Severe Inconsistency In My Fish Batter!

Joined Jun 30, 2010
Here's the recipe I use:

1kg self rising flour

1250mL of beer

250mL of club soda

I whisk this mixture together, leave it 15 mins to 30 mins, then start dipping in the flour dusted fish and blanching in 375 degree oil.  I get varied results almost every time.  Most of the time the batter is very light and has large bubbles and holes through which the oil penetrates and sometimes(very seldom) strips all the batter off of one side.  Other times (never when I've made it) the batter is very dense and slightly chewy.

I should mention that I am the kitchen manager at this establishment and have no experience with making fish and chips.  The batter is not kept cold like I know some people recommend.  I have also tried other recipes but all with varying degrees of success.  For the most part the biggest complaints have been that our fish is too oily.  We have tried many different ratios but nothing is ever consistent.

Can anyone please help me?  The fish n chips plate is our biggest seller, but I know we can do better, I just need the help of some pros.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
When you say inconsistencies do you mean it is inconsistent each time someone makes it or it is inconsistent as the night progresses?
Joined Apr 3, 2010
You have 3 ingredients with riseingand expansion properties in them, therefore the large bubbles and air holes.. I would go with regular AP  flour and a touch of cornstarch which will give it a bit more body. You also may want to add some sesoning.. You could also use rice flour..      

   Inconsistancy could be that flour changes depending on what time of year the wheat is grown and harvested.   Best way to do batter if you use a lot is mix all dry ingredients in a bowl then put in empty gallon jug. Then add same amount of liquid to scaled out batter mix every time. Sought of like your using bisquick. This way its the same exact ratio every time no matter who does  it
Joined Mar 26, 2011
Hmm, I used to make about 30 portions of a battered fish dish every day, and it was a bit hit or miss in the beginning, but eventually it came out the same everytime.

I used the beer and club soda, both are good I think, but I think what really helped was folding whipped egg whites into the batter - it puffs the out the batter quite dramatically.  I whipped about 6 egg whites for 30 portions of this dish. 

However, if you can't keep your batter refrigerated, you can't use raw eggs in your batter.  Is there not a refrigerator somewhere near your fryer to store your batter in?

Are you par-cooking the battered fish, or applying the batter to order?  The second way is probably better, but if your batter is sitting for a long time, it will lose air bubbles.  I par-cooked my fish just before service, then finished frying to order.

Something else I thought of when I was looking at your batter recipe, are you adding any seasoning to your batter?  Salt and pepper, and some cayenne or nutmeg, etc, should help it along, as will seasoning your fish strips before applying batter to them.

Is your fryer at 350F or so?  If it is, I don't know why your fish should be oily, but I think I can remember a few times when someone made the batter without egg whites, it might have been a little oily.  Of course, you can transfer the cooked fish to a bowl with paper towels to blot out the excess oil, not sure how practical that option would be for your restaurant.

Good luck!
Last edited:
Joined Feb 17, 2010
3 16oz beers

3 eggs

1/3 cornstarch

2/3 ap flour

1/2 tsp baking powder


granulated garlic

cayenne tt


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Keep it cold.  By the time you get an hour or so into service in a warm environment your self rising flour will have activated.  I don't know what to do about the soda and beer going flat.  That's beyond anyone's control.
Joined Aug 6, 2010
we used to use fish-chic... it's been a while since I worked at that place, but i would imagine it was just a self rising flour. It's made by a company called drum rock. We mixed it with water until it was about the consistency that it would coat a spoon but still roll off a little (a al nape). we also sold alot of fish that was just dry battered... put in an egg wash then the fish chic and fried, like chicken would be. That came out very clean, not very oily. It needs to be handled with a little more care, but it definitly pleased the more diet conscious. 
Joined Jun 30, 2010
Inconsistent each time someone makes it.  We blanch all our fish ahead of time.  We do it at 375.

I've been using just salt and pepper but will try the nutmeg and cayenne as well as the whipped egg whites.

Thanks for the recipe Buba, I'll try it out.  Seems like a lot of cornstarch though.  

Thanks for the tips guys.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
I think keeping it cool is the key also. When I use the batter for onion rings, it's used in one batch and is gone in about 45 min. Rings are consistent and always crispy on the second fry.

When I use for beer battered cod in fish tacos, as lunch progresses, the batter consistency changes a bit. I keep it in the fridge, but the constant in and out warms it up a bit. Good luck, all you can do is play around and find out what works in your exact situation.

Also make sure that your fish is dry, adding a bit of moisture to your batter each time you dip a piece of fish is going to thin it out and cause you problems.
Joined Mar 26, 2011
Sounds good - on the spices though, I meant use either nutmeg or cayenne, I'm not sure about both at the same time - I'd say cayenne on it's own would be better. Hope it works out.
Joined Apr 2, 2007
I use equal quantities of beer and soda water and then add the self raising flour little by little until I have the dsired consistency and I always add a splash of malt vinegar. The batter will thicken during use because you are constantly introducing flour to the mix by dredging the fish, just let it down with a little water, it should not make a lot of difference. The batter should stand for at least half an hour before use and for best results make a fresh one daily.
Joined Sep 28, 2009
1 lb ap flour

1 tsp baking soda

Whatever dry seasoning you'd like. I use white pepper & a bit of salt.

1 355ml can beer

water to consistancy

This batter is good to go right away. Can be fridged for up to 3 days & still have potency.

Never had a problem with this recipe.

...except when the kids used baking powder instead of soda. bad idea.
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