How Long does it Take to Fry Fish?

The answer to the question of “how long does it take to fry fish” varies depending on your method. In this article, we’ll look at the various methods: Deep-frying, Pan-frying, and Air-frying, and cover the basics of cornmeal-coated fish. Regardless of your chosen method, here are a few things to remember. After all, your fish will be as crispy as possible when properly coated in cornmeal.

How Long does it Take to Fry Fish

How Long does it Take to Fry Fish?

Nothing compares to a plate of deep-fried fish that is golden, crispy, and hot off the grill. Knowing how long to deep-fried fish can be challenging due to high temperatures, heated oil, and a lack of time.


You might wonder how long it takes if you’ve never deep-fried fish before. Whether you use an air fryer or a stovetop, the exact time for your particular type of fish will vary. In either case, the key is to ensure that your fish comes out golden on the outside and moist inside. Here are some tips for cooking the perfect fried fish. 

  • First, preheat the oil to 375 degrees.
  • Place a slice of bread in the oil to test the temperature. After 45 to 50 seconds, the bread should brown.
  • Once the oil is hot enough, place your fish. It should be cooked on both sides, averaging three to four minutes on the first and two to five minutes on the second.
  • The exact time will depend on the thickness of the fish, and you should try to make small pieces so that the entire fish cooks evenly.

Pan Frying

Chinese families prepare pan-fried fish regularly, and it is a common preparation. Whether fresh or frozen, the type of fish used and its preparation depend on the type. Steamed fish is preferred, but some fish are better suited to frying. Here are some tips to help you prepare fish in the pan.

  • Using the right oil for frying is important to get the right result.
  • Use vegetable oil if you’re unsure of what to use.
  • The most popular fish for pan frying is lean, white-fleshed fish. Freshwater fish like trout and bass are suitable for this preparation.
  • However, avoid choosing fish with a distinct flavor or oiliness.
  • Another important consideration is the smoke point of the oil. When it is too high, it will overcook the fish and leave it with a tasteless appearance.
  • Make sure to check the fish’s temperature before cooking it.
  • Pan-frying the typical fillet generally takes 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Air Frying

If you love seafood, air frying is a great way to prepare it without the hassle of frying it in oil. This method is easy to use and involves a few staple ingredients. White, firm fish is the best option as it’s flaky and easy to cook through. Butter adds flavor to your food. Use clarified butter, which is free of water and is heated to higher temperatures than regular butter. You’ll also want to use a low-calorie oil such as olive or grapeseed.

This method can be used for any fish, including cod. Cod, for example, is usually quite thick and needs a longer cooking time than other fish. You should also avoid overcrowding your air fryer to avoid steaming. Once the fish is cooked, you can flake it with a fork. You can use a jumbo air fryer for cooking more than one type of fish at once, but make sure not to overcrowd it.

Place the breaded fish in an air fryer basket and coat it with nonstick cooking spray—Cook for 8 minutes at 400°F or until thoroughly done.

Cornmeal Coating

A cornmeal coating is a great option when frying fish because it adds a nice grit, especially when fried. Some recipes call for flour to make the coating stick, while others use mayonnaise. Flour is generally preferred because it holds the cornmeal coating together better. Cornmeal can also be used as a substitute for flour in frying or baking meat or fish.

Before frying fish, ensure enough milk or cornmeal for the coating. You will need a candy or fat thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil. Flour, cayenne, paprika, and salt will also work. You can substitute lemon juice or vinegar if you don’t have buttermilk. However, real buttermilk has the most flavor. When frying fish, soak it thoroughly before coating it in cornmeal.

How to Avoid Fish Sticking to a Pan?

You may wonder if an electric frying pan will do the trick, especially if you plan to fry fish. The truth is this countertop appliance can do many things, including baking. However, if you plan to cook fish, you may be better off using a conventional pan. These appliances are designed to heat oil quickly and evenly, making them a great choice for the job.

If you prefer a nonstick coating, you’ll need a nonstick pan. Nonstick pans are the best choice for frying fish, as they don’t stick to the pan and make it easy to remove. If you’re worried about frying fish, you can buy pans with silicone handle insulation. Stainless steel pans tend to stick to food, no matter how much oil you use.

How can a Fish be Flipped without Breaking it?

There is a science to flipping fried fish. It all begins with the coating and the oil. Flipping the fish once the coating has browned enough is important to prevent it from falling off. Flipping before the coating is cooked is a mistake, and the fried fish will fall apart. A dutch oven works great for this purpose. To use a dutch oven, prepare the coals first.

Flipping fried fish can be tricky, but it is worth learning. First, you need to determine the thickness of the fish. Depending on the thickness, it can take between three to five minutes per side. Once you have determined the thickness, cook the fish according to the recipe. It would be best if you flipped the fish once halfway through cooking. If you grill the fish, you only need to do this once. And when you know how to flip fried fish properly, you can cook it in no time.

How can I Tell When the Fish is Cooked?

Fish usually cooks rather rapidly, particularly deep-fried in hot oil. Knowing all the telltale completion indicators is crucial, given the short cooking time, as you don’t want to burn it by accident.

  • When cooked, the majority of fish flesh changes from transparent to opaque.
  • Cooked fish has a highly consistent texture that separates easily. When you cut a knife into the center, it should flake and appear hard.
  • Internal Temperature: The ideal range for cooked fish is between 140F and 145F. You can measure the fish by putting a meat thermometer in the thickest part of it.

Do you Cook Fish on Both Sides?

While the first side of the fish cooks, season the opposite side with salt and pepper. Cook the fish for 2 to 3 minutes on the opposite side: Cook it for an additional two to three minutes after flipping it over. The fish will be completely opaque and easily flake apart when finished.

Do you use High or Low Heat to Cook Fish?

The fish will burn and stick if the temperature is too high, whereas the fish will boil in its liquid if it is too low. Learn how to use your stove and cookware, and use plenty of fat while frying.

Between 350F and 375F is the ideal oil temperature range for deep-frying fish. The temperature rises as the item get smaller. Set it appropriately because if it’s too high, your fish will easily overcook, and if it’s too low, your fish will be oily.


Butter and oil combined while frying fish produces more heat-resistant fat. It is best to add the oil first. When the butter stops bubbling, baste the fish as it is fried.

You’ve essentially made your sauce in the pan once you’ve fried some fish in butter. Utilize regular salted butter. Browned butter has a wonderful flavor because of its color. Although the flavor isn’t as wonderful, clarified butter makes frying even safer without the risk of the butter burning. Browning clarified butter is impossible.