Beer-battered fish recipe

(1406 ratings)

This beer-battered fish recipe leaves you with a crisp and golden brown skin which is delicious. Serve your deep-fried fish with chips and mushy peas

Beer-battered fish and chips
(Image credit: Getty / Teamjackson)
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories694 Kcal35%
Sugar2.4 g3%
Fat47.3 g68%
Saturated Fat5.3 g27%
Salt1.75 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein43.2 g86%
Carbohydrates23.3 g9%
Salt1.75 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Make fish and chips as good as the takeaway version with our delicious beer-battered fish recipe.

You can make fish and chips as good as the best takeaways from your own home. Using beer in the batter is one of the best tricks. It's actually the bubbles in the beer that give the batter its light crispness, plus a lovely flavour as well. If you'd rather keep things alcohol-free, no problem - swap the beer for some fizzy water to get the same bubbly effect. This is one of our favourite suppers, and making it is simpler than you'd imagine. It's a cheap meal too. You can fry any chunky white fish - cod, haddock, bass or pollock, for example, so check out what is on offer in your local supermarket to keep costs down even more. 

This recipe is part of our cheap family meals collection – under £1 a head


  • 115g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150ml beer, light ale or lager, chilled
  • Sunflower or groundnut oil for deep frying
  • 4 x 175g white fish fillets, lightly coated in seasoned flour


  • 150ml sparkling water, instead of beer




  1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the salt. Make a well in the centre and gradually whisk in the beer (or sparkling water) to make a smooth and thick batter – it should be the consistency of double cream.
  2. Heat the oil in a large deep pan or deep fat fryer to 180°C/350°F. Dip two of the fillets in the batter to coat then gently lower into the hot oil. Fry for 6-7 mins until the batter is crisp and golden brown. Drain thoroughly on kitchen paper and keep warm while frying the remaining fish fillets.

Top tips for making beer-battered fish

If you want to give this recipe a twist, opt for beer-battered salmon instead, or you could even use this simple batter to whip up a batch of onion rings.

What is the best beer to use for the batter?

It's best to use a pale or golden coloured ale for this batter, as it will flavour it lightly and won't alter the colour too much. Dark porter or stout can turn the batter a dark colour and add too much flavour to the delicate fish. However, if you're a big fan of stout, you might like this effect. 

Can I use a low-alcohol beer?

Yes - the beer creates bubbles in the batter that make it light and puffy, so a low alcohol or alcohol-free beer will do this just as well, as long it's it's fizzy. This also lowers the calorie count a little.

How do you avoid greasy batter?

The main thing here is that the oil must be hot enough, but not too hot when adding the fish. Too hot and the batter will brown but the fish won’t be cooked through. Not hot enough and the batter will soak up too much oil and be greasy and soggy. 

How do I get the batter to stick to the fish?

Dab the fish fillets first with a piece of kitchen towel, then make sure to dust them in flour before dipping in the batter, otherwise the nature moisture of the fish can cause the batter to slip off.

How can I dispose of the cooking oil correctly?

Don't pour cooking oil down the sink as it can damage your pipes and block them, leading to costly plumber visits. Some councils offer food waste recycling which can include oil (though doesn't always) so check locally. Otherwise, pour it into a sealable contain and dispose of it in your general waste. Allow it to cool before pouring it into anything that could melt or warp.

You might also like...

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies