How To Blacken Fish (Butter vs. Olive Oil Challenge)

By: Luke Simonds on June 18, 2019
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olive oil vs butter to blacken fish

Ali vs. Frazier…

Florida vs. Florida State…

Redfish vs. Snook…

There are many great rivalries in life, but when it comes to the kitchen, one rivalry rules them all…

Olive Oil vs. Butter 

In this video, this rivalry takes it’s talents to the cast iron skillet, where we’re finally deciding whether you should use olive oil or butter to blacken fish.

Watch the video below for the decision.

How To Blacken Fish (BUTTER vs OLIVE OIL) [VIDEO]

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Butter vs. Olive Oil

blackened fish butter vs olive oil

Although both tasted delicious, I give butter the slight edge here.

It came off of the cast iron skillet easier and helped the fish stay more intact.

However, if you have allergies, are watching your cholesterol, or prefer healthier fats, then using olive oil is a fine choice and tasted very similar to butter.


Which do you prefer?

Olive oil or butter?

Have any questions about blackening fish?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Jsans01rt Sans
9 months ago

I use butter in the pan and olive oil on the fish with the blackened seasoning. You forgot to mention that the pan has to be VERY hot. By the way, excellent choice in blackened seasoning brand.

10 months ago

Now I crave some blackened dolfin

Kim Landry
Kim Landry
11 months ago

The best way to sear or blacken anything is to use a 1/2 & 1/2 mixture of REAL butter & olive oil. The olive oil helps to keep the butter from burning & the butter taste is obviously better!😎

Doug Evans/Carrabelle
11 months ago

Hi, just a few thoughts. Dry your fillets on paper towels to remove all excess water. I use avocado or grape seed oil from Costco in the pan with some butter to a high temp, add spices, fresh lemon, etc. dry white wine? Add fish and cook to the down side is well blackened and flip. Olive oil is actually a fairly heavy flavor and covers fish taste vs other oils. Love both alternative oils, deep fry fantastic and cheaper than peanut oil, same high flashpoint. Also, love half shell cooked fish. Try half shell redfish on the grill spiced anyway you want, low cal, never any left over!!

11 months ago

I’m sure you have tried it, but I cook all my blackened fish on the half shell. Im not sure why, it just seems to taste better to me

Jay Feltz
11 months ago

What is the name of your outdoor kitchen cast iron cooking disc?

Roger Bonifield
11 months ago

Wrong place for this comment, but I’m hoping you have an answer, because there was no place to leave a comment on your most recent post about the “braid cutting pliers”. Please say it ain’t so, Joe. Saw your post about the split ring/braid cutting pliers at mid day on the first day of the post, and they are sold out. How can this be. Hope you get more in asap. Please keep me informed.

Dave Naegele
11 months ago

I have settled in on a tablespoon of clarified butter and good olive oil together in a cast iron skillet for this type of frying. Clarifying the butter raises its’ smoke point and rids the butter on impurities. If I’m doing more of a powered fish fry I’ll use peanut oil, enough to float the fillets, again in a cast iron skillet.

11 months ago

I use a combination of Olive oil and free ranged butter melted into the 100% pure virgin cold rolled olive oil from Costco

Paul Martin
11 months ago

Use Advacado oil it’s more tolerent to high temps , and healthy, great taste.

Todd Luckadoo
11 months ago

I always use butter – unsalted. I have a cast iron skillet and an infared side burner that gets really hot. Love to blacken grouper, snapper and mahi!

Larry Gonzalez
11 months ago

Butter is best any day 😋

Alan Lanoue
Alan Lanoue
11 months ago

The video is frozen I’ve tried multiple times

Roy Noblin
11 months ago

yes sir cast iron, that seasoning and butter is the only way my wife will fry it. you mention calories so is it possible the way she cooks is how i have gone from about 180 to 280 in only about 40 years. 🙂

Roy Noblin
11 months ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

sounds good so that’s my story and sticking to it 🙂 but to be honest there is a lot of truth there. before seeing your first video and finding salt strong i went home skunked a lot more than with my limit. i spoke to my son the other night and he has rebuilt my gheenoe so the middle seat is gone. now i will not have to crawl over it and he don’t use it any more. he said i can come get it. watch out ozello, looks like i can get back into the skinny water again. yes sir that is real light and i have a trailer it will fit on just right so happy happy.

11 months ago

Great video Luke

Therese Flood
11 months ago

My son and wife don’t like it charred so I cook it at a lower temp with butter and oil in the skillet. Butter for flavor and oil because when I do the second batch the butter tends to burn. Comes out still red from the seasoning but still as tasty. And you can cook it inside and not set off the smoke detectors! Lol

Brett Landon
11 months ago

The type of butter is important. Personally, I always cook with unsalted butter because it doesn’t burn that quickly. Salted butter burns almost immediately, so it ruins the taste. A cast iron skillet should be white hot (not glowing) before adding the butter and fish.

You can also use a small self-igniting single burner stove, the kind that coast $25-$30 at Walmart and use butane bottles. I’ve also put my cast iron on a grill. Wish I could post photos.

11 months ago

So now I’m craving blackened redfish! Looks great.

John Stancil
11 months ago

Man I love blackened fish! Thanks for the cooking tips! I would love to get the best recipe for awesome hush puppies to make the perfect meal! Salt Strong Rocks!

Frank Spina
Frank Spina
11 months ago

The secret of good cooking…….Butter!!!

David Bush
11 months ago

Thanks for the cook-off and love that skillet! For those who want to try clarified butter, you can find it at most stores as “ghee”. We use it for a number of things instead of butter. Especially noticeable on popcorn since it’s pure fat whereas butter has water content that can make popcorn soggy. That’s a free side tip. :^)

Gregory Batchelor
11 months ago

Luke, you can cook for us anytime! Looks good, bro. Thanks!

11 months ago

I always use butter. You might try zatarains blackened seasoning. I’ve had it on spect trout , red fish and rockfish really tasty. Also good on shrimp.

Dave Lunsford
11 months ago

Butter for sure. I also brush one side first, season and put on the griddle. Then before I flip them I butter the other side , season then flip. That seasoning is the best by far.

John Purdue
11 months ago

I enjoyed the cooking show. Butter all the way for me then drizzle more butter and lemon at the end. For those that don’t have a outdoor kitchen just fire the grill up and put your cast iron skillet on the grill

Joe Riggio
11 months ago

Looks really taste’ , planning to give it try soon.

11 months ago

Nice comparison video Luke. You got exactly the results I would have expected; with the oiled fish sticking a bit and the buttered filets releasing. The “smoke point” of butter is ~100 degrees lower than olive oil – so the butter chars faster and releases quicker. At least that’s the way I understand it. I would also have expected that the taste would be not too much different at the low temps you used. Yes, I said “low” temps. If you had done the process at the higher temps used in the blackening process as Paul Prudhomme invented it I fear the oiled fish would have suffered taste-wise, but it would probably have released a little better.

I had the good fortune to live in the NOLA area when Paul had just opened his restaurant and I learned the technique from him. He used a dry unseasoned iron skillet, which he heated until it began to start turning white and when he dropped the buttered fish there would be flames! He always used relatively thin fillets of around 1/2″ thickness and the cooking time on each side was very fast; two minutes per side or less. The beauty of Paul’s process was that the intense heat seared the fish instantly and it always came out wonderfully moist and tender inside even though it was charred outside. There’s a pretty accurate recipe and description of his process at

LOVE that massive iron griddle! Your outdoor kitchen must be the envy of anyone who sees it.

Bubba Thomas
11 months ago
Reply to  Hal

That’s how I’ve always blackened fish (I’ve always used a cast iron skillet on a fish cooker and almost feel like need to have the fire department on standby with the heat and flash when the buttered fish go on). A lot of smoke and flames.

I’ve used a lot of different blackening type seasonings. The Prudhomme seasoning is the original and by far the best for my taste buds.

Luke, I was trying to see what the source of heat was for your skillet is. Is it a grill or a “fish cooker” or something else? (I’ve recently bought a Blackstone (haven’t put it together yet – likely this weekend). I’m wondering if it generates the heat to cook blackened fish the old school way (mega heat). Will find out soon.

Love the fact that we’ve branched out from how to catch fish to how to prep them to eat. This site has something for everyone. Thanks!

Willim Runkle
Willim Runkle
11 months ago

Really enjoyed ‘the lesson’ and the delicious dinner with your beautiful family.
A class ACT!
Happy Fishing.

John Ketchum
11 months ago

For me clarified sweet cream butter adds that perfect flavor, texture and bronzing to any black-
end entree especially fish,shrimp and scallops.

William DeWeese
11 months ago


Butter for the win, and I hate to throw a wrench in the works, but you gotta try Clarified Butter. With Clarified Butter you get a butter fat with complex flavors that can take temperatures up to 500 degrees. Great for searing meat.

That Paul Prudhomme is awesome. Zatarains is OK, but Chef Paul’s is an amazing combo.of spices.

Bill Zimmer
11 months ago

Great video Luke, never tried Olive Oil but I use unsalted butter when blackening.

Anthony Scot McGallicher
11 months ago

That skillet!!! :O

11 months ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds