Beer Battered Sunfish on the Grill

Beer Battered Sunfish on the Grill

August 14, 2018 0 By Steve Osborn

Polar Plunge for Special Olympics MN TAILGATEMASTER.COM Admiral BigGun

How do i cook sunfish on the grill? I’m glad you asked! This is a simple D.I.Y. recipe for cooking bluegill or sunfish (also known as pan-fish) using your gas grill along with a deep cast-iron pot. I have to say our group of friends enjoys fishing and our wives get really happy when we bring home a big mess of sunfish to deep fry in beer batter. We used a gas grill with this recipe so we could control the temperature, but I am sure you could duplicate this method with charcoal.

We used the double beer-batter method (more about that in a minute) to get a nice even coating of  yummy beer batter all over our pan-fish.

Note: Pan-fish is a general term for smaller fish that are good eatin’ and can be cooked in a small pan. These would include: Yellow Perch, Bluegills, Hybrid Bluegills, Rock Bass, Black Crappie, White Crappie, Green Sunfish, Red-ear Sunfish, and Pumpkinseed Sunfish) 

Yes, we were cooking bluegill filets on a Charbroil Grill* this weekend, but you could certainly use this same technique with walleye pike, northern pike, bass, trout, catfish, or heck… any fish that you wish to batter fry for that matter. OH and we used BEER! So you know right away it’s going to be good.

Let’s get to the recipe…

1 Box Beer Batter Mixture (Shore Lunch)*
1 Tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning*
1 Tablespoon Orange & Lemon Pepper Seasoning (Olde Thompson)*
1 12 oz Beer (we used Widow Maker Black Ale)*

Canola Cooking Oil


1) Pour your cooking oil in your cast iron pot and place on grill.

2) Fire up the grill and bring your oil temp up to 375F

3) Gather all your dry ingredients from the list above, combine in bowl and mix well.

Shore Lunch Beer Batter

Shore Lunch is our favorite Beer Batter Mix!

Old Bay Seasoning - orange lemon pepper

Next sprinkle in your seasonings to taste


Beer for the batter Widow maker Black Ale

We chose a smooth creamy dark beer (this one is very similar to Guinness)

4) While your oil is getting ready, gradually add beer to your batter mixture while mixing. You are looking to get an even mix that is not to runny, much like pancake batter

mixing up the beer batter

Batter Batter Batter – SAW-WING Batter.

5) pat down your fish with paper towels so they are mostly dry

6) place each fish filet in dry beer batter mix coat completly

7) move covered fish filet to wet mix and again coat completely

batter the fish

The Double Beer Batter Method

8) slowly place battered fish into oil (careful not to drop)

9) cook for a few minutes then use tongs or other utensil to flip the fish over then cook a couple more minutes until the covering is a nice golden brown

beer battered sunfish in cooking oil on the gas grill
bluegills cooked on the gas grill panfish and sunfish

10)  Remove from grill and let cool on paper towels a minute or two before serving.

We are soooooo thankful you stopped by Tailgate Master to check out our always free tailgating tips & tricks! We are very humbled and proud have the best tailgaters and super-fans on the interwebtubez who are constantly stopping in and sharing wisdom. Thank you!

Oh… and as long as you are here, you might also enjoy the following related topics:
Fishy Ideas | MOAR BACON! | Smoker Recipes |  More Tailgating Tips

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OH, and if you feel like buying us a beer… Well that would go pretty good with the fish!