Fried-Not-Fried Flathead Tails

Crumbed fish and battered onion rings cooking on a grill.
This recipe is provided by Dipper's Backyard BBQ Wars

This flathead tails recipe shows that you can cook crumbed items outdoors easily without the need for a deep fryer. The flathead can be served as part of a larger meal with other seafood items or simply with a side salad or vegetables. If flathead is not available in your area, try cod, halibut, swordfish, or pollock. 

The fried-not-fried method on a barbecue uses the hot air circulating to cook items in a similar way that Airfryers do. This method is particularly popular as it creates healthier versions of foods that traditionally have a lot of oils.

The flathead is initially covered in a traditional-style batter before being covered in Panko breadcrumbs. It is ‘fried’ in the circulating hot air of the barbecue. As such, this recipe uses the two most popular deep-frying methods in a single technique for the grill.

Swipe to see all photos
The flathead tail is being removed from a bowl of Panko breadcrumbs.
The batter acts as the adhesive for the crumb to stick to the flathead tails.
Two crumbed flathead tails sitting on a grill grate.
Once crumbed, the flathead tails are immediately placed in the preheated grill to cook.
Cooked flathead tails with the crumbs, showing various levels of browning, piled on a chopping board.
Once the breadcrumbs are browned the fish inside is cooked.
Crumbed fish and battered onion rings cooking on a grill.
The fried-not-fried method of cooking on a grill is like an Airfryer with the circulating heat.

Fried-Not-Fried Flathead Tails Recipe

This recipe is provided by Dipper’s Backyard BBQ Wars.
Crumbed fish and battered onion rings cooking on a grill.
This flathead tails recipe shows that you can cook crumbed items outdoors easily and with less fat than traditional methods, making it even more healthy.
Preparation 15 minutes
Cook 12 minutes
Ready in 27 minutes
Servings 4 Servings



  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 can pale ale beer

Flathead Tails

  • 2 pounds flathead tales
  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs


  • grill
  • kettke cone or similar


  • Preheat a grill using a kettle cone to create hot and cool zones.


  • Combine the flour, salt, and white pepper in a bowl.
  • Slowly add the pale ale beer whisking constantly to keep it smooth. Once you get the desired thickness stop adding the beer. 

Flathead Tails

  • Trim the flathead tails if needed.
  • Place the Panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.
  • Gently dip the flathead in the batter then place in the breadcrumbs to completely cover.
  • As soon as all the flathead is battered and crumbed, gently lay around the preheated grill in the cool zone.
  • The flathead is cooked when brown, about 12 minutes. Serve immediately

Nutritional Information

Calories: 429kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 47gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 637mgPotassium: 1045mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 91IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 99mgIron: 3mg

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About Justin Gradon

Like most of us at home Justin started his venture into BBQ on a Weber Kettle then slowly grew the collection to all sorts of different smokers including building his very own custom-built reverse flow stick burner.

Learn more about Justin Gradon
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