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How to Cook Frozen Schnitzel

by Fred Decker

Part of the appeal of frozen schnitzel and similar convenience products is that they lend themselves to cooking straight from the freezer. The breaded coating provides a dual-purpose protective shell, guarding the thin cutlets from toughening in the heat and trapping steam to speed the cooking process. The crisp, golden breading also adds substantially to the schnitzels' appeal, either oven-baked or pan-fried.

Oven Preparation

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Count out as many frozen veal, pork, turkey or chicken schnitzels as are required for your meal. Arrange them on a parchment-line baking sheet, with at least 1/4 inch of space between the schnitzels.

Brush or spray the schnitzels lightly with oil. This step is optional, but helps the crumb coating to brown and crisp in the oven.

Bake the schnitzels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally through the edge of the schnitzel shows in internal temperature of 165 F. Turn the schnitzels midway through their cooking time to ensure even cooking and a crisp, golden coat on both sides.

Serve hot with your choice of side dishes.

Skillet Preparation

Place one or more heavy skillets on your stovetop over medium-high heat. Pour in enough oil to cover the bottom of each skillet to a depth of at least 1/4 inch.

Place the frozen schnitzels in the preheated pans, arranging them so the skillets are not crowded and there's plenty of space between the portions. The hot fat will tend to spatter, so it's best to use tongs or a glove to protect your hand.

Reduce the heat to medium, and cook the schnitzels for 5 to 6 minutes or until they're crisp and deeply golden on the first side.

Turn the schnitzels and cook them for another 5 to 6 minutes, then remove them from the heat and let them rest for 2 to 3 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the thickest part of the schnitzel should read 165 F.

Serve the schnitzels immediately, before the steam emerging from the meat has time to soften the crisp crumb coat.

Items you will need
  • Cooking oil
  • Instant-read thermometer

Tip

  • Oven preparation uses less oil and is more convenient for a large number of schnitzels, while skillet preparation is quicker and easier for only one or two portions. If you need to prepare several schnitzels on the stovetop, do no more than one or two in each skillet and keep them warm in the oven while the remainder are cooking.

References

About the Author

Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer. Decker wrote for the Saint John, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and has been published in Canada's Hospitality and Foodservice magazine. He's held positions selling computers, insurance and mutual funds, and was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Photo Credits

  • John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images