Sizzling Joy: Discover the Perfect Pitchfork Fondue Recipe

Are you ready for a taste of authentic Western cuisine? Look no further than Pitchfork Fondue. This unique and delicious recipe involves deep frying steak on a pitchfork over an open flame, resulting in a mouth-watering dish that is sure to impress.

Pitchfork Fondue originates from the Western USA, where cowboys used to cook their meals over an open fire with the tools they had on hand. Now, this traditional recipe has made its way onto menus at restaurants and ranches across the country. It’s even become a beloved staple of Medora, a small town in North Dakota that’s famous for its Western-style entertainment and cuisine.

The beauty of Pitchfork Fondue lies in its simplicity; all you need is a pitchfork, an open flame, and some cooking oil. The rest can be adjusted to your personal tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two, a family meal or hosting a party, this recipe is easy to make but impressive enough to wow your guests.

So why not try something new? Impress your friends and family with a cookout that’s as authentic as it is delicious. Read on to discover how to make your own decadent Pitchfork Fondue at home.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pitchfork Fondue (Steak Fry)
Pitchfork Fondue (Steak Fry)

Are you a fan of steak? How about deep-fried food? If the answer to both of these questions is “

yes,” then you’re in for a treat with our amazing Pitchfork Fondue (Steak Fry) Recipe.

This recipe is perfect for those who love Western-style cuisine and want to try something unique and exciting. This recipe allows you to cook your favorite cuts of steak using a pitchfork as your cooking utensil – yes, you read that right!

Not only is this dish incredibly tasty, but it’s also a fun way to cook your food. Using a pitchfork to pierce the steak and cook it deep-fried style is just one component that makes this recipe so great. The use of cooking oil, paprika, bay leaves, lemon juice, and strong black coffee creates an unforgettable flavor profile.

The preparation process is simple, making it easy for anyone to create this delicious meal. Perfect for outdoor BBQs or indoor winter gatherings, this recipe will leave everyone satisfied and craving more.

So why choose our Pitchfork Fondue (Steak Fry) Recipe over other dishes? Not only is it a unique and exciting way to prepare food, but it’s also guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable taste experience. So, grab your pitchfork and give this recipe a try – we promise you won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

“Golden-brown steaks ready to be fried to perfection!”

Ingredients for a Delicious Pitchfork Fondue

Before getting started with cooking the pitchfork steak fondue, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients. For this recipe, you will need:

  • Steaks: Ribeye steaks are highly recommended for their marbled fat that makes them more flavorful and juicy when they’re fried in hot oil.
  • Cooking Oil: Any frying oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, peanut oil or ear we bring from Pitchfork Ranch is perfect for deep frying your steaks.
  • Pitchfork Forks: Look for sturdy pitchforks with at least 6-inch prongs that can hold your steaks securely and safely before you fry them.
  • Salt: Add the salt to taste during the preparation of the dish.
  • Paprika: The paprika adds a mild smoky flavor to the steak making it appetizing.
  • Bay leaves: It is known for its sharp and pungent flavor which adds a unique taste to the dish.
  • Strong black coffee: This ingredient adds complexity to the dish and enhances the meaty flavor of the beef.
  • Lemon Juice: Adding lemon juice complements perfectly with steak juices and also helps in tenderizing the meat.

Now that you have all your ingredients ready let’s get ready to start on this Steak Fry Recipe.

The Recipe How-To

Once you have prepared your pitchfork fondue pot and built a fire, it’s time to start cooking the pitchfork steak. Here’s how to do it:


  • 2 lbs of rib eye steaks
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup of strong black coffee
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Cooking oil, for frying


  1. Heat the oil in the pitchfork fondue pot until it reaches 375°F.
  2. While the oil is heating up, season the steaks with salt and paprika.
  3. Using a metal pitcher, pour the black coffee into the pot and add the bay leaves.
  4. Pierce each steak with a star pitchfork and dip it into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pot.
  5. Fry the steaks until they are golden brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  6. Remove the steaks from the pot using another star pitchfork and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  7. Once all your steaks are cooked and drained, place them on a serving platter and sprinkle with lemon juice for an extra tangy flavor.

Enjoy your delicious pitchfork steak fondue!

Substitutions and Variations

“The sizzle of meat being dipped in hot oil is music to my ears!”

While the pitchfork fondue recipe is already a creative take on steak fry, there are still ways to switch it up and make it your own.

First off, for those who prefer less salt in their food, reduce the amount of salt used in the recipe. On the other hand, for those who want an added kick of flavor, try using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika.

In terms of liquids used for the fondue mixture, you can experiment with different types of coffee or fruit juices to give the dish a unique twist. For instance, strong black coffee can be swapped with a dark roast coffee to bring out the smoky flavors.

If bay leaves are not available in your pantry, you could substitute them with basil or oregano. Both herbs complement beef dishes well and will still add a nice depth of flavor to the fondue.

For those looking for specific cuts of meat other than rib-eye steak, you can use sirloin or even prime rib instead. The choice is yours, but keep in mind that tender cuts will be easier to pierce when cooking them on the pitchforks.

Lastly, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to put your own spin on this Western-style dish, try adding different types of dipping sauces to go along with the fried steak. A tangy BBQ sauce or a spicy mustard can add an extra layer of flavor to each bite.

All in all, feel free to experiment with this recipe and make it your own – there are endless possible variations for this delicious pitchfork fondue recipe!

Serving and Pairing

“This is not your average backyard BBQ, this is Pitchfork Fondue!”

Pitchfork Fondue is a steak lovers’ dream come true. This recipe brings the Western-style steak dinner to your backyard. Served with a heaping pile of deep-fried steak aka Pitchfork Fondue, this dish makes for an impressive centerpiece at any dinner table.

When it comes to pairing, the possibilities are endless. I recommend serving this savory dish with a glass of strong black coffee and a wedge of lemon to cut through the richness of the meat. For beer enthusiasts, a bold lager or amber ale will complement the flavors of Pitchfork Fondue perfectly.

For sides, you cannot go wrong with classic vegetables such as roasted corn on the cob, baked potatoes, or grilled asparagus. For a more adventurous take on side dishes, try making a batch of cheesy grits or simmered beans that will match well with the bold flavors from the fondue meat.

Finally, don’t forget to set the mood by playing some Western tunes in the background and lighting up some candles. This is truly an unforgettable dining experience that combines rich flavors and frontier charm. Be sure to snap some photos for Instagram and share it with your friends from Choteau Chamber in Montana or Pinedale in Wyoming!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“The perfect sear awaits in the fiery depths of our trusty cauldron.”

Preparing a pitchfork steak fondue requires some planning ahead. Fortunately, the dish lends itself well to being made in advance. If you’re hosting a large group of people, it’s helpful to start preparing the dish a day or two in advance.

To make-ahead, simply cook the steak until it’s almost completely done and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve it, reheat the steak over low heat until it’s nicely warmed through.

Storing cooked steak can also be done for future meals. Simply seal it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. To reheat, place the steak on a baking sheet and warm for about 10-15 minutes in the oven at a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180°C).

For optimal results when reheating, we recommend wrapping your steaks individually in aluminum foil with some cooking oil to ensure they do not become dry when reheated.

Pitchfork steak fondue is best enjoyed freshly cooked, but reheating leftovers shouldn’t diminish its delicious taste, either.

Tips for Perfect Results

“A unique dining experience for the adventurous foodie!”

Pitchfork fondue is a classic recipe that originated in the western United States, particularly in North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Deep-fried steak cooked on a pitchfork, this unique dish has become a staple in most steak dinner menus across the country. Here are some crucial tips for preparing a perfect pitchfork fondue:

1. Pierce the meat thoroughly: Using the right equipment is crucial when cooking pitchfork fondue. Make sure your pitchfork is long enough to enable you to reach all sections of the meat while cooking. Pierce each piece of meat deeply to make sure that it cooks evenly on both sides.

2. Use the right cuts of meat: Not all steaks work perfectly with pitchfork fondue. Choose tender cuts such as rib-eye steaks, roughly 1-inch-thick, for optimal results. They cook fast and have enough fat to retain moisture.

3. Control your oil temperature: Deep frying requires consistent heat management. Heat your oil slowly to achieve the right temperature range before adding the meat. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the meat may absorb too much oil, resulting in greasy and soggy steak.

4. Add flavor-boosting ingredients: Although pitchfork fondue is an excellent recipe on its own, it doesn’t hurt to add some extra flavors to it, such as paprika or bay leaves for some aroma and lemon juice for an acidic punch.

5. Let the meat rest: After cooking, remove the steaks from the pitchfork and let them rest on a wire rack or paper towels for at least five minutes before serving. This allows excess oil to drain off and keep them crispy.

By following these tips and techniques, you can be sure to get perfect results every time you cook pitchfork fondue at home or order it next time from your favorite western-themed restaurant.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, pitchfork fondue or steak fry is a must-try recipe for all BBQ enthusiasts. This recipe is unique and original to the western USA, where it was first conceived in Medora, North Dakota. The simplicity of the recipe’s ingredients combined with its rustic cooking techniques make for a fun and interactive way to enjoy delicious steak.

Whether you decide to use rib eye steaks, prime ribs, or any other fondue meat, the deep-fried pitchfork steak will keep you coming back for more. Besides, the rich cultural history behind this dish makes it all more exciting and worth trying.

So next time you’re looking for a unique way to cook your meat, grab your cooking oil, bay leaves, paprika, salt- and of course – your pitchfork. Try this delicious pitchfork fondue recipe out in the comfort of your home, around a bonfire up at Pitchfork Ranch or at your favorite restaurant that serves fondue. You won’t regret it!

Pitchfork Fondue (Steak Fry)

Pitchfork Fondue (Steak Fry) Recipe

This is a Western steak oil fry. Absolutely delicious. And yes, pitchforks are used, small ones and large ones. It was started on dude ranches and then oudoor parties. I have made the recipe for 6.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 day
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 17.4 kcal


  • 6 rib eye steaks (Note, You can use rib eye or sirloin but they are smaller in size and will cook faster) or 6 porterhouse steaks (Note, You can use rib eye or sirloin but they are smaller in size and will cook faster)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup strong black coffee
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 5 gallons vegetable oil


  • Marinate the steaks in large ziplock bags, overnight if possible.
  • Note: Unfortunately the ingredient reader on this program will not let me put rib steak, it insists on putting rib eye.
  • Lay out the steaks on a tray.
  • Throw away the marinade.
  • Heat the oil in a tall stockpot over a propane burner. Does not take a long time.
  • Pierce the steak at one end and loop the steak twice on the pitchfork. Push the steak back on the fork.
  • Pierce and loop another one. Put 3 steaks on one fork.
  • Carefully lower the steaks into the hot oil. Fry 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Serve with baked beans and baked potatoes with butter and sour cream.
  • Note: Keep that pot and burner as low to the ground as you can. DO NOT LET GO OF THAT PITCHFORK, IT MIGHT TIP OVER THE HOT GREASE.
  • You can use the stock pot or dutch oven over hot coals also, but use a long fork instead of a pitchfork and cook 1 steak at a time.
  • Note: You can use buffalo steak, any steak with a bone is very tender close to the bone. You may also use pork. Chicken or fish is very difficult to pierce and stay on a fork.
  • Do not let children near the cooking!



Serving: 47067gCalories: 17.4kcalCarbohydrates: 4.8gProtein: 0.6gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 3490.2mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1.2g
Keyword Deep Fried, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of…, Lactose-free, Meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.