How do you Cook Catfish in an Air Fryer?

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How do you Cook Catfish in an Air Fryer?

Did you know there is nothing you can’t cook in an air fryer; from fruits to vegetables to dry fruits, to meat and even seafood? Yes, your favorite seafood. An air fryer will add to the nutritional value of the seafood by cooking it most healthily. Today we are going to air fry the meow meow fish; I mean catfish. But before that, let me share a little information about catfish.

Catfish Origin:

Catfish’s origin is in North America. Almost 30 varying species of catfishes are found only in North America. These either live in isolated areas or small populations. There are three most common species of catfishes, and they are known as the big three. These big 3s are blue catfish, flathead catfish, and channel catfish.

Edible Catfishes:

Catfish has firm flesh, mild and sweet taste. Its meat is rich in protein and fatty acids. Though it is not a commonly eaten fish, it tastes good when cooked correctly, and if a catfish is cooked in an air fryer, the taste will get better. There are certain species of catfishes that are edible and are being eaten the most. Take notes and hunt down one of them.

Air Frying the Catfish:

Making catfish in an air fryer is a much easier job one can do. I am saying this because you have to grab a catfish, put some spice in it, and then hand it over to the air fryer. Then, all you have to do is wait for the air fryer to do the job and when it dings, take the fish out. Sounds easy, right? So let me share some fantastic crispy, crunchy catfish recipes with you so that you can make your first date, weekend parties, and festivities more fun and delicious.

Crispy Crunch Catfish Fillets:

  • Catfish fillets of 1lb weight
  • Milk ¾ cups
  • Hot sauce ½ tsp
  • Cornmeal ½ cup
  • All-purpose flour 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper ½ tbsp
  • Lemon juice 1 tbsp


  • In a bowl, mix hot sauce, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, milk, flour, and cornmeal one by one. Whisk the better well.
  • Apply the thick better on fillets and let them rest for a while. Marination will allow the fillets to absorb the spices, and they won’t taste plain on the bite.
  • Soak the fillets in milk for at least 30 minutes. This will enhance the taste of the flesh.
  • To do an even coating of flour and cornmeal, use a plastic bag for marvelous results. Just put the crumbs in a bag, then fillet and shake the bed well. This will evenly coat the fillet with a crispy exterior. But it’s optional.
  • To make an even crispier coating, give a gentle splash of oil on the coating before air frying.
  • Put the fillets in the freezer for some time to let the marinate and coating set on the fillets. But, again, it’s optional if you have enough time to do so.


Now comes the time to air fry the prepared fillets. So do follow the guidelines to get marvelous results.

  1. First thing first, Preheat the air fryer. The preheating temperature will be around 390F, and the time will be 3-4 minutes.
  2. After the air fryer is preheated, get the fillets out of the freezer and spray a gentle splash on the fillets. Now place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  3. Do not make multiple layers of fillets. Instead, consider frying them in batches if you have more fillets or use racks inside the air fryer if available to fry more fillets in a single go.
  4. The next thing is temperature and cooking time. Again, it depends on air fryers’ models and their efficiency in cooking meals. But for a standard air fryer, the temperature will be 400F for catfish fillets, and the cooking time will be 20 minutes.
  5. To add a twist to your fillets, sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top of the fillet and red chili flakes. This will enhance the final look of the fillet.

What else can go with the Crispy Catfish Fillets?

Now that crunchy, crispy cat fillets are out of the air fryer; you must be thinking about serving the catfish fillets. Well, there are multiple options you can go with.

  1. You can either serve them with tomato ketchup and salad
  2. You can serve with the different dips such as bbq mayo dip, garlic mayo dip, chili garlic mayo dip, etc
  3. You can also serve them with fries and dips.

Quick notes:

Certain factors count in making an excellent air-fried catfish.

  1. Soak the fish in the right liquid before referring it to marination or cooking. This is because the catfishes have a natural, gritty texture and a bad smell. This can make eating catfish a real struggle. So to avoid this, soak the fish in the vinegar solution or lemon juice solution.
  2. The next thing is seasoning; the proper seasoning in the right proportion can make your catfish a lip-smacking dinner. Seasoning gives you a lot to experiment with. Just follow the rule of not adding too much. Instead, try to experiment in minor amounts, which you can increase to your taste accordingly.
  3. Last but not least is the type of meat. Whether you are taking fresh filets or frozen soaking is a must. The difference between both is the taste. Fresh fillets taste more delicious than frozen ones. So you have to thaw them before adding spices. Fresh fillets will save you from the step of thawing, and you can directly jump to soaking.

Bottom line:

As discussed above, catfish are not commonly eaten fish, but people who know the secret hacks enjoy eating catfish. You can add another recipe to the air-fried recipes list—another amazing recipe on your party table or dinner table with family. Follow the instructions, and you will see how everyone licks the last drop of the juicy fillet and compliments you on your exceptional cooking. Never stop experimenting; keep air frying and keep eating the very yummy and tender catfish.