Air Frying Whole Fish (Tilapia)

What is included in this post?

Discover the medical benefits of air-frying whole tilapia, a sustainable and healthful fish alternative.
Learn how to prepare a whole fish for air frying by carefully cleaning and seasoning it.
Follow the detailed directions to air fry the whole tilapia to perfection, including advice for getting the skin crispy.

Discover methods for making side dishes to go with air-fried entire tilapia and how to make the most of the leftovers.
Get the answers to frequently asked questions about air frying fish and eating tilapia sustainably.
Learn everything there is to know about air frying, a healthy way to prepare whole fish and start enjoying wonderful meals at home.

Why you’ll love it:

  • The fish comes out crispy and tender because the frying is quick and even.
  • For fans of seafood, this meal is a must-try.
  • Less oil is used compared to conventional air frying using pans like cast iron skillets.

Why you should use Air Fryer for Whole Fish Cooking?

Since Air Fryers cook the fish quickly and evenly while maintaining its moisture, they are a wonderful choice for cooking whole fish. Compared to conventional frying, the fryer’s air circulation helps the fish cook without consuming excessive amounts of oil. You can maximize energy efficiency using an Air fryer compared to a conventional oven. This is due to the fact that air fryers use a fan to move hot air around the food, which shortens the cooking process and consumes less energy overall. Also, they are incredibly simple to use and clean, which makes them a great option for people with busy schedules who want to prepare wholesome meals at home. If you have concerns about health safety regarding using Air Fryer, you must read, Do Air Fryers Cause Cancer?

If you’re wondering why people don’t use air fryers for recipes that require liquids, it’s because air fryers cook food by circulating hot air around it, which can be difficult to achieve with liquids. When water is introduced to an air fryer, the heated oil may splatter and the heating element may possibly be harmed.

The fish we used for this blog post is the Walmart Frozen whole Tilapia Fish. Walmart offers frozen whole tilapia fish that can be grilled, baked, or fried. Tilapia is a low-fat, high-protein fish that is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and other minerals. Walmart sells it for a reasonable price.


air fryer tilapia ingredients

Follow the Steps Below:

Frozen tilapia purchased from walmart

Step 1: First, clean the fish. We used hot water to clean and defrost it. It can be washed in cold water if it’s not frozen and then you need to dry it with paper towels.

washing the tilapia

Step 2: Next thing you need to do is score the fish on both sides, making 5-7 deep cuts into the flesh depending on the size of the fish.

seasoning the tilapia

Step 3: After that, stuff the fish with a mixture of garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, salt, and mustard oil. But, as long as it has oil, salt, garlic, and ginger, you can use any mixture you generally use.

tilapia ready to be seasoned with all ingredients

Step 4: You would then need to Preheat the air fryer to 370°F for 3 minutes. After Air Fryer is preheated, you can either place parchment paper or aluminum foil. Thinking of whether to use parchment paper or place aluminum foil in the air fryer basket? I’ll suggest using parchment paper or you could just apply oil to the fish and transfer the fish to the air fryer basket, and allow it to heat for 15 minutes at 370°F.

seasoned tilapia put into air fryer

Step 5: After 15 minutes, flip the fish over and cook for another 10-12 minutes or until the skin of the fish is crispy. For this blog post, we heat the fish for 15 minutes on each side to obtain the best crispiness.

After 15 min of air fried, tilapia is flipped over

Step 6: After cooking is complete, take the fish out of the air fryer basket and place it on a serving plate. Serve the fish with your preferred side dish and some lemon juice. You may include Hunt’s tomato or Campari tomato soup and then clean the air fryer.

Air fried delicious tilapia
another picture of tilapia with salad, ready to eat.


Q1. Is air frying raw fish a safe practice?

Yes, as long as the fish is cooked to the proper temperature, cooking raw fish in an Air Fryer is safe. Following proper food handling procedures is crucial.

Q2. How long does whole fish need to cook in an air fryer?

Depending on how crisp you prefer. I would advise against utilizing air frying at its allowable maximum temperature; anything below 370 degrees Fahrenheit is preferable. So, cooking a whole fish at 370 degrees Fahrenheit will take about 25 minutes, and flipping halfway through.

Q3. How long does whole fish need to cook in an air fryer?

Depending on the type of fish and its thickness, the cooking time for fish in an air fryer can change. Fish fillets typically take 10-12 minutes to cook at 370 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius), however thicker fish or whole fish may require 12 to 15 minutes or more.

Q4. Why doesn’t the fish in my air fryer get crispy?

Your fish isn’t crispy because you either cooked it for a very short amount of time or fried it at a low temperature, possibly below 350 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can see in this post, I would advise cooking for a longer period of time and making sure to flip the food over for the best crispiness.

Q5. Which fish does an air fryer cook the best?

Almost any kind of fish can be prepared in an air fryer, but meaty, firm fish like salmon, cod, tilapia, and halibut usually turn out the best.

Q6. Is it necessary to flip fish in an air fryer?

Yes. In order to ensure even frying on both sides, it is advised to flip the fish in the air fryer. It’s better to turn the fish over halfway through cooking.

Q7. Do you fry fish in an air fryer with the skin side up or down?

I’d advise frying fish in an air fryer with the skin side down. Because of this, the fish retains its moistness and tenderness as the skin crisps up and turns golden brown.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap