Making beer-battered catfish is a great way to avoid yet another cornmeal coated catfish fillet. Don’t get me wrong, cornmeal-crusted fried catfish is great and it’s what I grew up on, but after decades of eating it I need to change it up from time to time.
We’ve rated this recipe as MODERATE due to the need to deep fry the catfish. Be sure to dispose of any oil used properly. Placing it in a resealable plastic container and taking it home with you is the best option.
Beer battered catfish is extremely easy to make, but you will need to deep fry it as opposed to pan frying. It just doesn’t come out quite right in a pan.
This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a dutch oven of sufficient size that you can fry a couple of fillets in it at a time. Just throw it on your camp stove, get your oil hot, and you’re all set.
Remember, the smaller the dutch oven, the less oil it will hold without overflowing.
See all of our catfish recipes.
The less oil you have in your dutch oven, the faster it will cool down when you add something to it. If it cools too much, the batter will soak up the oil and your catfish will taste greasy and soggy.
I mention this repeatedly in many of our recipes, but an instant-read thermometer is your best friend when cooking at your campsite. In this recipe, it is critical for checking the temperature of your oil as well as the internal temperature of your catfish.
- 2 tsp. Morton's Kosher Salt
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Beer Battered Catfish
- vegetable oil – enough to fill dutch oven about 3 inches
- salt and pepper – to taste
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – divided
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 12 oz. beer – a light lager is best
- 4 catfish fillets
- lemon wedges
Before You Leave Home
- Combine all the ingredients for the Cajun Seasoning, 1 cup of the flour, the cornstarch, baking powder, and the 2 tsp. of salt and put into a zip-top bag or resealable container.
At the Campsite
- In a cast iron dutch oven, heat oil to 375°F.
- Dump your flour and Cajun Seasoning combination that you made at home into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the beer until you have a smooth batter.
- Put the remaining flour in another bowl. Pat the catfish fillets dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly dust both sides with flour.
- Dip the fillets in the beer batter with your tongs, letting the excess drain off into your batter bowl. Place a couple of fillets at a time in the oil, being careful not to crowd them. Fry until well browned, about 3-4 minutes. The internal temperature on catfish should read 145 degrees.
- Drain the fillets on a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining fillets.
- Serve with lemon wedges.