Some competitions have ancillary contests on Friday night. They do seafood, desserts, exotic… but this past weekend in Columbus, MS at Grilling on the River there was a Catfish contest.

And since they were giving you the Mississippi-grown catfish to cook with when you entered, I couldn’t pass this one up because the best pond-raised catfish in the world is raised right here in Mississippi.

The best way to cook catfish is fried. Most specifically, in peanut oil. It don’t take a whole lot to produce the best catfish you’ve ever tasted – just catfish, corn meal and a little seasoning. What it comes down to is technique.

Of course, I shot a video showing my technique how I fry catfish here:

You have to cut the catfish in to smaller fillets so they all come out even and crispy. Then I lay mine out and season them with a good All Purpose Season… I used my recipe that I call “The General”.

catfish fillets seasoned, cornmealed and drying before going in the oil

Once they are seasoned, I get a paper sack and put plenty of corn meal in it. Then add the fish and shake it a little. Once they have a nice, thin coating, I lay my fillets on a drying rack to completely dry before frying them. This makes sure they are going to be as crispy as possible.

Once they are dry, it’s time for frying. And if you don’t have peanut oil – don’t bother. It makes all the difference when frying catfish. I like to set my oil around 365 and then drop my catfish in. Once they are done, pull them out, let them drain a little and go to town.

Catfish turn-in box for catfish contest

And my method for frying catfish paid off for me last weekend because I hit first place AND landed a 180 pin. I’m now the Catfish King – and I’ve reminded Chell of that everyday this week. Who wouldn’t want to be married to a Catfish King??

Malcom Reed
Killer Hogs BBQ Cooking Team
Sign-up for my weekly BBQ newsletter at
Join my Facebook BBQ Community
Follow me on Twitter

About the Author

I am Malcom Reed and my brother, Waylon, and I are the Killer Hogs competition bbq team. Here at, I want to give you my secrets, methods and techniques you need to produce competition-quality BBQ. I want to give enough detail for BBQ novices, but still offer information that is useful for the professional BBQ cooks. I only focus on REAL bbq. And I take it seriously.

3 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. bill sack April 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm -

    i found your post on frying catfish interesting….very simple process…but what does the General consist of……got the recipe? going to try this as soon as the weather gets warmer around here…..thanks.

  2. B. Miller June 24, 2013 at 7:30 am -

    Where is the catfish recipe?

  3. Administrator June 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm -

    This is it… it’s just that simple.

    Peanut Oil to fry in. Season your cornmeal with salt and pepper to taste. Use a brown paper bag to apply the coating and fry.

Leave A Response