Beer Battered Fish

Beer Battered Fish and Chips is an all time favorite British meal. Though it is usually deep-fried, now you can make it with less guilt by air-frying your beer battered cod. So easy and tasty - perfect with some air fried chips and malt vinegar.

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Batters are one of the few deep fried foods that are a challenge to replicate in the air fryer. That’s not to say you can’t do it, however, and this recipe for beer battered fish shows you how. Batters are, by nature, wet and runny, and as a result they tend to run right off the food they are coating and right through the holes in the bottom of the air fryer basket. However, if you batter the food in a thick batter and then dredge in flour, you create a coating that will stay put when you air-fry and voilà… you have conquered the batter challenge!

Cod fillets, dredged and on a baking sheet.

You will need to spritz the coated fish generously with oil in order to make sure that none of the flour is left dry. This might seem excessive to you, but it’s a lot less oil than if you were submerging the fish in a pot of hot oil. If you try to skimp on this step, any sections of dry flour will just stay dry and not cook properly. Don’t be shy – make sure the fish is properly coated with oil. 

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Beer-battered cod in the basket of an air fryer.

If you’re thinking you’d like proper fish and chips, make your homemade french fries in the air fryer first. Let them sit aside while you cook the fish and then re-heat them quickly in the air fryer for just a couple of minutes while the fish sits and cools to an edible temperature. 

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Beer-battered fish and chips in a parchment paper lined basket with a side of coleslaw and tartar sauce.

Of course it is nice to have some coleslaw with your beer battered fish too. Here’s a recipe for two different versions. The only other items you might need are some tartar sauce, some malt vinegar and a nice IPA to wash it down. Oh… and maybe some newspaper to serve it on. 😉 Cheers!

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A fork breaking into a beer-battered fish fillet on a parchment lined basket with chips, coleslaw and a beer in the background.

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Air Fried Beer Battered Fish

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 12 m
  • Resting Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 42 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 ounces beer
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pounds cod cut into 4 or 5 pieces
  • vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Combine the 1 cup of flour, cornstarch and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the beer and egg and stir until smooth. Cover the bowl of batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

  2. Combine the 3/4 cup of flour, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a shallow dredging pan.

  3. Pat the cod fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Dip the fish into the batter, coating all sides. Let the excess batter drip off and then coat each fillet with the seasoned flour. Sprinkle any leftover flour on the fish fillets and pat gently to adhere the flour to the batter.

  4. Pre-heat the air fryer to 390°F.

  5. Generously spritz both sides of the coated fish filets with vegetable oil and place them in the air fryer basket. Air-fry for 12 minutes at 390ºF. Spritz with more oil during the cooking process if there are any dry spots on the coating.

  6. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, malt vinegar and tartar sauce. It’s perfect with some air-fried French fries and coleslaw too!

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Comments (25)Post a Reply


  1. I haven’t tried this yet but thank you for this recipe! Can this be used on other foods? Like shrimp or chicken? I love my air frier an now I have a new way to use it! Thank you you rock! I miss you on QVC! ❤️


  2. Taste was delicious, but the heavy coating required overcooking the fish a bit. When the fish was flaky and done, the inside of the coating was still wet and uncooked.

  3. I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe – love English style fish & chips! I have one quick question would you turn the fish half way through baking like you do with other things you bake in an air fryer?

    1. Hi Robin. I found that with this particular recipe, there’s no need to turn the fish. In fact, because the batter is a little fragile, it can be difficult to flip without the batter falling off. If you feel up to it, flipping it will certainly crisp the bottom (it won’t otherwise be crispy), but it’s a challenge.


  4. Made this it came out great. I do see a comment about flipping the fish, yes the batter comes off, so if you do be careful.

  5. Step 3… Dip the fish into the batter, coating all sides. Let the excess batter drip off and then coat each fillet with the seasoned flour again.
    You say “again”. Does this mean you first put in seasoned flour, then fish batter, and then again in seasoned flour?
    Thanks,

    1. Sorry Mary – my mistake. No – you put it in the batter first, then dredge it in the seasoned flour (one time). I’ve amended the recipe. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
      ML

    1. I use the EVO oil sprayer and like it. I like knowing how much oil it dispenses with one trigger pull – ¼ tsp. They have plastic jars and glass jar versions too.

  6. Sorry to say that this simply did not work for me and my new Ninja Foodi. Followed the EXACT directions. The batter did not stick. The fish and batter was tasteless. I’m convinced that there simply is no substitute for a good, beer battered fish FRY.

    1. Hi Faye. This recipe would work with any lager or ale. If you or anyone in your household drinks beer, that’s the one I would use. Otherwise, a regular lager is fine – Yuengling would be great.

    1. Hi Jim,
      The first ingredient is 1 cup of flour and that is the flour that goes into the batter. The next time flour is listed is the ¾ cup of flour, which becomes the seasoned flour. Sorry for the confusion.
      ML

  7. I just cooked this and the fish stuck to the air fryer and the coating tasted like flour. I followed directions exactly. Disappointed

    1. Hi Cindy, I’m so sorry you had trouble with this recipe. It sounds to me like you might not have used enough oil. The fish needs to be spritzed generously with the oil so that it won’t stick and so that the flour is completely coated. If any of the flour is left dry, it will taste like flour because it won’t have a chance to be “cooked” in the air fryer.


  8. I could not believe how easy and terrific this recipe was. Will be using it to replace messy deep fried fish.

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