Simple Blackened Catfish Recipe for the Blackstone

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This simple Blackened Catfish recipe for the Blackstone is a bit spicy and a tad sweet, perfectly crisp outside with a flaky, tender inside. The best part is it cooks outside on the Blackstone griddle, so clean-up is a breeze and there are no lingering fish smells inside!

a blackened catfish filet on a plate with parsley and lemon wedges.

Why you’ll love this Blackstone griddle recipe!

  • Flavorful Seasoning. Catfish’s mild and subtly sweet flavor pairs oh-so-nicely with this sweet heat seasoning mixture!
  • Easy Blackstone Recipe. The Blackstone griddle is a fabulous way to cook all kinds of dishes, especially blackened catfish! If you don’t yet own one, you surely won’t regret it!
  • Summer Dish. This easy blackened catfish is a great recipe for Summer cookouts and backyard entertaining.

The ultimate seasoning featuring hot cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and rich brown sugar, results in a slightly charred, buttery crust with spicy and smoky flavors.

The catfish itself has a mild yet smoky flavor and a tender, flaky texture. Serve it with dirty rice, tangy coleslaw, and homemade hushpuppies for a complete and satisfying meal.

catfish filets on a plate with a fish turner and a plate of spices for making blackened fish.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Blackstone Blackened Catfish

  • Catfish filets | Use quality catfish filets, high in protein and low in calories, and perfect for the blackened rub.
  • Oil | Prep the griddle surface with canola oil. Or use olive oil or peanut oil if preferred.
  • Butter | Add a creaminess to the flavor of the fish with unsalted butter.

Fish Rub

  • Smoked paprika | One of the most prominent ingredients in the blend of spices is smoked paprika, giving the rub a rich, smoky flavor.
  • Brown sugar | Use dark brown sugar to sweeten the blackened seasoning, cutting some of the spice and making the taste more complex.
  • Oregano | Bring herby notes to the rub with a pinch of dried oregano. If preferred, swap this ingredient out with another favorite dried herb.
  • Garlic powder | Garlic powder boosts the seasoning flavor and compliments the spicy notes. Replace or mix it with onion powder if desired.
  • Cumin | Enhance the sweeter elements of the seasoning with slightly sweet and warm cumin.
  • Cayenne pepper | Complete the spicy flavor of the blackened fish with classic Cayenne pepper.
spices for making a cajun rub for fish on a plate on a table.

How to make The Best Blackened Catfish on the Blackstone

Blackened is one of the best ways to serve delicious catfish. Plus, it’s so easy to throw together!

STEP 1 | Mix and apply the seasoning mixture

combining spices with a fork in a shallow pan; dredging a catfish filet in spices.

Start by adding the spices to a small bowl or shallow pan and stirring them with a fork until they are well combined.

Unpackage and pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels. Then, dredge the filets in the rub mixture, shaking off any excess.

STEP 2 | Heat the oil and butter

seasoned catfish filets on a plate; Blackstone griddle with oil and butter ready for cooking.

Next, preheat the Blackston grill to medium-high heat and add the canola oil. Spread it in an even layer with a long-handled spatula.

Then, add a tablespoon of butter and spread it around until it is melted and foamy.

tips

  • Another cooking method is frying the blackened catfish in an air fryer.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges for a squeeze of lemon juice that brightens the flavor.
  • Don’t miss the sides of the fish when coating it with the spice mixture!

STEP 3 | Cook and serve!

placing catfish filets on a hot griddle.

Place the filets on the hot grill and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is a light golden brown color. Then, serve and enjoy!

Cast Iron Skillet Instructions

  1. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, then add the canola oil and butter.
  2. Add the catfish to the hot skillet once the butter is melted and foamy.
  3. Cook on each side for 3 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  4. To avoid a lot of smoke indoors, heat the cast iron skillet on a gas grill with the lid closed instead.
blackened catfish filets cooking on a Blackstone griddle.

Frequently asked questions

How do you grill catfish without it sticking?

The key is to ensure your surface is well-greased. For this blackened fish recipe, we use both oil and butter to prep the grill and prevent the seasoning or fish from sticking.

How do you know when the catfish is done?

The catfish is done cooking when you see the outside becoming a light golden brown, and the inside is delicately flaky and opaque. Ensure it’s fully cooked with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the filet. When it reads 145 degrees, the fish is done.

How do you store leftover blackened catfish?

Leftover catfish first needs to cool completely, then can be stored in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag. It will last a couple of days in the refrigerator, but you can freeze the recipe for about a month.

What is blackening?

Blackening is a cooking technique often used in Cajun and Creole cuisine that includes coating a protein, like fish or chicken, in a mix of spices that typically have some heat to them. Then, the food is cooked over high heat with butter or oil to form a slightly charred crust.

Must-Have Griddle Tools

Extra-long stainless steel spatulas are perfect for the griddle and grill — flipping burgers, pancakes, veggies, and more! They’re dishwasher safe, too.

griddle accessories

two blackened catfish filets on a white platter with lemon wedges and parsley.

Serving suggestions

Keep the meal light and classic by serving the fish with a Citrus Grilled Shrimp Salad on the side.

Or make a heartier meal with cheesy Scalloped Potatoes easily cooked in the instant pot with a side of buttery Grilled Corn with Parmesan Cheese!

Looking for more Blackstone recipes?

The Blackstone griddle is perfect for conveniently cooking for large crowds or just for its versatility. It’s often better than using a heavy skillet. If you haven’t tried it out yet, it’s certainly worth it! Try these easy Blackstone grill recipes: Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches, Hibachi Chicken & Vegetables, and classic Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp.

blackened catfish on a plate with lemon dill potato salad with a fork and a napkin on a table.

Behind the recipe: Blackened Catfish

Blackening is a relatively new method of seasoning and cooking proteins. In 1979, a well-known chef opened a New Orleans restaurant. In early 1980, he debuted his original recipe involving coating redfish with a combination of spices and herbs and frying in a cast-iron pan to slightly char the crust. 

Chef Prudhomme had been experimenting with this new method for some time and finally came up with a routine that made it work!

Charred food is often looked at as overdone or a mistake, but this blackening technique was a quick hit with the locals and regular restaurant guests.

It didn’t take long for blackening to become commonly used with other meats beyond fish and spread worldwide.

Like this recipe?

Don’t forget to comment below the recipe and please give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating!

a blackened catfish filet on a plate with parsley and lemon wedges.

Blackened Catfish (Blackstone Griddle or Cast-Iron Skillet)

Simple Blackened Catfish Recipe for the Blackstone is a bit spicy and a tad sweet, perfectly crisp outside with a flaky, tender inside.
4.18 from 45 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Fish & Seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 222 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 8 oz. catfish filets
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Fish Rub

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions
 

  • Add the spices to a shallow dish and stir with a fork until combined. Pat the catfish filets dry with a paper towel. Then, dredge the filets in the rub mixture, shaking off any excess.
  • Preheat the Blackston griddle to medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and spread in an even layer with a long-handled spatula. Then, add the butter and spread it around until it is melted and foamy.
  • Place the filets on the hot griddle and cook on each side for about 3 minutes, until the fish is browned and flakes easily with a fork.

Notes

To cook in a cast-iron skillet: Preheat a cast iron over medium-high heat, then add the canola oil and butter. Once the butter is melted and foamy, add the catfish. Cook on each side for 3 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. To avoid a lot of smoke indoors, you may heat the cast iron skillet on a gas grill with the lid closed instead.
  • Another cooking method is frying the blackened catfish in an air fryer.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges for a squeeze of lemon juice that brightens the flavor.
  • Don’t miss the sides of the fish when coating it with the spice mixture!

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 590mgPotassium: 159mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 2050IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 2mg

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword cast iron, catfish, fish, griddle
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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One Comment

  1. OMG speechless. Everything in the description was spot on! I like to do fish (all kinds) different ways. I did the catfish this time. May try salmon next.

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