Pickerel is a light and flaky white fish that is low in fat and high in protein. It has a mild yet delicate flavor that pairs well with a variety of dishes. In this article, I will instruct you how to cook pickerel fillets in 3 different ways: on the stovetop, in the oven, and in an air fryer.

1. How To Cook Pickerel Fillets on Stovetop

Ingredients

  • 4 pickerel fillets
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Begin by rinsing the fillets under cool water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season both sides lightly with salt and pepper.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering hot, gently lay the fillets in the skillet without overcrowding. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

Be careful not to overcook the fillets, as pickerel can become dry and flaky if cooked for too long. You may need to reduce the heat to medium if the fillets are browning too quickly.

Another option is to add a splash of white wine or lemon juice to the pan during cooking. This adds moisture and extra flavor.

2. How To Cook Pickerel Fillets in Oven

Ingredients

  • 4 pickerel fillets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Fresh dill or parsley to garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pat the fillets dry and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet without overlapping. Brush or spray the fillets lightly with olive oil or melted butter and season them with salt, pepper, and any other fresh herbs you like such as dill or parsley.

Bake the fillets for 8-12 minutes, depending on their thickness, until the fish is opaque and flakes easily. Cooking time may vary slightly between thin and thick fillets. To prevent overcooking, check the fillets a few minutes before the minimum cooking time is up.

You can also top the fillets with breadcrumbs, Parmesan, or lemon slices during the last few minutes of baking for extra flavor and crunch. Keep a close eye to ensure the toppings don’t burn. Enjoy the oven-baked pickerel fillets hot from the oven.

3. How To Cook Pickerel Fillets in Air Fryer

Ingredients

  • 4 pickerel fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

First, spray or brush the fillets lightly with oil and season both sides as desired.

Place the fillets in the air fryer basket in a single layer, taking care not to overcrowd. Set the temperature to 380°F and the timer for 8-10 minutes.

Halfway through cooking, open the lid and flip the fillets over using tongs. Continue air frying until the fish is opaque and flakes easily, checking a couple minutes before the minimum time is up.

As with oven baking, you can also top the fillets with breadcrumbs or other ingredients during the last few minutes. The circulating hot air in the air fryer crisps the exterior of the fillets to a delicious browned and crispy texture without excess oil.

Whether pan fried on the stovetop, baked in the oven, or cooked in an air fryer, these methods produce moist and flaky pickerel fillets. Pickerel pairs beautifully with creamy risottos, lemon butter sauces, or tomato-based pastas. With simple preparations, pickerel fillets are always a satisfying and healthy dish.

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Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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