Crunchy on the outside and flaky on the inside, these scrummy air fryer frozen fish sticks are perfect for a last-minute dinner everyone will love.
The whole process takes only 15 minutes. And you don’t even need to wait for the frozen fish sticks to defrost before you can begin!
If you haven’t jumped on the air fryer train yet, I gotta ask: what are you waiting for?
It’s the best way to ensure crunchy food is crunchy – minus the hot, fatty oil.
You can even cook food straight from frozen – like these air fryer frozen fish sticks!
What a great time-saver!
Fish Sticks in Air Fryer
If you dread deep-frying that bag of frozen fish sticks, fret not. The air fryer has you covered.
There are so many things I love about cooking in an air fryer.
First, this marvelous kitchen appliance allows you to “deep-fry” foods with little to no oil at all.
So, aside from the health benefits, you also don’t need to worry about oil splatters everywhere anymore.
What’s even more impressive are the results. These frozen air fryer fish sticks taste just like they’ve been deep-fried, despite the lack of oil.
The fact that it does so in no time is another bonus. You can even air fry foods straight from the freezer, and the quality won’t suffer at all.
So, if you still haven’t invested in an air fryer, consider this your sign to put it on your Christmas list.
How to Cook Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks
1. Preheat the air fryer (if needed).
Every brand is different. So, where one may need a few minutes to preheat, another may not.
Check your machine’s manual to know if it requires preheating. If it does, preheat it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes.
2. Grease the air fryer basket or tray (if needed).
Spray the basket with non-stick spray.
This step isn’t required if you’re using a non-stick air fryer – or have air fryer basket liners.
3. Pop the fish sticks in.
Arrange the fish sticks in a single layer in the basket or tray. Be sure they don’t overlap.
There must be enough space in the machine for hot air to circulate. Cook in batches if needed.
4. Air fry the fish sticks.
Close the drawer and set the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit if you haven’t already.
Set the timer to 8 minutes.
5. Flip the sticks over.
Use a fork or a pair of tongs to turn the fish sticks over. This ensures that both sides are cooked evenly.
6. Air fry for 2 to 4 minutes.
Set the timer again to 4 minutes, but check for doneness after 2.
7. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce, and enjoy!
How Long to Cook Frozen Fish Sticks in the Air Fryer
It depends on several things.
- How powerful your air fryer is. The more wattage, the quicker it cooks food.
- The thickness of the fish sticks. The thicker they are, the longer they need to cook.
- The fish sticks’ initial temperature. Frozen-solid fish sticks will require longer than defrosted ones.
- How crunchy you want them to be. If you want them extra crunchy, add 1-2 minutes to the cooking time.
Considering all these factors, it’s best to do a test batch to know the best duration for your case.
But, in general, frozen fish sticks will take 12 to 14 minutes to cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Store and Reheat Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks
Transfer cold leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.
To reheat, air fry refrigerated fish sticks for 2 to 4 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can You Use Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer?
Yes, you can use either foil or parchment paper to line your air fryer basket.
Just be sure to poke holes in them to allow the air to circulate freely in the basket.
You can also purchase air fryer liners made to fit the basket.
What Cooking Spray Oil Is Safe for My Air Fryer?
Take note that not all aerosol sprays can be used to grease an air fryer. So be sure to check the label!
For best results, stick to these oils when greasing your air fryer.
- Canola Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Vegetable Oil
How Do I know When the Fish Sticks are Done?
The most accurate way is to stick a thermometer in it. Cooked fish sticks have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t have a thermometer, just use your eyes. The fish sticks should be golden brown on the outside. When cut, the inside should be opaque.
Are Frozen Fish Sticks Made from Real Fish?
Typically, fish sticks are made from white fish such as pollock, hake, tilapia, cod, or haddock.
Some brands use fish fillets, while others use minced.
But take note that the fish is most likely combined with fillers and processed in some way.
Are Frozen Fish Sticks Healthy?
Not so much. While they’re super yummy, they’re processed, which means they’re not the healthiest way to eat fish.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t overcrowd the basket. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food, giving it that deep-fried vibe, even without oil. If the air doesn’t get enough space to travel, your fish sticks won’t be evenly cooked and might not even be crispy on the outside.
- Cook in batches if you need to. Just keep in mind that the longer you use the air fryer, the hotter it’ll be. So you may need to cook shorter for the following batches.
- Check the fish sticks as they cook, especially if it’s your first time. Use a fork or tongs to flip them.
- For crunchier fish sticks, spray them lightly with oil before air frying. They don’t need a lot, so don’t go crazy. You shouldn’t see any oil on top.
- If you have an oven-type air fryer, place the fish sticks in the middle rack for even cooking. Still be sure they’re not overlapping, or they might come out soggy.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Fish Sticks
As delicious as they are, these crunchy golden nuggets aren’t complete without the sides and dip!
Air fryer potato wedges, fries, or a bowl of fluffy rice would be great pairings.
As for the sauce, dunk your fish sticks in any of these dips for a more delectable dining experience.
- Outback Honey Mustard Dip
- Bang Bang Sauce
- McDonald’s Tartar Sauce
- Texas Roadhouse Caesar Dressing
- Outback Ranch Dressing
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love
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