Beer battered, deep fried food is popular all over the world, though it may be a uniquely American invention, particularly deep fried chicken. Preparing beer battered, deep fried food is fairly simple and doesn’t require any special tools. Home cooks can easily feed large groups fairly quickly. For the bet results, use high-quality fish, shrimp and chicken, and use different cooking devices or swap the oil out between each type of meat if you’re cooking more than one for the best taste. If you’re using frozen meat, make sure it’s fully defrosted before battering and frying it.
Things You'll Need
Prepare the Batter
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
Add the sea salt or kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder and cayenne pepper if you’re using them. Stir the mixture with a fork to combine the ingredients.
Pour the beer into the mixing bowl slowly. Whisk the mixture to fully combine the dry ingredients and beer and remove lumps, about 50 strokes or 1 minute.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Poke 3 to 4 holes in the top of the plastic wrap with the tines of a fork. Allow the ingredients to rest at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours.
Coating and Frying
Fill a large saucepan or deep fryer with enough vegetable or canola oil to cover the food by 1 to 2 inches. Heat the oil to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, using an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature if you’re frying in a saucepan.
Dip the fish, shrimp or chicken pieces in the batter one at a time, reserving them on a clean plate. Only coat one batch with the batter at a time.
Place the battered fish, shrimp or chicken pieces in the hot oil with a pair of heavy tongs. Cook the fish, shrimp or chicken pieces for 3 to 4 minutes in batches in the hot oil or until the outside is a medium-golden brown color.
Remove the fish, shrimp or chicken pieces from the hot oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels or a cooling rack. Continue frying the remaining fish, shrimp or chicken pieces in batches.
You can cook fish, shrimp and chicken pieces in the same amount of time if the pieces are of a similar size. However, you need to watch the food as you’re frying because the temperature of the oil will fluctuate.
If you’re not sure your food is cooked thoroughly you can use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of fish fillets and chicken pieces. Fish should be cooked to 140 degrees and chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees.
References and ResourcesThe Every Day Chicken Cookbook: Simona Hill
What's Cooking America: Meat, Fish, and Seafood Internal Temperature Cooking Chart
Irondale Cafe Original Whistle Stop Cookbook; Mary Jo Smith McMichael