How Long To Cook Frozen Fish In Air Fryer

Cooking Last Minute Meals: How Long To Cook Frozen Fish In Air Fryer

Are you tired of ending up with soggy fish from an air fryer? Do you wonder how long to cook frozen fish in air fryer? If so, this post has you covered.

I happen to be a big fan of cooking food straight from the freezer. And there are so many things that can be cooked to perfection without thawing. Whether it’s chicken, steak, shrimp, or of course fish, cooking protein from Frozen is easy, ends up being delicious, and I’m going to show you how.

I recently found out that you can do the same technique, I’m about to teach you with shrimp, fish, practically any protein. The best part is it only takes a few minutes. And your finished product will end up being meaty, flaky, juicy, and delicious. The trick is in the way you bread it. Don’t worry, it’s super simple and you will end up with it being crispy and piping hot.

Before we dive into a few air fryer fish recipes, let’s explore a bit more about fish cookery and the air fryer.

Cooking Methods For Different Types of Fish

Not all fish works with all cooking methods. The method you opt to use is largely dependent on the properties of the specific fish you have on hand. Here are a few tips to help you figure out what preparation method would be best for your fillet of fish.

Sautéing or Pan Frying

This method works well with:

  • Halibut
  • Salmon
  • Flounder, and
  • Sole

These types of fish have thin skin that is full of flavor.


Poaching works best with lean types of fish, like:

  • Halibut
  • Snapper
  • Sole
  • Cod
  • and Tilapia.

It’s also useful for fattier fish like trout and salmon.


Grilling fish fillets is a wonderful way to prepare fish with a hearty texture, including:

  • Tuna
  • Swordfish
  • and Salmon.

Check for steak cuts of these fish. They are thicker and work great on the grill.


Baking fish is highly successful with fish like:

  • Halibut
  • Sablefish
  • and Arctic Char.

The fillets taste best when brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with herbs before cooking.


Broiling fish works well with:

  • Salmon
  • and some Cod.

To be fair, almost any type of fish tastes good when broiled, except for fish larger than three pounds, which usually do better if roasted.

Deep Frying & Air Frying

Deep frying or air frying brings out the wonderful flavor in:

  • Pollock
  • Catfish
  • Halibut
  • and Tilapia.

Does Fish Need to Be Thawed Before You Cook It?

In one word, no! The great thing about fish, as with many types of protein is that there is no need to defrost the fish before cooking. Simply set your fish on to fry set from the freezer after a brief breading and seasoning session, of course. The fish will defrost in the cooking process while your breading gets the usual golden crispiness that we love in our fried foods.

Will Frozen Fish Hold Breading?

The normal breading process of having your fish dredged in eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs, unfortunately, won’t work when cooking from frozen. As you can imagine, the breading wouldn’t stick to the frozen surface. Luckily, there is a unique workaround. Instead of going through the breading process as you normally would, lightly coat your fish with a layer of olive oil. You can do this by either spraying from an oil spray or brushing it on. You find that the oil will adhere or freeze in place once it hits the surface of the fish. This is what you want to see. It will get sticky allowing you to pile on your breadcrumbs, creating a solid crust.

Pile on your seasoned breadcrumbs on top of the fish. Be sure to get as much of the fish covered as you can. Once you are comfortable with the coat you have added, gently press the crumbs in place with your hands. This will help your coating adhere to the fish. Once you are comfortable with your coat. You are ready to fry!

How Long To Cook Frozen Fish In Air Fryer

After you have coated your fish in oil and seasoned breadcrumbs, it’s time to get your fish cooked. Simply transfer your fish to your fryer basket. Try to move the chicken carefully to not lose the coating of crumbs you worked so hard on. Set to fry until your fish is cooked through all the way and piping hot (about 12 – 15 minutes). The breading should be the same beautiful golden brown you would achieve if frying after thawing, and your fish should be flaky and delicious. Consider serving it with a serving of tartar sauce.

How To Cook Frozen Fish In An Air Fryer

Here are 2 simple recipes that you can follow to ensure that your fish is cooked to perfection even when you do not have time to defrost before cooking.

Air Fried Salmon

Serves: 2

Time: 20 mins.


  • Salmon (2 fillets)
  • Paprika (1/2 tsp., smoked)
  • Garlic powder (1/2 tsp.)
  • Salt (1/2 tsp.)


Lightly brush salmon with oil, and season to taste. Add to your fryer basket. Set to air fry at 400 degrees F until fish becomes crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside (about 12 – 15 minutes). Serve, and enjoy!

Air Fried Beer Battered Cod

Serves: 2

Time: 40mins



  • Eggs (2)
  • Beer (100ml)
  • Hot Sauce (4tsp.)
  • Garlic (12g, chopped)

Seasoned Flour

  • White Pepper (1 tsp)
  • Salt (2 tsp.)
  • Black Pepper (1 tsp.)
  • Fish (1 lb., sliced)
  • Flour (1 cup)
  • Protein


Leave your cod in the batter for at least 30 minutes to marinate. Set your fryer to 350 degrees. Combine the flour and spices together. Lightly spray your fish with olive oil. This will act as glue for your seasoned flour. Roll the cod pieces in your flour so that they are evenly coated, then dip the pieces into your batter and back into the flour. Lightly spray the fish with oil once more than carefully place your cod pieces in your fryer basket. Allow cooking until golden brown in appearance (about 15 minutes). Serve, and enjoy.

Bottom Line

Fish is delicious whether defrosted before preparation or cooked from frozen. There are so many circumstances that could result in you just not having the time to wait on the fish to thaw before preparing and you should not be forced to remain unsatisfied or change your cooking plans. Now with the tips featured above, you will never again be deprived of fried fish if you can’t wait for it to fully defrost.

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