How To Cook Black Drum – A Complete Guide

The black drum is one of the sweetest fishes. You will find hungry fish lurking on many coasts and structures during fall and winter.

They are bottom-feeders hunting for their following catch of shrimp and crabs.

Catching one may be easy. But what about preparing it?

In this guide on how to cook black drums, we shall guide you through several.

How to Cook Black Drum

What Is Black Drum?

The black drum is one of the most popular varieties in the world of fish. It is primarily found in seawater, defined by dark, irregular markings on its body.

It is seen as one of the richest sources of proteins.

Their body is dark, and the flesh may test differently, but they are safe for consumption. The fish has less fat and higher oil content than other fish.

It’s commonly found in muddy offshores and shallow places on new shorelines.

It looks almost black, and the water is not very clear. But it’s clearer under clear waters, appearing bright silvery on the top.

Its bottom is golden-yellow and has big spots on its eyes.

How To Cook Black Drum

As stated above, there are several ways of preparing a meal. It all comes down to your preferences.

We will share three of them here.

Cleaning Black Drum

Like any sea catch, the first step is to clean the fish. You can do this in less than 30 minutes, but it should be within 24 hours after capture.

The aim is to remove the gills, fins, and scales. Like most fish sold in a row, they are filled with bones.

Hence, please fillet it during this process.


  • Gloves
  • A sharp knife
  • A cutting and chopping board
  • Something to hold the trash

Step 1: Cutting The Fish

Start by cutting your black drum in half. Ensure you make a clean cut clockwise.

Step 2: Place It On The Cutting Board

Now place your fish on the cutting board with the belly facing up. Its face should be facing left to allow for easy cutting.

Step 3: Remove The Insides And The Scales

You now need to remove the entrails and intestines. Create an incision through its belly using your hands.

The goal is to remove everything inside through its gills.

It is one of the most critical and detailed steps. It would be best to cut open its gut cavity on the other side of the backbone.

Make a clear cut between the two soft intestines.

Removing the scales is easy. Use a scraper and scrape off the scales at a 45-degree angle to the body.

Ensure the skin is smooth and clean before moving to the next step.

Note that your fish may smell. To avoid this, ice it immediately when it gets home to keep it fresh.

Also, change the ice water every half an hour and the fish is cold enough.

Move it to a cleaning area with clean cold water. Keep it soaked for about 30 minutes as you wait for cooking.

Black Drum Cooking Methods

Your drum must be fresh or frozen before preparing it for the pot. Pat, dry using a paper towel, and sink it in a marinade bowl for about 20 minutes.

Your black drum is ready for cooking. How to do this depends on your preference.

Method 1: Pan-Fried Blackened Black Drum

For this method, you will need the following:

  • A teaspoonful of sweet paprika
  • Teaspoon salt – 2 ½
  • Onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne, each 1 teaspoonful
  • Ground black and white pepper, ¾ spoonful each
  • Dried thyme and dried oregano, ½ teaspoonful each
  • About 12 oz of melted butter
  • Your black drum
Step 1

Mix paprika, salt, onion and garlic, cayenne, peppers, thyme, and oregano. Use a small bowl to ensure they mix well, then put them aside.

Step 2

Take six small plates and put 2 tsp of batter. Also, please put them in a safe place.

Step 3

Take the remaining butter and empty it into a wide, shallow dish. Dip your fillets in the butter, and then line them on a parchment sheet paper tray.

Cooking Black Drum Guide
Step 4

Take your mixed spices and spread them generously on either side of the fillet.

Use one hand to press the spice and herbs into your black drum, and then spread it with the rest of the butter.

Step 5

Set your oven to preheat at 200 degrees under proper ventilation.

Step 6

Put the larger skillet on the heat and cook until it turns white and ashy. It should take about 10 minutes.

Take one or two fish pieces and carefully put them in the pan. Pour in the remaining butter on each fillet.

Step 7

Next, keep cooking until the bottom side of the fish appears black. Turn it over, butter the other side, and repeat the process.

Step 8

Take it off the pan and place it on the sheet tray on the rack. You want to keep them warm in the oven.

And then cook the remaining piece following the same steps.

Method 2: Cast Iron Black Drum

You can also prepare your black drum inside a cast-iron skillet.

You will need the following:

  • Fresh black drum
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Lemon
  • Seasoning
Step 1

Spread your season on either side of your fillet. Use any season that you prefer for your taste.

Step 2

Fire up your skillet and set it on medium to high. Ensure the bottom is coated with olive oil and butter.

Step 3

Place your fish inside the skillet. Let it cook well, and then turn it.

Try squeezing some lemon over it to make sure it catches heat properly.

Step 4

Cook your fish on both sides until it is ready. The time taken may depend on how thick the fish is.

There are several topping options for this method. Consider shrimp, crab meat, shallots, or mushrooms.

It will hugely improve its taste, although the fish is still great.

Method 3: Grill It Black

For this option, you only need to get your grill ready. Have your seasoning ready.

Step 1

Prepare the grill, ensuring the fire is well-lit.

Step 2

Season your well-cleaned fillet with salt, pepper, olive oil, or anything else.

Step 3

Set it on medium-hot and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Check to see if it’s well-cooked before turning it over.

Step 4

Remove from the grill and serve. The fish speaks for itself, but you can use your favorite toppings to boost it.

Health Benefits Of Black Drum

If you are wondering whether a black drum is suitable for food, you shouldn’t have any doubts.

The fish is loaded with omega-three, which is recommended for heart health. These fatty acids help fight against heart disease, excess weight, and arthritis.

You can also benefit from low fat and high proteins in the fish.

However, the authentic taste and benefits will only come out if you take the time to prepare and cook it.


Drumfish is one of the healthiest seafood, filled with proteins and vitamins A and D. It also packs iron, calcium, and much more.

It’s an incredible source of food.

For this to happen, you must prepare it the best way possible.

The methods we have shared above will bring out the fish’s delicious taste and firm, meaty aspect.

Enjoy your meal!

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I am a professional appliance repair expert and write articles that help average users diagnose and troubleshoot their kitchen gadgets, like microwaves, dishwashers, etc. I’m a foodie by heart and love reviewing food recipes, ingredients, and the cookware products used in them for meal preparation.