Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Catfish

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A southern classic and favorite nationwide, fried catfish offers a variety of choices from salty to spicy and southern-fried to Cajun catch. This delicious catch is great for an outdoor fish fry, Friday Night Catfish meal, or a day at the lake. Catfish is a mild fish that typically appeals to even the pickiest of eaters, not to mention inexpensive and low fat. And the best part of all is that air fried catfish is a great way to enjoy all that deep-fried flavor with only a fraction of the fat and calories.

I truly love fresh catfish cooked in an air fryer.

Air fried catfish is a favorite among my family members and is the main feature of many summer gatherings held at our house. Whether being deep-fried or pan-fried, frying catfish is time-consuming and the odor will linger in the kitchen for days. However, when prepared in the air fryer, not only are you reducing the amount of fat from unhealthy oils, but you are also reducing the smell in your kitchen. With the air fryer’s odor-reducing properties, the fried fish smell stays in the air fryer instead of in your kitchen. Make the catfish the star of this meal by using your air fryer.

This classic fish fry dish is best paired with fries, corn on the cob, fresh veggies, and a side of tartar sauce.


Or try one of these other great dinner recipes:

For additional thoughts on air fryer fish:

Catfish in the air fryer
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
18 mins
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air Fried Catfish, Air Fryer Catfish, Catfish in the air fryer, How to cook catfish in an air fryer
Calories: 150 kcal
Catfish Ingredients
  • 4-8 filet catfish (not frozen) depending on the size of the catfish pieces, the batter will make enough for one lb of fish.
Catfish Liquid ingredients
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup water
Catfish Dry ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp old bay
Catfish Instructions
  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400° F | 204° C for about 5 minutes.

  2. Combine buttermilk, water, salt, pepper into a large bowl.

  3. In a large kitchen bag, combine the cornmeal, flour, and old bay seasoning.

  4. Coat the fish in the buttermilk bowl thoroughly. Add coated fish to the flour cornmeal bag covering each piece individually and thoroughly. Once completed, add to the pre-heated air frying pan.

  5. Air fry your catfish pieces at 400° F | 204° C for 18-20 minutes. Because fish come in different sizes, your fish may finish sooner than expected. To make sure your fish is cooked perfectly.

  6. Flip halfway through cooking.

  7. Use a meat thermometer to make sure that your fish is cooked to 145° F | 63° C

  8. Plate and Enjoy!

Tools and ingredients used for this recipe:


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      Hi, Tina – I’ve not used milk in this recipe, but you can easily make a buttermilk substitute by mixing half a cup of milk with a half a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and letting it sit for up to 10 minutes.

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