No matter how you plan on cooking your catfish the first thing you need to do is buy a good quality catfish. Because if it is not good in the raw state, it will never be good after you cook it.
Another thing is that I love to cook catfish, but hate to clean up. So I'm stocked with plenty of aluminum foil, paper towels, cooking spray oil and gallon size baggies.
When are your Catfish are Done?The catfish will turn from translucent to opaque (white) and the inside temp of the fish will be 150 degrees.
BakingPreheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover your baking pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with oil. Season the catfish with your favorite seasoning, then lightly spray with oil to help seal those seasoning in.
Bake with no cover 10 to 15 minutes. The thickness of the catfish will determine the exact cooking time.
Deep FryingThe best tips for deep frying is to use a good cooking oil, have a good deep fryer that maintains a constant temperature and don't overload the fryer.
Cooking the catfish at the right and constant temperature will avoid excess oil soaking into to your fish and breading.
Most people will cook at 350 to 375 when deep frying because the fryer usually states to cook fish at that temperature. Cooking at this higher temp seems to get the coating over done, leaving it hard and over crusty.
I like to cook them at 325 degrees, which gives me a nice crispy coating while leaving the fish moist and cooked just right.
Another tip is that deep frying can take away some of the taste of the seasoning you used in your breading. So I just make a small mixture of same seasoning that I use in the breading and lightly sprinkle the fillets first before I coat it.
Always place your cooked catfish on a paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
GrillingThe easiest way for grilling catfish is to use a grilling basket , spray the fish basket with oil and place your catfish in it. If you are using smaller catfish fillets a good tip is to put two together placing one thick end and one thin end of the fillets on top of each other.
Season your catfish with what ever seasoning you like and then spray oil on the fish to help seal the seasoning onto your catfish. Cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes total time, turn the basket at 5 minutes.
Since the catfish will not be on the grill very long and there is very little fat in the catfish. I suggest that you use some type of wood chips such as hickory or mesquite to help add some flavor to the catfish. Also lid the grill to capture more of that smoke.
Pan FryingI like about 1/8 inch of good cooking oil covering the bottom of the pan. Preheat the oil to a medium high temp. Cook your fillet for about 4 to 5 minutes per side, turning just once.
Large fillets or whole catfish will take longer. Once you are done with the first batch, add more oil if needed and let it get up to the medium high temp before adding more fish.
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