How Long To Deep Fry Fish? Does It Take Longer?

How Long Do I Fry Fish In Oil?

For some people, deep frying fish is frying at very high temperatures, while for others, it means soaking the fish in a large amount of oil at low temperatures for a long time. With all the different opinions on deep frying, one needs to know how long to deep fry fish before you end up serving burnt, greasy or undercooked fish.

Deep frying requires more oil than shallow frying and should ideally take about 3-6 minutes to deep fry fish. Doing it wrong can ruin a perfect dish, as the fish will become greasy and soggy. Different types, parts, and thicknesses of fish require different lengths of time, but ultimately the goal is to arrive at a crispy fried fish.

In this article, you will learn about ways to deep fry fish, how long it will take, the correct type of oil and the benefits of deep frying ahead of other methods of preparing fish. Since you are ready, let’s dive into it.

Ways To Deep-Fry Fish

Although the idea of deep frying is to fry the fish inside lots of oil till crispy, there are two ways you can deep fry a fish. Both methods come to the same conclusion if done correctly, a golden color crisply fried fish. These methods include: 

  • The Use Of A Deep Fryer

You can use a Deep fryer to fry your fish properly. Deep fryers are designed for deep frying, and it doesn’t require as much work as the other way of deep frying. Electronic deep fryers allow you to set the exact temperature you want to try your fish.

  • The Use Of A Deep Sauce Pan

Alternatively, you can use a deep saucepan over a heat source. The saucepan should be deep enough to contain oil that will completely cover the fish. Deep sauce pans distribute heat evenly and allow the fish to be completely submerged in oil. 

Using a saucepan will require more attention than using a deep fryer. It would be best to manually gauge the temperature using a candy, unlike your already calibrated deep fryer. The recommended temperature for deep frying fish is about 350F to 375F.

How Long Would It Take To Deep Fry Fish Perfectly

It should take about 3-6 minutes to deep fry fish perfectly. Fish should be deep fried under close supervision because if kept for too long, they soak in oil. If fried properly, fish shouldn’t be full of oil and soggy. 

Before frying, preheat your deep fryer or your saucepan. In the case of an electronic deep fryer, you can set the temperature and allow it to heat. At the same time, for a saucepan, you can monitor the pan temperature with a candy thermometer.

How Long To Deep Fry Fish

In the ideal temperature of 350F to 375F, deep fry fish should take about 3-6 minutes. This temperature level depends on the type of fish, the part, and the size of the fish you are frying. Smaller pieces fry faster and should take about 3-5 minutes, while the thicker pieces could stay up to 6 minutes. 

Fish is fried in batches, and we advise that you fry in small batches. When you fry in large batches, the oil temperature will alter at every batch change, affecting your fish’s outcome.

What Makes Deep-Fried Fish Better

Flavoring and dipping the fish into a batter properly before frying will improve your deep fry fish. Before deep frying fish, you have to prepare the fish properly. Dipping the fish in a batter made of flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and water or milk gives the fish an added flavor. 

To flavor your batter, you can also include other condiments, such as eggs. When preparing the batter, make it thick enough to stick to the fish’s body throughout the frying process. 

However, you do not want to make it too thick, so you must take great care as you add water to your batter. Before frying, shake off the excess batter from the fish. Well-fried fish should turn out to be soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

What Is The Right Oil For Deep Frying

For deep frying, you do not want to use just any kind of oil. Use a neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point. Oils with bad flavor can affect the taste and aroma of your fried fish. In some cases, using the wrong oil can make the fish bitter. 

We recommend using oils like Canola, safflower, peanut, corn, avocado, grapeseed oil, or coconut. Avoid butter, olive oils, and oils with a low smoke point because they can burn out at the high temperature required for deep frying.

What Type Of Fish Can I Deep-Fry

Not every type of fish turns out great when deep-fried. Some fish are unsuitable for this cooking method and should be prepared differently. Fish with strong natural flavor and lots of oil should not be deep fried. 

Oily fish have too much fat and will not taste well when deep-fried, like naturally strong-flavored fish. Some examples of deep fry perfect fish that you can use include;

  • Codfish
  • Tilapia
  • Catfish
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Pollock
  • Trout
  • Perch
  • Striped Bass

Fish with transparent and lean bodies are the most suitable for deep frying. Fishes with little to no fat in their raw meat are the best for deep frying. 


Deep frying fish involves submerging the fish entirely in oil and allowing it to cook at a preset temperature. For best results, you should use a deep fryer. But if you have to use a saucepan, you should go for one with a deep bottom. Before frying, oil should be allowed to preheat to the recommended temperature.

For the best result, you should know how long to deep fry fish and its best conditions. Fish should be deep fried for about 3-6 minutes at a temperature of 450F to 475F. The contents of this article will help you make good choices as you prepare to enjoy your crispy, golden-brown fried fish.

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