How to Cook Fried Catfish in Air Fryer

Catfish is a seafood that has a unique taste like sweet, mild, and moist with firm flesh. It is a high-protein food that holds a lot of nutrients including good fatty acids. Catfish are not commonly eaten. So, you may be wondering how to cook it? Or which method of cooking will be the most comfortable? Well, there are several ways to prepare the catfish. Keep reading to find out how to cook fried catfish in air fryer.

Making the catfish is pretty easy in an air fryer. Because an air fryer allows you to cook them appropriately. You just collect the catfish and put the fish inside the air fryer. Then the machine will do the rest of the work in some time. You have to follow a good recipe to cook catfish properly.  Read the whole article to make a better catfish dish in the air fryer.

Why Cook Fried Catfish in Air Fryer Instead of Oven?

You would normally fry foods in oil but instead of these, you can use an air fryer. The air fryer can make your dish healthier and better. The other thing is it is easy to use controls and has some safety features. Besides, using rapid air technology air fryers can create more heat quickly than an oven. Although, the problem with the air fryer is its fairly small size. You can only put one layer of food in it unless you want to take it and stir it out every few minutes. But small size helps to circulate the heat more evenly and crisp up your food well.

On the other hand, the air fryer doesn’t take oil to cook but the oven does. We all know that oily food is harmful to health. To avoid this unnecessary problem, an air fryer would be the best choice for cooking food over the oven.


  • Catfish Fillets (1 lb)
  • Milk(3/4 cup)
  • Hot Sauce(4 drops)
  • Yellow Cornmeal (half cup)
  • Flour- all types (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt(3/4 tablespoon)
  • Black Pepper(half tablespoon)
  • Lemon Juice (1 tablespoon)

Expert Tips

  • Make sure to soak the filets in milk before 30 minutes to get a good taste. (if possible)
  • Try to use a plastic bag to bread the fish for easy cleanup.
  • Spray a very small amount of oil on the top of the fish to make a better crispy coating.


Before putting the catfish in the air fryer you have to make a masala batter. And this masala batter will be made with the above ingredients. Each of the ingredients must be added one by one and then you have to mix those ingredients well. You have to apply this pre-made batter on the fish on both sides through a brush or hand. Keep those fish filets inside a pot and leave them on the fridge for marinating sometime. If you don’t have enough time, you can avoid this option. Because it’s totally optional. Now, it’s ready to go on the air fryer.

How to Cook Fried Catfish in Air Fryer?

Preparing seafood like catfish is pretty easy in the air fryer. Even if you don’t have a lot of knowledge about the catfish, an air fryer machine can cook them perfectly without any trouble. You can easily buy this catfish from various super shops as a slice or full fish. After collecting the fish you need to follow the below steps.

Step 1: Preheat the Air Fryer

The first thing you need to do is to put the air fryer on a flat surface in your kitchen area. Then you have to connect the device with the help of an electric source and then turn it on. To preheat the air fryer, the desired temperature is 390 to 400-degree F. For preheating the air fryer duration should be something around 3 to 4 minutes. Apply the exact buttons so that the machine works well.

Step 2: Place them in the Basket

Now remove the marinated catfishes from the freezer. After that spray some oil on those catfishes. Then rub them well again with your hand. When complete the preheating, take off the air fryer basket. Now place the catfish fillets in a single layer.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be adding multiple layers of fish at a time. This will not provide you perfect cooking. If you require to cook a lot of those, you can make them in smaller batches. On the other hand, you can use a rack if you have one. It is also important to set up everything well to get the best cooking experience. Now re-insert the basket into the air fryer.

Step 3: Set the Time and Temperature

The next important thing is to set the exact cooking duration. Note that, this cooking time can vary according to your air fryer’s quality and size. Because all the air fryer doesn’t work the same way. There is some advanced feature air fryer that can make meals very quickly and some take little time. In the case of most air fryers, the cooking duration and cooking temperature for making catfishes are nearly the same.

For preparing the catfish the appropriate cooking duration is 20 minutes and the cooking temperature is 400 F. Although, the temperature is set before. So, there is no need to reset it.

Step 4: Complete the Cook

Wisely take off the air fryer basket from the device. Then keep the basket in a place where it has a chance to cool down quickly. Never try to touch the basket or the food when it is hot. If do that, there will a possibility to burn your finger. So, be careful about this. After some time move the catfishes from the basket. Finally, you can serve the catfish on a plate.

What should serve with air-fried catfish?

The catfish filets can be served as you wish. To give a luxurious touch you can add tomato catchup, BBQ sauce, and spicy sauce. Besides, you can decorate these catfishes with extra salad, onion, or vegetables to make the dishes healthier.


Air-fried catfish have the perfect combination of crunchy texture and bold flavors. Now you can easily make it on the air fryer. We hope you will find the above information about the recipe helpful.

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