Beer-battered fish and chips is a timeless classic that combines golden brown fried fish with thick-cut French fried potatoes.
The secret to this crispy golden coating lies in the beer-infused batter, which gives the fish a light and airy texture while adding subtle depths of flavor. The contrast between the crunchy exterior and the tender, flaky fish inside creates a delightful culinary experience and is easier than you think to create in your home kitchen.
My classic fish and chips recipe is so easy to make it will have you wondering why you hadn’t made it sooner.
The fresh-cut chips (french fries) are the perfect complement to the beer-battered deep-fried fish. Serve it with a side of tartar sauce and malt vinegar, and watch the smiles around your table. This easy fish and chips recipe is guaranteed to become a family favorite.
If you enjoy fried fish, make sure to check out our easy fried flounder recipe.
Ingredients to make Fish and Chips
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients needed to make my beer-battered fish and chips recipe. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
What is the best fish to use for Fish and Chips?
Cod is my first choice for this classic dish from the UK, but you can use any firm white fish to make beer battered fish and chips.
Haddock and Pollack are both great options. Tilapia is often used in the US because of its light texture and subtle flavors. It’s also less expensive.
What type of potatoes are best for chips (french fries)?
Russet potatoes and Idaho potaotes are the best choices for french fries. They’re dense and have less moisture, which is key to avoiding soggy fries. Yukon gold potatoes can also be used, they’re an all-purpose potato that can be used for just about everything.
Red-skinned, new, or fingerling potatoes are not good choices for frying.
How to make Fish and Chips
How to make Chips (French Fries)
- Add the salt and black pepper to a small bowl.
- Mix the seasonings to combine.
- Wash and clean potatoes, removing any bruises or imperfections.
- Slice the potatoes width-wise into half-inch pieces, then slice them again into ¼ thick fries, making sure to cut them into similar sizes so they cook evenly.
- Place the cut potatoes into a bowl of cold water and let them soak for 30 minutes.
- Remove the fries from the water and place them on a paper towel to drain. Pat the fries with another paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Add 2-3 inches of oil into a cast iron pan (you can use a deep fryer or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. When the frying oil has reached 375 degrees F., carefully place the French fries into the hot oil and let them cook for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and fork tender.
- Place a paper towel on a plate or baking sheet, then carefully scoop the chips out of the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on the paper towel to drain.
- Season the fries with salt and pepper and place in the preheated oven until the fish is done cooking.
*Preheat your oven to 200 degrees; this will keep the fries warm and crispy while the fish cooks.
How to make beer-battered cod
- Add the flour, salt, and black pepper to a small bowl.
- Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Divide the cod fillets into two pieces, cutting them down to about 1 ½” slices.
- Place them on a paper towel, patting the fish dry with another paper towel.
*If you are using frozen cod, let it fully thaw before using.
- Add the cod to the flour mixture.
- Thoroughly coat the cod on all sides with the seasoned flour.
- Add 2-3 inches of vegetable oil to a cast iron pan (deep skillet or Dutch oven) and heat to 375 degrees. You can use the same oil from the chips.
- While your oil is heating, add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the cold dark beer to the dry ingredients and continue whisking until you have a fairly thick batter.
*If it is too thick, add a little more beer.
- Dip the flour-dredged fish into the batter mixture, fully covering the fish in the batter.
- Carefully add the battered fish to the hot frying oil, letting the fish cook for 5- 7 minutes.
- Carefully turn the fish over and cook for 4 -5 minutes until golden brown.
Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure you have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.If you like your fish a little less done, it can be removed after 145 degrees F.
If you’re making a large batch, don’t overcrowd the pan while frying. The temperature will drop and you’ll end up with greasy fish.
Carefully remove the fish from the hot oil and place it on a paper towel over a plate (or on a wire rack) to drain for one minute.
Store any leftover fish and chips refrigerated in an airtight container for two days. The cod can be frozen but the cunchy, crispy coating will not be the same when reheated.
Cod is the most popular fish to use. But depending upon what part of the UK you order this classic dish, pollack, or haddock may be used.
Cod and Tilappia are the least fishy tasting fish you can use to make this recipe. There mild flavor and slightly sweet taste make them good options.
Yes, you can use frozen fish fillets for convenience, but make sure to thaw them completely before cooking and pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are commonly used for deep frying. Make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point to prevent it from breaking down during frying.
The oil temperature needs to be at 365-375 degrees F. when frying food. The higher temperature keeps the food from absorbing too much oil.