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Beer Battered Cod and Onion Rings: A Classic Recipe with an Air Fryer Twist

April 09, 2020

Pacific cod

Battered Cod 

Welcome to a feast of flavors with my Beer Battered Cod and Onion Rings recipe, a favorite for those who love a good, classic pub-style meal. In this blog, I'm excited to share not just the traditional frying method but also how to adapt this recipe for an air fryer, offering a healthier option without compromising on the crispy, delicious outcome.

Why Choose Beer Batter for Cod and Onion Rings?

Beer batter is renowned for its light, airy texture and ability to crisp up beautifully, making it ideal for both cod and onion rings. The carbonation in the beer creates a delightful crunch, while the alcohol content ensures a dry, crisp finish, enveloping the fish and onions in a golden, delicious coat.


For the Beer Battered Cod:

  • 4 cod fillets (about 6 ounces each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (for dredging)
  • Vegetable oil for frying (or use an air fryer)

For the Beer Batter:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) of your choice of beer, preferably a lager or ale

For the Onion Rings:

  • 2 large onions, sliced into ¼-inch rings
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preparation: Season cod fillets and prepare onion rings by soaking in milk and vinegar.

  2. Beer Batter: Combine flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, and beer to make the batter.

  3. Dredging and Dipping: Dredge cod in flour, then dip in beer batter.

  4. Traditional Frying Method: Fry battered cod and onion rings in heated oil until golden.

  5. Air Fryer Method: For a healthier option, place battered cod and onion rings in an air fryer. Cook at 400°F (200°C) until crispy and golden.

  6. Serving: Serve hot with your preferred sides and sauces.

Tips for Perfect Beer Battered Cod - Air Fryer Edition:

  • Air Fryer Settings: Adjust the cooking time based on your air fryer model.
  • No Overcrowding: Cook in batches to ensure even cooking.
  • Spray with Oil: Lightly spray the battered fish and onion rings with oil for a crispier finish.

Pairing Your Dish:

Enjoy with a cold beer, a glass of white wine, or a refreshing non-alcoholic drink like lemonade.


Whether you choose the traditional frying method or opt for the air fryer, this Beer Battered Cod and Onion Rings recipe is a winner. It's perfect for those looking for that classic pub taste at home, offering flexibility without compromising on flavor.


  1. What type of beer works best for beer batter?

    • A lager or ale is ideal for beer batter due to their balanced flavors. Avoid beers that are too hoppy or bitter, as these can impart an overpowering taste.
  2. Can I make this batter gluten-free?

    • Yes, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Also, ensure that the beer you use is gluten-free.
  3. Is it necessary to soak the onions in milk and vinegar?

    • Soaking the onions softens them and enhances their flavor, but it’s not mandatory. If you’re short on time, you can skip this step.
  4. How do I prevent the batter from falling off in the fryer?

    • Dredging the fish in flour before dipping it in the batter helps the batter adhere better. Also, ensure the fish is patted dry before dredging.
  5. Can I use an air fryer for this recipe?

    • Yes, this recipe can be adapted for an air fryer. Cook at 400°F (200°C) and ensure to spray the battered fish and onion rings lightly with oil for crispiness.
  6. How do I know when the oil is at the right temperature for frying?

    • Use a cooking thermometer to check that the oil is at 375°F (190°C). Alternatively, drop a small amount of batter into the oil; if it sizzles and rises to the top, the oil is ready.
  7. Can I prepare the batter in advance?

    • Beer batter is best used immediately after mixing to take advantage of the beer's carbonation.
  8. What sides go well with beer-battered cod and onion rings?

    • Classic sides include tartar sauce, lemon wedges, coleslaw, and French fries or mashed potatoes.
  9. How can I store and reheat leftovers?

    • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in an oven or air fryer to maintain crispiness.
  10. What can I do if I don’t have a deep fryer?

    • You can use a large, heavy-bottomed pot to fry. Ensure there’s enough oil to submerge the fish and onion rings and maintain a consistent temperature.

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