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stack of 3 fried green tomatoes with a fourth one with bite out and propped up
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4.74 from 15 votes

Perfect Every Time Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern-Fried Green Tomatoes are the quintessential Southern side dish. I reveal the secret to my crispy, crunch crust that actually stays on the tomato. Many coatings slide off during cooking or aren't crispy.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 72kcal
Author Kathleen Phillips | GritsAndGouda.com
Cost 4


  • 3 small green tomatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup milk whole or 2%
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal I prefer yellow
  • 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Rinse the tomatoes with cool water and pat them dry with paper towels. Slice them into 3/8" thick slices. (That's between 1/4 and 1/2" thick). Do not pat the cut surfaces of the tomato dry with paper towels.
  • Pour enough oil into a cast iron or stainless steel skillet to reach a depth of 1/4" to 1/2" . The oil gets too hot for some nonstick skillets. Heat the oil over medium heat until very hot but not smoking. You will know it is ready when you sprinkle a few grains of cornmeal in it and it immediately sizzles.
    You can also use a candy thermometer if the oil is deep enough. I absolutely love using a digital, no contact infrared thermometer. You just point it at the oil and it reads the temp. Amazing. You want the temperature to be between 360 and 375 degrees. Keep a close watch on the oil while dredging the tomatoes.
  • Gather 3 small plates or shallow bowls. I like to use paper plates for the dry mixtures for easy clean up. In one plate, combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. In the second plate, whisk together the milk and egg with a fork. In the third plate, the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Working with 2 or 3 tomato slices at a time, press the tomato slice into the flour, coating both sides. If the flour doesn't stick to the edge of the tomato, run the edges through the egg/milk mixture, then back in the flour. Dip the flour coated slice into the egg/milk mixture, then gently press it into the cornmeal mixture. 
  • I use tongs to lower the tomatoes, 3 at a time, into the hot oil and to remove them. Cook them about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown on both sides. If the tomato slices do not sizzle, the oil is probably not hot enough and will absorb too much oil and take too long to get brown on the outside. This also causes the tomatoes to overcook and become mushy. Drain the tomatoes on paper towels.


The digital infrared thermometers are a valuable tool in my kitchen. You can find them at hardware stores as well as online. These are not meant to read temperatures on humans-only surface heat. A candy thermometer can also be used.
The trick to getting the coating to stick to the slick green tomato skin is to dredge in flour first, then egg/milk mixture, then press into cornmeal mixture. If any green tomato skin is exposed, brush with the egg mixture, then press into the flour, back into the egg mixture, and lastly press into the cornmeal mixture.
This recipe can easily be doubled for a larger crowd.


Calories: 72kcal