The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat schnitzel. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What schnitzel etiquette is

Schnitzel etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat schnitzel. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve schnitzel to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat schnitzel at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to serve and eat schnitzel

What you should know about schnitzel

Schnitzel is a dish made of thinly pounded or flattened meat, usually veal or pork, that is coated in breadcrumbs and fried until crispy. It originated in Austria and is now popular in many countries, including Germany, Hungary, and Israel.

Schnitzel typically has a golden-brown color with a crispy texture on the outside and tender meat on the inside. The flavor is savory and meaty, with a slightly salty and crispy breadcrumb coating.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat schnitzel

1) How to store schnitzel

The ideal temperature to store schnitzel is in the fridge at 40°F (4°C) or below. To store in the pantry, place the schnitzel in an airtight container. To store uncooked schnitzel in the fridge or freezer, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. You can store schnitzel in the pantry for up to 24 hours, in the fridge for up to four days, and in the freezer for up to three months.

To store cooked schnitzel, place it in an airtight container in the fridge and consume it within four days.

2) How to clean schnitzel

To clean the meat for schnitzel, rinse it under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. There are no major risks involved in cleaning the meat for schnitzel, but you should handle raw meat with care to prevent cross-contamination. You do not need any specific tools to clean the schnitzel.

You can tell when schnitzel has turned bad if it has a foul odor or slimy texture. Discard any schnitzel that appears or smells spoiled.

3) How to prepare & cook schnitzel

Schnitzel should always be cooked before eating. To prepare the meat for cooking, pound it until it is thin and even in thickness, then coat it in breadcrumbs and fry it in oil until crispy. You can use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the schnitzel. The most common ways to cook schnitzel are by pan-frying or deep-frying it. You can use a frying pan, deep-fryer, or skillet to cook schnitzel.

Some of the most popular dishes that use schnitzel include schnitzel sandwiches, schnitzel salads, and schnitzel with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Schnitzel can be used in salads and sandwiches. Schnitzel is not appropriate for vegan or paleo diets, but it can be eaten on a keto diet if the breadcrumbs are replaced with a keto-friendly alternative.

4) How to serve & present schnitzel

Schnitzel can be appropriate for both formal and informal meals. You can serve it as a main course, side dish, or appetizer. It is not typically served for breakfast, brunch, or as a snack.

It is best to serve schnitzel hot at around 140°F (60°C). You can present it on a plate or in a bowl. It is important to avoid overcooking or undercooking the dish.

Schnitzel is typically served with a lemon wedge. It is often accompanied by mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables like green beans or carrots. The best seasonings and accompaniments for schnitzel are salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic.

5) Food and wine to pair schnitzel with

Schnitzel pairs well with vegetables like green beans, carrots, and peas, as well as fruits like apples, pears, and cranberries. It does not pair well with overly sweet or acidic fruits like citrus or pineapple.

Schnitzel can go well with cheese and dairy, especially when used as a topping or sauce. Some popular cheese and dairy pairings for schnitzel include melted cheese such as Swiss or Parmesan.

Schnitzel pairs well with a variety of meats, including beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. Some popular meat pairings for schnitzel include bacon, sausage, and ham. It is best to avoid fish with schnitzel, as the flavors and textures may clash.

When it comes to wine and beverage pairings, the best pairing for schnitzel can vary based on personal preferences and the specific dish being served. Some popular red wine pairings include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, while white wine pairings can include Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. It is important to avoid wines that are too heavy or sweet, as they may overpower the flavors of the schnitzel. Other beverage options like Rosé wine, sparkling wine, beer, and spirits can also work well with schnitzel, depending on personal preferences.

6) How to eat schnitzel

The most polite etiquette for eating schnitzel is with a knife and fork. It is generally not polite to eat schnitzel with your fingers, as it can be messy and unappetizing. You should eat the entire schnitzel, including the breading, as this is an integral part of the dish.

Schnitzel etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common schnitzel etiquette mistakes:

  • 8/10. Eating schnitzel with your fingers.
  • 6/10. Overcooking or undercooking the schnitzel.
  • 4/10. Failing to eat the entire schnitzel, including the breading.
  • 4/10. Using improper serving utensils.

Additional information for properly serving schnitzel

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.

The number of calories in schnitzel can vary depending on the size and ingredients used. On average, a single schnitzel can contain around 400-500 calories, while 100 grams of schnitzel can contain around 200-250 calories. It’s important to consider portion sizes and dietary restrictions when consuming schnitzel.

How to eat the best schnitzel

A crucial factor in schnitzel etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Schnitzel is typically available year-round. There is no specific season that is considered the “best” for eating schnitzel, as it can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

Choose the best

Schnitzel is typically available fresh in the meat section of grocery stores or butcher shops. It may also be available frozen in some stores. It is important to choose fresh schnitzel that is free of any signs of spoilage or contamination.

The most popular varieties of schnitzel in commerce include pork, chicken, and veal schnitzel. Veal schnitzel is often considered the most prized and expensive variety, while pork and chicken schnitzel are more widely available and affordable.

When buying schnitzel, look for cuts of meat that are uniform in thickness and have a pale pink color. Avoid schnitzel that has a gray or brown color, as it may indicate that the meat is not fresh. The meat should also have a firm texture and no visible signs of fat or gristle. It is recommended to buy schnitzel from a reputable butcher or supermarket that has a good reputation for quality meats.

Alternatives to schnitzel

Some common alternatives to schnitzel include chicken or fish fillets that are breaded and fried, as well as vegetarian options such as breaded and fried tofu or seitan. Other similar dishes from different cultures include Japanese tonkatsu, Korean chicken katsu, and Italian milanese.


  • Schnitzel Made in the Petri Dish Meets with Acceptance: