Proper Beer-Battered Fish

Originally published on May 3, 2017

So, before making this recipe, it had been nearly 10 years since I made fish and chips at home. That’s right. 10 years. Why? Because the last time I made it, it turned out to be a big bland awful mess. The beer batter stuck to the fryer basket, fell off when I tried to take the fish out, and just didn’t end up tasting like anything at all. I vowed to just leave it to the professionals in restaurants and chip trucks.

But, then I went back to working in a restaurant and learned how to make proper beer batter. I made it repeatedly, I used it to fry fish repeatedly, and it never ever stuck to the fryer basket. It wasn’t bland. In fact, it might be the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. So, summoning up all the courage I had, this past Good Friday I decided to give it a go and try to make fish and chips at home once again.

As you can see from the picture, the only place the batter stuck was onto the fish, and we all sat down to a beautiful fish and chips dinner to kick off Easter weekend.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bottle dark beer (I used Guinness)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 haddock fillets
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


1.) Place 1 cup of flour on a plate and set aside. Fill a Dutch oven or other heavy pot halfway with vegetable oil. Turn heat to medium-high and let it preheat to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit while preparing beer batter.

2.) In a large bowl combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Add the beer and lemon juice and whisk to incorporate all ingredients.

3.) When ready to start frying, place haddock fillets, one by one, into the plate of flour. Turn to ensure that the entire piece of fish is coated. Shake off excess flour and dip the fish into the beer batter. Remove from the batter and allow excess to drip off.

4.) Slowly place the fish into the hot oil, moving the end piece in the oil a bit as you do. This will prevent it from falling to the bottom of the pot and sticking. Fry for 2 minutes on one side then flip and fry for another 1 – 2 minutes, just until the fish is entirely cooked through. Drain excess oil by laying the fillet on paper towels. Repeat with remaining haddock fillets.

5.) Garnish with lemon slices and tartar sauce.

6.) Serve and enjoy!