious breaded or with a light pan sauce.
Pork cutlets are a super affordable cut and very popular every time we put them in our fresh case. These are cut from a pork shoulder so they have a richer flavor than pork chops cut from loin meat. We tenderize these cuts the same way we tenderize the veal cutlets, so they cook much faster than a pork shoulder that would traditionally need hours in a slow cooker or smoker.
Beef Cube Steaks
Although beef cube steaks are often thought of as a steak, they’re actually pieces of beef round (rear leg) that we cut thin and tenderize – aka a cutlet. They have a very rich beef flavor and are super lean. If you don’t bread them before you cook them, these are a nutritious way to get your daily allotment of lean protein.
Check Out These Cutlet Recipes
Philly Cheesesteak Melts
The obvious way to cook a cutlet is to bread it and fry it – but there are so many more. Here are some of our favorite recipes from LGCM and around the web.
Beef Cube Steak Recipes
- Chicken Fried Steak
- Fried Steak Sandwiches with Spicy Mayo
- Philly Cheesesteak Melts
- Slow Cooker Swiss Steaks
Chicken Cutlet Recipes
- Blueberry Dijon Chicken Breast Cutlets
- Chicken Piccata by Giada de Laurentiis
- Parmesan Chicken Cutlets
Pork Cutlet Recipes
Veal Cutlet Recipes
Do you have a favorite cutlet recipe? Let us know what your favorite is in the comments below! We love to hear how you cook at home and enjoy when you share with us.
That wraps up our C is for Cutlet post. We hope this post helped you learn more about cutlets and gave you some new ideas on affordable cuts of meat to cook at home
Do you have questions about cutlets? Leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to answer. If you want to keep deep diving into more meat topics, you can click here to see all the entries in our A to Z of Meat blog series!
We’ll see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!