Get the Oil HOT!

Get the Oil HOT!

“It’s always better to have the oil a little too hot than not hot enough!”

By far, the most common mistake I see fishing guides make when cooking a shore lunch, is they put the fish in the oil before it’s hot enough. This is how fish ends up a greasy, soggy mess.

There are more “secret” fish breading mixtures than you could shake a frying pan at, but I really don’t think what you bread your fish with makes a huge difference, especially with light and lean fish like walleye, perch, crappie and bluegill. It’s the FISH that tastes great! But, we also want it to be light and crisp, so get the oil up to at least 375 or 400 degrees F and then cook your fish. If you’re not sure of what 375 – 400 F is… you should see a little bit of smoke coming off the pan. When you think it’s about right, gently begin to place one piece in the oil. If it doesn’t sizzle like a SOB, take it out and wait another minute or two. It’s always better to be a little too hot than not hot enough.

It shouldn’t take more than two minutes (60 seconds per side, tops) to cook an average sized fillet or piece of fresh fish. If your fillets are quite thick, slice them so you have two thinner pieces. And, use plenty of oil… between a half inch and an inch of canola oil, vegetable oil or lard works well. Forget about using olive oil. It can’t handle the heat of an open fire and it will likely burn.

Ruining your shore lunch… unrugged!

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