Cooking a delicious meal is by far the most common reason wherefore people go fishing.
Sure, the experience of being on the side of a lake or river with friends is worth it too, not to mention fishing to practice – but overall, a meal is the main reason.
There are more common fish among anglers out there, and the crappie is among the popular ones.
But then, if you have never had this fish before, you probably ask yourself – what does crappie taste like?
Cooking it by the book will give you a delicious dish – here is everything you need to know.
What is Crappie?
According to Bonfire Bob, the crappie belongs to the sunfish family.
It is among the largest pan fish you can find out there.
The crappie may not be as common as rainbow trout or perhaps largemouth bass, but overall, it is a widely appreciated fish that can be delicious if cooked correctly.
Some people find the crappie to be delicious – others disagree with it.
One thing is for sure – when it comes to freshwater fish, crappie is among the front runners.
In terms of catching crappies, you can do it in more ways because they have different diets and hang around different places.
Now that you have a few clues about this fish, what should you know about its taste? Is it worth the hassle?
What Does Crappie Taste Like?
Based on Reel Game, crappies are more common around the USA – and especially in the states in the south.
They are known for their distinctive taste.
Crappies are safe to eat and known among the most delicious species out there.
They have high amounts of healthy fats – also good tasting, but they also provide lots of protein, so they are great from a nutritional point of view.
The meat is light in color – almost white.
It is a bit sweet, rather than salty.
As you chew it, you will find it softer than other fish.
The taste is not too fishy – this is what makes the difference between people.
Some people hate the fishy aroma, while others love it.
Crappie is a bit dull from this point of view.
Season the fish accordingly and use the right condiments, and you will end up with a delicious dish.
The popularity is not given by the taste only, but also by the size.
Compared to other similar fish, crappies are larger, so they are much easier to fillet.
Just like other types of fish, crappie will adopt the taste of whatever you use as a side.
Whether it comes to spices, condiments, or a side dish, the bland aroma of crappie will be easily overcome by these extras.
The closest fish to crappie is probably the bluegill – similar in taste, but with more intense flavors.
On the other hand, some people could describe crappie to be similar to tilapia.
Some fish may feel fishier than others – it is usually because of the red meat.
If you find too much of it, simply trim it away.
How to Prepare and Cook Crappie?
The crappie can be cooked in a few different ways.
Given the size, lots of people choose to fillet crappie – much easier than other types of fish.
If you choose to fillet your fish, triple check for bones.
They are small and dangerous – you may need tweezers to take them out.
Clean the fillets with cold water and ensure there are no scales or guts left behind either.
You can grill crappie, cook it on a smoker, or even in a pan.
The general idea is to avoid overcooking it – a common mistake in newbies.
It’s important to note that you should not cook the fish for more than three minutes on each side – however, most fish will be done after 90 seconds on each side only.
The crappie is usually mixed with hot sauces – a traditional option.
You can also marinate the fish to ensure it stays juicy once cooked.
Cooking fresh crappie will give you better results than cooking frozen crappie.
Not only is it tastier, but you can tell that it is fresher – plus, fresh fish will have a nice flaky texture, rather than a mushy one.
As a short final conclusion, what does crappie taste like? The taste is somewhere between tilapia and bluegill.
It is relatively mild and dull, so it will not make a difference.
Instead, you must prepare a side dish too, not to mention spices and condiments.
The cooking style will not affect the taste too much, but the meat color will.
Normally, crappie has white meat with just a tiny bit of red meat.
Too much red meat will give it a fishy flavor – if you dislike it, you can remove the red meat and get rid of it.