How To Cook Catfish In Air Fryer

Author:  Susan
Updated June 10, 2023
How To Cook Catfish In Air Fryer

Have you been searching for a healthier way to cook your favorite catfish dish? Look no further than the air fryer!

Not only does air frying eliminate the need for excess oil, but it also produces perfectly crispy and tender catfish every time.

Before you start cooking, it's important to properly prepare your catfish for air frying. This includes seasoning it with your favorite spices and making sure it's the right size and thickness for your air fryer.

With the right techniques and tips, you'll be able to create a delicious and guilt-free catfish meal in no time.

So, let's get started!

Takeaways Ready To Go!

  • Air frying catfish produces crispy and tender catfish without excess oil, making it a healthier option.
  • Proper preparation, including rinsing and seasoning with favorite spices, is crucial for optimal results.
  • Preheating the air fryer to 400°F and cooking catfish fillets without overcrowding or overlapping is important for even cooking.
  • Following basic food safety guidelines, such as washing hands before handling food and cooking catfish fillets to an internal temperature of 145°F, is necessary to avoid health risks.

Preparing Your Catfish for Air Frying

Now it's time to get your catfish ready for the air fryer. You'll want to start by rinsing it off and patting it dry with a paper towel. This step is essential to remove any dirt or impurities that may be on the fish. Make sure to dry the catfish thoroughly with a paper towel to prevent any excess moisture from interfering with the frying process.

Once you've finished, it's time to move on to seasoning your catfish for maximum flavor. To ensure that your catfish has a delicious taste, you can add your favorite spices and herbs. Some popular options include paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper. However, feel free to mix and match according to your taste preferences.

Once you've seasoned your fish, it's time to place it in the air fryer and cook it until it's golden brown and crispy on the outside. By following these simple steps, you'll be able to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal in no time.

Seasoning Your Catfish for Maximum Flavor

To really make your catfish sing with flavor, you'll want to start by sprinkling on some of your favorite seasonings. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Cajun seasoning: This spicy blend of paprika, garlic, and other spices will add a kick to your catfish.
  2. Lemon pepper: The zesty combination of lemon and black pepper will brighten up your catfish and make it taste fresher.
  3. Garlic and herb: This classic combination of garlic, rosemary, and thyme will make your catfish taste like it came straight from a fancy restaurant.
  4. Old Bay seasoning: If you're looking for a classic seafood seasoning, Old Bay is the way to go. Its blend of celery salt, paprika, and other spices will give your catfish a savory, slightly sweet flavor.

Once you've chosen your seasonings, sprinkle them generously over your catfish fillets. Make sure to coat both sides thoroughly.

Now that your catfish is seasoned to perfection, it's time to move on to setting up your air fryer for optimal results.

Setting Up Your Air Fryer for Optimal Results

For the best possible outcome, make sure your air fryer is set up correctly. This means ensuring it's clean and free of debris, and checking that temperature and cooking time settings are appropriate for the size and thickness of your catfish fillets. Don't forget to preheat your air fryer before adding your catfish - this helps ensure even cooking and natural flavors are retained.

Once your air fryer is set up, it's time to move on to the next step: cooking your catfish to perfection. Carefully place your seasoned catfish fillets into the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd or overlap them. Then sit back and relax while your air fryer does the hard work, cooking your catfish to crispy, golden perfection.

Cooking Your Catfish to Perfection

Ensure optimal results by setting up your air fryer correctly and following these guidelines for achieving crispy, golden catfish fillets.

First, preheat your air fryer to 400°F.

While it's heating up, pat your catfish fillets dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Dip the fillets in beaten egg, then coat them in a mixture of cornmeal and your favorite seasonings, such as garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

Once your air fryer is preheated, lightly spray the basket with cooking spray and place the catfish fillets inside.

Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the fish is golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside.

Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce for a classic catfish dinner.

Now that your catfish is perfectly cooked, it's time to move on to the fun part - serving and enjoying your air-fried catfish!

Serving and Enjoying Your Air-Fried Catfish

Now it's time for you to savor the crispy and flavorful catfish fillets that are perfect for a casual dinner or a party appetizer. Here are three ways to serve and enjoy your air-fried catfish:

  1. Serve with a side of tartar sauce or creamy coleslaw to balance out the crunchiness of the catfish.
  2. Pair with a cold beer or a glass of white wine for a refreshing accompaniment that complements the bold flavors of the dish.
  3. Arrange the catfish fillets on a platter with lemon wedges and fresh herbs for a visually appealing presentation that adds a touch of elegance to any meal.

As you indulge in the deliciousness of your air-fried catfish, remember to follow basic food safety guidelines to avoid any health risks. Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling food, avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked food, and make sure to cook the catfish fillets to an internal temperature of 145°F to ensure that they're safe to eat.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy your air-fried catfish with peace of mind and satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to cook catfish in an air fryer?

Yes, it's safe to cook catfish in an air fryer. Just make sure it's fully cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal.

How long can I store leftover air-fried catfish in the fridge?

You can store leftover air-fried catfish in the fridge for up to three days. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container and reheat it thoroughly before eating. Don't take any chances with your health!

Can I use frozen catfish fillets in an air fryer?

Yes, you can use frozen catfish fillets in an air fryer. Just make sure to thaw them properly before cooking. It's important for both the taste and your safety. Enjoy your perfectly cooked catfish!

What are some recommended side dishes to serve with air-fried catfish?

Looking for the perfect sides to complement your air-fried catfish? Try pairing it with some creamy coleslaw, hushpuppies, or crispy sweet potato fries. These options will add the perfect balance of texture and flavor to your meal.

Can I use a marinade on my catfish before air frying it?

Yes, you can use a marinade on your catfish before air frying it. Just make sure to pat it dry before air frying to avoid excess oil and ensure a crispy texture. Enjoy your delicious and safe meal!


Now that you know how to cook catfish in an air fryer, you can enjoy this delicious and healthy dish anytime you want.

Remember to prepare your catfish properly by cleaning and seasoning it before placing it in the air fryer. Make sure to set up your air fryer for optimal results by preheating it and placing the catfish in a single layer.

Once your catfish is cooked to perfection, serve it hot and enjoy with your favorite sides. Whether you're cooking for yourself, family, or friends, air-fried catfish is a crowd-pleaser that's easy to make and packed with flavor.

So, go ahead and try this recipe today and impress everyone with your air-frying skills!

Growing up with parents owning a fish & chips shop, I have always loved fried food. Granted, not healthy for you, but it tastes oh sooo good! Discovering air fryers and halogen fryers has been a God-send. The healthy way to eat fried foods.

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