Classic Beer Batter Recipe for Deep-Frying

Beer battered onion rings

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
134 Calories
1g Fat
26g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 134
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 80mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 6mg 29%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 225mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When you deep-fry food, whether it's homemade onion rings, fish, or even chicken, it helps to coat it in a batter. The batter holds in some of the food's moisture while forming a crispy and golden brown exterior. Achieving a light, crispy batter involves creating bubbles, which can be formed by adding baking powder, seltzer water, or, as in this recipe, beer to the batter. A pilsner, lager, ale, or stout will all work, so feel free to use the type that you prefer to drink—just make sure it is cold.

Another trick for a great beer batter recipe is to use cake flour, which is lower in gluten and thus produces a lighter coating than all-purpose flour. For best results, lightly dredge the item in some flour before dipping it in the batter. The batter will stick to the food better this way.

Make sure to have all the ingredients measured and ready to go, because once you mix up the batter, you need to use it right away. This ensures the flour doesn't soak up too much liquid; it also maximizes the fizziness of the beer.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg (beaten)

  • 1 cup cold beer

  • 1 cup cake flour (plus extra for dredging)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 to 2 pounds onions (sliced into rings)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for beer batter for deep-frying
     The Spruce
  2. Combine the egg and beer in a large bowl.

    Egg and beer combined in a bowl for beer batter
    The Spruce 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and paprika.

    Cake flour, salt, and paprika in a bowl for beer batter

    The Spruce

  4. Add the seasoned flour to the beer mixture and gently poke at it with a fork until you have a loose, floppy batter with plenty of lumps. Don't stir, whisk, or mix.

    Flour added to the beer mixture and poked with a fork
     The Spruce
  5. Once the batter is together, dredge and dip the food right away and add to a pot of hot oil to fry. 

    Dipping an onion into beer batter for deep-frying
     The Spruce
  6. Serve hot and enjoy.

    Beer Batter Recipe for Deep Frying

     The Spruce

Tip

  • Be sure to use cold beer because the cold temperature helps inhibit gluten development.
  • It's critical that you only mix the flour into the egg-beer mixture until it is barely incorporated. It should be loose and lumpy.
  • There are several tips to deep-frying food so the results are light and crispy instead of greasy and soggy. Make sure that you have all the necessary tools and follow the steps to deep-fry safely and successfully.
  • When deep-frying, you'll need an oil with a high smoke point and a deep-frying thermometer. It's also best to work in batches so you can maintain a consistent temperature throughout the frying process.

When to Choose Batter Over Breading

Frying foods most often requires coating the food in a mixture before cooking it in oil. That coating can be either a breading or a batter, and the right choice really depends on whether you want a more substantial (i.e., crunchy) coating or one that's lighter and crispier. For a crunchy exterior, go with a breading, and for a light and crispy coating, a batter is the best choice.