Gear for a perfect fish fry

Turn your catch into something you’re proud of—and that will have a crowd coming back for thirds.

fried fish
Dinner is served.Andy Wang via Unsplash

Every hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the South has fried fish on the menu. But only the special ones draw Friday night crowds that wrap around the parking lot. Mastering the fish fry is an art form, and to do it right, the artist needs a few special tools. You can’t go wrong with these.

National Presto 05461 Stainless Steel Pro Fry Immersion Element Deep Fryer
This device is exactly what you need for crispy, golden-brown fillets.Amazon

Forget the oil-free nonsense. What you need is a reliable, electric deep fryer that maintains perfect temperature. There are plenty of good ones, but this one is a favorite—and of the perfect size for the family kitchen (go for the double basket version if you’re frying for more than half a dozen people).

CanCooker Original Collapsible & Mess-Free Batter Bowl, Clear & Orange, Standard
This collapsible container makes breading fillets clean and easy.Amazon

A batter bowl saves on mess, and is far and away the quickest way to bread a big pile of fish fillets. Most of them take up too much room, but this one collapses for easy storage. It’ll work to bread frog legs, vegetables, venison steaks, and anything else that might need a hot grease bath.

Louisiana Fish Fry Cajun - 3 Bags of 10 Ounces
Favorite for those who like a little heat in their fish.Amazon

The elite among us will have perfected their own fish-fry batter recipe. But this one is sure easy to use, and it’s a perennial crowd favorite—especially if your crowd tends to like things a little spicy. A half bag will batter up a good mess of bluegill fillets, if you’re wondering just how far three bags will go.

Retro Style Red Fast Food Basket
A fun and practical display for your fish fry.Amazon

Yes, a casserole dish lined with paper towels works. But casserole dishes shatter when dropped, and fryer oil soaks right through the paper towels. These baskets have a grease-proof liner, are microwaveable for tomorrow’s leftovers, and are just the right size for your guests. They’re stackable and easy to clean, too.