Crispy Beer Battered Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips are battered and fried white fish strips served with french fries, or chips. They are easier to make than you might think, and a real crowd pleaser.

fried fish and chips in a basket with tartar sauce and lemons

This classic beer battered fish and chips recipe is a favorite at our house. The fish pieces are super crispy and flavorful and the chips are so delicious. You can use the simple recipe below for the chips or use my Homemade Baked French Fries recipe. Serve with malt vinegar or Tartar Sauce for a classic pub style dinner. Don’t like fries? Try Onion Rings instead!

Why It Works

  • The beer in the batter gives the exterior that perfectly puffy yet crispy texture that you crave. Read more about why beer works here.
  • You can have this meal ready in about 30 minutes.
  • The recipe is delicious as is, but can easily be customized with seasonings to give you the classic taste you want.

Ingredients for Fish and Chips

  • Cod – if fresh cod isn’t available at your grocery store, the frozen fillets will work just fine. I usually buy a bag of frozen fish at Costco for a great price.
  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Beer – a lighter beer, like an ale or a lager is prefered and it should be very cold.
  • Oil for frying – I recommend vegetable, canola or corn oil.
  • Optional add-ins – paprika Old Bay, garlic powder, cayenne.
  • Chips – Make your own using my simple recipe, or take a shortcut and purchase a bag of pre-cut fries to bake in the oven.
ingredients for beer batter

How To Make Fish and Chips

Preheat the oil. Use a deep fry thermometer if you have one, and a deep pot or dutch oven, and bring the oil up to 350℉.

Make the beer batter. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and about a half teaspoon each of salt and pepper. If the fish was previously frozen, you may need to give it a light toss in the flour mixture to dry it out. Pour in the cold beer and whisk until you have a thick batter. Start with ¾ of a cup and add more if you want the batter to be thinner.

beer battered mixed in a bowl with a whisk
battered fish pieces on a wire rack

Batter and fry the fish. Dip the strip of fish into the batter until it’s fully coated, letting the excess dip off back into the bowl. Carefully place the fish into the oil and fry for 8-10 minutes. You can fry multiple pieces at a time, but make sure not to crowd them in the pan. The fried cod should reach an internal temperature of 145℉.

large pot with frying oil and fish

Drain and repeat. Place the crispy fried fish on a wire rack above a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain.

piece of fried fish on a slotted spoon

Cook the chips. If desired, you can follow the instructions in the recipe card below to make the chips. Or use a bag of frozen fries – no judgment here, you do what works for you!

Expert Tips

  • Dry the fish! Pat the fish dry with paper towels, especially if you are using frozen fish. This will help the batter stick better.
  • Don’t overcrowd! Only fry a few pieces at a time and don’t overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding leads to soggy fish.
  • Beer batter is family friendly! Because the alcohol evaporates as it cooks, beer battered fish is perfectly safe for everyone to eat.
  • Storage: Let the leftovers cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
fish and chips in a wire basket

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of fish is used for Fish and Chips?

A tender and flaky white fish, like cod or tilapia, works best. But I’ve seen halibut and even salmon used.

Why do Fish and Chips get soggy?

Usually this happens because there were too many pieces cooking at once. When fried food is crowded in the pot (meaning they are very close together) the temperature of the oil drops and the oil is absorbed into the food instead of making it crispy.

Do I have to use beer in Fish and Chips?

The crispy texture comes from the carbonation, not the ingredients themselves, so you could in theory use a non-flavored club soda or sparkling water. You can even use a flavored soda like 7Up or Coca-cola in place of the beer. However, since alcohol evaporates quicker than water, the beer batter will be crispier.

How thick should the batter be?

I always say the fried fish batter should coat the back of a spoon and slide off. Not too thin and not too thick. I suggest you treat this recipe as a guide and test it a few times to see what you prefer.

Can you reheat fried fish?

Yes! I recommend using an air fryer if you have one, and reheating at 400℉ for a few minutes. If you don’t have an air fryer, reheat in the oven at the same 400℉ until crispy and heated through. Don’t try to refry or you’ll end up with soggy fish.

Serving Suggestions

Since it’s a pretty heavy meal, I recommend serving with some veggies or salad. Here are some ideas:

fish and chips in a basket, showing the inside of the flaky white fish

More Fish Dinners You’ll Love to Try

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Fish and Chips

This Beer Battered Fish and Chips recipe will give you flavorful fish that's crispy and golden on the outside, tender and flaky on the inside.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, British
Servings 4
Calories 444kcal

Ingredients
  

FISH

  • 2 pounds Cod filets, thawed and cut into evenly sized pieces and patted dry
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ – 1 cup cold beer
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • Optional add-ins: paprika, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne

CHIPS

  • 2 pounds russet or idaho potatoes peeled and cut into desired shape
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

FISH

  • Preheat oil in a dutch oven or deep fryer for frying to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack on top. Set aside.
  • While oil is heating, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  • If the fish was frozen, you may need to coat it lightly with the flour mixture before proceeding to next step.
  • Pour the beer into the remaining flour mixture and whisk until a thick batter is formed. You will need ¾-1 cup depending on desired batter thickness.
  • Coat each piece of fish with the batter until fully coated, allowing excess to drip off.
  • Place the battered fish into the preheated oil and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and reaches 145 degrees.
  • Remove fish from oil and drain on a wire rack. If desired, add the chips and cook until golden.

CHIPS

  • While the oil is heating, boil the prepared potatoes in salted water for five minutes. Remove and lay out on a baking sheet to dry. Pat dry with paper towels if needed.
  • Add to hot oil after fish is done and cook until lightly golden brown. (time will vary based on size and thickness).
  • Remove from oil, season as desired and cool on a rack or paper towel.

Notes

  • Pat the fish dry with paper towels, especially if you are using frozen fish. This will help the batter stick better.
  • Only fry a few pieces at a time and don’t overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding leads to soggy fish.
  • Storage: Let the leftovers cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • Reheating: I recommend using an air fryer if you have one, and reheating at 400℉ for a few minutes. If you don’t have an air fryer, reheat in the oven at the same 400℉ until crispy and heated through. Don’t try to refry or you’ll end up with soggy fish.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 444kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 5gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 598mgPotassium: 1074mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 45mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 2mg
Keyword fish and chips

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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