Can You Eat Northern Pike?

Northern pike is found in lakes, rivers, and streams throughout most of North America. Northern pike are a great game fish to eat. The meat is lean, white, and flaky, and the taste is milder than other game fish.

The best way to cook northern pike is with a sautéed fillet in butter or margarine. You can also steam or boil northern pike fillets.

Northern pike is generally sold fresh or frozen at grocery stores. If you’re planning to eat northern pike, buy it as fresh as possible — preferably within 24 hours of purchase — and cook it within 48 hours if you’re freezing it for later use.

Is There Any Risk To Eating Northern Pike?

The pike does not prey on humans or any mammals, so there is no risk to human health from eating the fish.

The risk from eating a northern pike is that you may be exposed to parasites such as tapeworms or flukes (trematodes). If you catch your own northern pike, you can reduce your chances of getting these parasites by freezing the fish for two weeks after catching it and then cooking it thoroughly before eating it.

What Do Northern Pike Taste Like?

The flesh of northern pike has a strong flavor that most people describe as similar to walnuts or hazelnuts. Some people like this flavor while others find it unpleasant. If you’re not sure how you’ll react, try cooking with just one fillet first before trying more than one at once.

If you want to get rid of some of the stronger flavor from your northern pike fillets, soak them in milk for 30 minutes before preparing them for cooking or frying them up for dinner tonight!

How To Prepare Northern Pike

The Northern Pike is a favorite game fish in North America. It can be challenging to catch, but even more challenging to cook. They have very tough skin and bones that can ruin your dinner. Follow these steps to properly cook pike.

Step 1: Clean the fillets by cutting off the head and tail from each side of the fish. The fillet should be cut off at the backbone.

Step 2: Remove any remaining skin from the fillets with a knife or a pair of pliers.

Step 3: Cut each fillet into smaller pieces using a sharp knife or shears if necessary, so that when cooked, they will be about one inch thick at most.

Step 4: Season each piece of fish with salt and pepper before cooking it.

How To Cook Northern Pike

There are several different ways to cook pike, including frying and broiling, but one of the best ways is to braise it. Braising is a great way to cook leaner cuts of meat that might otherwise dry out during cooking, like pike.

Below are the different ways that you can cook northern pike:


One of the most popular ways to cook pike is to broil it. This is a simple method that requires little preparation and yields fantastic results. In fact, the only thing you need for this recipe is a broiler pan and about 45 minutes of your time.

Here are the steps:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).

2. Place your fish on top of a broiler pan with holes in it. You can use any kind of baking sheet for this step, but we recommend using a broiler pan because it allows more heat to reach your fish evenly from all sides. If you use a regular baking sheet, make sure that there are no hot spots where the fish will stick or burn during cooking!

3. Brush olive oil onto both sides of the fish, then sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides as well (if desired). Add any other seasonings or spices you’d like now as well – they’ll stick better if they go on before cooking begins rather than after!

4. Place your fish into the oven and bake until done – this should take about 20 minutes per inch of thickness at most.


This is another one of the most popular methods is why is frying the fish.

Step 1: Clean and scale the pike. You can use a knife or a pair of pliers to remove the scales. If you want to fry pike fillets, remove both sides of the skin and lay them flat on a cutting board. If you’re frying the whole pike, cut off the head and tail (and guts if you’d like).

Step 2: Rinse off your cleaned pike with cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. This helps ensure that your finished fried fish will be light and crispy instead of greasy.

Step 3: Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides. You can also add other seasonings like cayenne pepper or paprika for added flavor but don’t overdo it — you want to leave some room for other ingredients in later steps!

Step 4: Bread the fish with flour, salt, and pepper again, plus other ingredients if you want. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Heat oil in a deep fryer or pot to 350°F (177°C).

Step 6:  Gently place the fish into the hot oil using tongs or a slotted spoon and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown.

Step 7: Remove from oil and drain on paper towels before serving.


Below are the steps to braise the northern pike in the oven or on the stovetop.

The first step is to make sure that you have prepared your ingredients for cooking. You will need flour, eggs, and milk for dredging purposes and butter and oil for frying purposes.

After preparing your batter, dredge the filets in flour before dipping them into the egg batter. Make sure that you coat both sides of each filet with flour and egg batter before dropping them into the hot oil. Fry them until they are golden brown on both sides and set them aside while you prepare your sauce.

For this dish, we are using brown sugar as the sweetener in our sauce mixture along with some spices like paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You can also add other ingredients like Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce if you want additional flavor profiles in your finished dish.

Once your pike is cooked through, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess grease before placing it in a casserole dish or baking pan that has been covered with aluminum foil (or plastic wrap).


You can cook pike on the grill, but it’s important to make sure that you don’t overcook them. You’ll want to ensure that you have a nice hot fire going so that the fish is cooked all the way through.

1) Start by cleaning your fish. This is also a good time to cut off any fins on the back of the fish.

2) Place your cleaned fish on a sheet of aluminum foil, and season with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder (if desired). Wrap up tightly in foil and place on grill until cooked through (about 10 minutes per inch of thickness).

3) Remove from grill when done and serve immediately with lemon wedges or tartar sauce.

Related Questions

Can you eat the skin of a northern pike?

You can eat the skin of a northern pike. The skin is actually edible, and you can use it to make fish stock or add it to soups and stews.

However, if you’re going to cook the fish, I recommend removing the skin. If not, you’ll get a muddy taste when the pike is cooked.