Batters & Breadings

A complete guide to batter and breading systems.

Batters and breadings have been used interchangeably for years and are often confused as the same type of coating. We decided to take a deeper look into what makes batters and breadings different and created an interactive infographic to walk you through the process.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of the diagram below:

  1. Be sure to reference the key on the right and click on different systems to view just that system.
  2. Click on the 'plus' icon to the left of each step to learn more about that step.
  3. Hover over different components to learn more about each one.
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Although poultry is a popular choice for battered and breaded foods, other proteins including seafood, beef, and pork are ideal for frying.
While onions are the most commonly fried vegetable, many vegetables are idea for frying using the batters and breading system.
Mozzarella is the most popular cheese for frying, but cheddar and American cheese is often combined with vegetables and entrees.
Key Track the process of each system. Click on a system below to see just that system.
View All Batter System Batter & Breading Breading System Breading & Batter
Prep Phase
A fine layer of flour is used as a preliminary coating to control moisture retention before the adhesion or batter is applied.
A pre-dust is used to maximize adhesion between the substrate and coating. It is most commonly made of flour and may have flavoring agents added to it.
Milk is widely used as a substitute for eggs in breading because it adequately moistens the flour and makes a suitable pasted for the bread crumbs to adhere to. Milk also contains enough proteins to help the bread crumbs bind to the food as it cooks.
The proteins in the egg and flour combine when your food is baked or fried, making a firm layer that holds your breading in place and traps moisture inside your meat, fish or poultry.
After predusting, an adhesive must be added in order for the breading to adhere to the substrate.
Batters used for adhesion purposes are designed to adhere to the meat product. They will usually have a high solid content and low viscosity giving it a liquified consistency.
Batters that fall into the cohesion category are designed to form a shell around the product. They will have medium solid content and high viscosity which gives it a thicker consistency compared to the adhesion batter.
puff / tempura
Tempura batters are made to create a puffed layer around the product and have a high solid content and viscosity level. This makes the batter appear slightly textured with a thick consistency.
A batter is a liquid mixture comprised of water, flour, starch, and seasoning which food products are dipped into prior to cooking. Batters can be separated into three main characteristics: adhesion, cohesion, and tempura.
Flake-style breading can be created from potato flakes, corn flakes, or tortilla chips.
Rolled oats is one of the most common grains used for breading. Breadings with grains may be mixed with flour to provide a unique texture after frying. This coating is also ideal as a lower calorie option.
Panko, American, and cracker meal bread crumbs -Panko bread crumbs are lighter, crispier, and airier than regular bread crumbs making it perfect for fried foods because it absorbs less oil and grease. -American breadcrumbs can be made from different varieties of bread and have a smaller particle size. -Cracker meal is made of finely ground crackers and provides a balanced crispy crunch without creating an overly thick crust.
The most common breading type is flour based that can be made from cornmeal, soy, potato or whole wheat.
A breading is dry food covering that is applied to a substrate, primarily to create a desired coating feature. Breadings can be applied to moistened or battered food products prior to cooking.
pan fry
For pan frying, oils with a decent smoke point such as vegetable, peanut, corn or soybean oil are ideal.
deep fry
Vegetable-based fat is a common choice for deep frying and may consist of blend of various oils.
Food is cooked in an oil or fat. Frying techniques and outcomes are influenced by the amount of fat/oil used, the type of fat/oil, temperature and time. Frying results in cooking foods more quickly and the results are characterized by crispness and texture.
conventional oven
Although the conventional oven provides heat from the bottom of the oven, it offers the same taste that results from frying foods the traditional way.
convection oven
Breaded food can also be baked in a convection oven. The fan inside creates an even cooking temperature that guarantees a crispy product at a faster speed.
Seen as a healthy alternative to frying, baking breaded foods in a conventional or convection oven offer a different texture, but the same great flavor.
Cooking Phase
fried shrimp chicken wings hushpuppy corn-dog fried steak fried fish
Southeastern Mills is one of the largest manufacturers in the world of batter and breading systems, with a complete range of batters, breadings and breadcrumbs – including organic and gluten-free coating. Not only are Southeastern Mills’ breadings easy-to-use, but they’ll also help increase your speed of service. If you want to learn more about batters and breadings, or are interested in working with us to develop a system for your needs, drop us a line at or fill out our contact form.