Classic Wisconsin Beer Battered Fish – A homemade beer batter makes these fish fillets flaky and extra crispy. This is our family’s original recipe and a true Wisconsin classic!
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Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned Wisconsin fish fry? I know my family does and I thought this was a perfect recipe to share before Father’s Day weekend. I remember going fishing with my parents on the lake my husband and I now have our lake home. We’d bring home a cooler of crappie, bluegill and northern and my dad would clean and fillet them in the backyard.
My mom and grandma would whip up some coleslaw and Dad would fry the fish and French fries in a deep fryer set up in the backyard. When I close my eyes, I can still see our family seated around the picnic table in the backyard for this delicious and completely special feast.
The Classic Wisconsin Beer Battered Fish recipe I’m sharing today is my dad’s, and it holds so many wonderful memories for me. I can’t wait to share it with you so you and your family can also enjoy a little piece of Wisconsin tradition. If you have fishermen in your family or just love to go out for Friday fish fries, this is the recipe you need to try!
HOW TO MAKE WISCONSIN BEER BATTERED FISH
For your own classic Wisconsin fish fry, you’ll need:
- Cod loin fillets
- Baking powder
Follow the simple steps below for deliciously, crispy deep fried fish.
PREPARING THE FISH FRY BATTER
- Whisk the egg and beer together in a mixing bowl.
- Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt to the beer mixture, and whisk until smooth.
- Allow the batter to sit for 10-minutes and thicken up.
- Then, dredge the fillets in the batter.
Next, the fillets will go into the hot oil. Fry the them for about 8 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway through.
Remember to not overcrowd the fryer or pan or it can lead to soggy fish. Placing too many cold pieces of cod into hot oil will make the oil temperature drop.
Place the fillets on a plate with a paper towel when they are done cooking to soak up some of the oil.
Now, grab your favorite sides and get to eating! How delicious do these fillets look?!
WHAT KIND OF BEER SHOULD I USE?
Beer battered fish is a classic dish that can be enjoyed any time of year. While there are many different types of beer that can be used for battering, it is important to choose a beer that will not overpower the taste of the fish.
A light lager or ale is usually the best choice for beer battered fish. We actually love Pabst Blue Ribbon or Old Style. The subtle flavor of the beer will add a hint of flavor to the dish without overwhelming the taste of the fish.
When choosing a beer for beer battered fish, it is important to experiment and find a type that you enjoy.
WHAT KIND OF OIL SHOULD I USE?
The key to making perfect beer battered fish is to use the right kind of oil. For best results, use an oil with a high smoke point such as peanut oil or canola oil.
These oils can withstand the high heat of deep frying without burning or smoking. In addition, they have a neutral flavor that will not interfere with the taste of the beer batter.
CAN I USE OTHER TYPES OF FISH BESIDES COD?
Deep fried fish is a classic pub dish that is perfect for a night in with friends and family. And yes, of course you can use other types of fish. If you’re going to the store to buy fish, haddock, tilapia and halibut would all be good choices.
If you’re reeling them in on your own, crappie, bluegill, northern pike and walleye all fry up well!
CAN I MAKE THE FISH FRY BATTER AHEAD OF TIME?
I would suggest you prepare the batter about 30 minutes ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Don’t forget to use cold beer. The secret to delicious fried fish is getting the batter to go from cold to hot quickly.
And don’t forget to dredge the fish in flour before dipping it in the batter. This will help the batter to adhere to the fish and create a crispy, golden crust.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER DEEP FRIED FISH
To store any leftovers, wrap the fish in foil or plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to three days.
When you’re ready to eat the leftovers, simply place the fish, on a rotating oven (this is our favorite method), in an air fryer or the oven and bake at 400 degrees until heated through.
LOOKING FOR SOME SIDES TO GO ALONG WITH THE FISH?
- Easy Baked Beans
- Ninja Foodi Potato Salad
- Dorito Taco Salad
- Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes
- Ritz Cracker Macaroni and Cheese
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
Classic Wisconsin Beer Battered Fish
A homemade beer batter makes these fish fillets flaky and extra crispy. This is our family’s original recipe and a true Wisconsin classic!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 23 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
12 cod loin fillets
1 cup beer
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons salt
Canola or peanut oil, for frying
- Place cod fillets on a paper towel, allowing any extra moisture to dry off.
- Whisk egg and beer together.
- Add flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk again until smooth.
- Allow batter to sit for 10 minutes.
- In a large pot, add about 2 inches of oil and heat over medium heat to 375° Fahrenheit.
- Dredge cod fillets in batter and gently place them in hot oil.
Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to cook in multiple batches.
- Fry until golden and fish is cooked through. This will take about 8 minutes, flipping halfway
- When done, remove fillets from oil and place them on plate covered with paper towel.