How To Cook Catfish In An Air Fryer

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June Paris Modified: February 18, 2024
How To Cook Catfish In An Air Fryer

Delicious Air Fryer Catfish Recipe

If you are a fan of catfish and looking for a healthier way to enjoy this flavorful fish, then look no further than cooking catfish in an air fryer. Air frying is a fantastic cooking method that gives you that crispy, golden exterior without the need for deep frying in oil. In this article, we will guide you through a simple and delicious air fryer catfish recipe that will satisfy your taste buds and keep your waistline in check!

Why Use an Air Fryer?

Gone are the days of traditional deep frying, which can leave your kitchen smoky and your food dripping in oil. Air frying offers a healthier alternative that produces the same crispy results without the excess grease. By using hot air circulation and a small amount of oil, an air fryer creates a crispy texture that rivals deep frying.


  • 4 catfish fillets
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for a spicy kick)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Start by preheating your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 5 minutes.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  3. In another shallow dish, beat the eggs with the olive oil.
  4. Dip each catfish fillet into the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off.
  5. Coat both sides of the fillets with the cornmeal mixture, pressing gently to adhere.
  6. Place the breaded catfish fillets into the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  7. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the catfish is golden brown and crispy.
  8. Remove the catfish from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes.
  9. Serve hot with lemon wedges for that extra burst of freshness.

Whether you enjoy catfish as a standalone dish or as part of a larger meal, cooking it in an air fryer is a game-changer. The result is perfectly crispy catfish fillets that are flavorful and nutritious without all the added calories from deep frying. Plus, the air fryer is incredibly easy to clean up, making it a win-win situation!

So, the next time you’re in the mood for some delicious catfish, give this air fryer catfish recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you, and your waistline will too!

Want to share your tips and tricks for cooking catfish in an air fryer? Join the discussion in the Cooking Techniques forum and let’s talk about how to make this delicious dish!
Can I cook catfish in an air fryer?
Absolutely! Catfish can be cooked to perfection in an air fryer. It allows you to achieve a crispy and flavorful result without the need for excessive oil.
How long does it take to cook catfish in an air fryer?
The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the catfish fillets. As a general guideline, it takes around 12-15 minutes at 400°F (200°C) to cook catfish in an air fryer.
What should I season the catfish with before air frying?
Seasoning catfish before air frying is crucial to enhance its flavor. You can try a simple seasoning blend of salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Additionally, you can also add a touch of lemon juice or Cajun seasoning for an extra kick.
Do I need to preheat the air fryer before cooking catfish?
Yes, it is recommended to preheat your air fryer for a few minutes before cooking catfish. Preheating ensures that the fish cooks evenly and helps achieve that desirable crispiness.
Can I use a batter or breading for the catfish?
Yes, you can use a batter or breading to coat the catfish before air frying. A light and crispy coating can add a delightful texture to the catfish. Dip the fish in a seasoned flour or cornmeal mixture, or even try a panko breadcrumb coating for an extra crunch.
How do I avoid the catfish from sticking to the air fryer basket?
To prevent the catfish from sticking to the air fryer basket, lightly coat the basket with cooking spray or brush it with oil before placing the fish in it. This will help facilitate easy removal once cooked.
Can I cook frozen catfish in an air fryer?
Yes, you can cook frozen catfish in an air fryer. However, it is recommended to thaw the catfish fillets before air frying for more even and consistent cooking. If cooking frozen, you may need to slightly adjust the cooking time.

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