How to Cook Pike

Updated on March 9, 2020
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

A Freshly Caught, Two and a Half Pound Pike
A Freshly Caught, Two and a Half Pound Pike

Why Is Pike not More Popular?

In certain countries in the world, the UK very much among them, pike is not considered to be a fish worth cooking and eating. Although centuries ago pike was widely eaten in the UK, there seems to be a perception in modern times that the fish either has too many bones to be cleaned and eaten or that it is in some way actually inedible. This is a shame. Pike can actually be a very enjoyable fish to eat, provided it is cooked in an appropriate fashion. This page looks at just one of the many ways it is possible to cook a small pike.

Sliced Lemon and Onion Serves as a Bed for the Pike
Sliced Lemon and Onion Serves as a Bed for the Pike
Pike Set Atop the Lemon and Onion
Pike Set Atop the Lemon and Onion

Preparing to Roast the Pike

In this instance, I am going to roast the pike in the oven, on a bed of lemon and onion. I will also coat it with a sauce based on the French meuniere sauce, consisting of the normal butter, parsley and lemon juice, with a little bit of garlic added for some extra flavour.

First of all, the pike should be cleaned by making an insertion from the anal fin, right up to the head, and removing and discarding the pike's innards. The fish should then be thoroughly rinsed under cold running water and four diagonal cuts made through the skin on what will be its uppermost flank in the baking tray, to allow the sauce to penetrate.

A large, peeled white onion and a lemon should then be sliced and laid alternately as shown on a large baking tray to form a bed for the pike. The pike can then carefully be laid on top.

At this stage, the oven should be put on to preheat to 375F/190C/Gas mark 5, while you prepare the ingredients for the sauce and cook it.

Lemon and Parsley Butter Sauce Poured over Pike
Lemon and Parsley Butter Sauce Poured over Pike

Preparing the Sauce for the Pike

The sauce which will be poured over the pike prior to putting it in to the oven is a very simple creation. Firstly, two ounces of butter should be melted and lightly browned in a saucepan. The juice of half a lemon, one tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley and one grated garlic clove should then be added and heated through. The sauce should then be poured evenly over the pike.

A large sheet of aluminium foil should then be used to cover the baking tray and the tray put in to the oven for around twenty-five to thirty minutes for a pike this size. To determine if the pike is ready, the foil should very carefully be peeled back (being aware of escaping steam) and a skewer inserted in to the thickest part of the body. If very little resistance is met, the fish is cooked.

Pike Removed from Oven
Pike Removed from Oven

Fish and Seafood Recipes From Scotland

21 Bespoke Scottish Fish and Seafood Recipes (21 Bespoke Recipes Series Book 2)
21 Bespoke Scottish Fish and Seafood Recipes (21 Bespoke Recipes Series Book 2)
Fish and seafood of a great many types are a huge part of the Scottish food culture. This innovative e-book - published September 2015 - looks at many different types of fish and seafood and explores different ways of cooking them to tasty perfection. Recipes include Salmon and Quails Eggs Salad, Quick and Easy Mini Rollmops, Whiting Fish and Tomato Crumble and 18 more! Why not download your copy today?

Serving Suggestion for Roast Pike

Fillet of Roast Pike with Meuniere Sauce, Served with Boiled New Potatoes and Salad
Fillet of Roast Pike with Meuniere Sauce, Served with Boiled New Potatoes and Salad

Have you eaten or would you eat pike?

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3.4 stars from 94 ratings of this Pike Recipe!

What do you think? Will you be cooking pike any time soon?

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    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      2 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Glad you liked it as much as I did. I think the absence of earthiness in pike is because they are such aggressive, mid-water predators. They don't root around the mucky river bottoms looking for food like most other freshwater fish do. Just a thought... Thanks for visiting and leaving me your thoughts.

    • profile image

      Victoria Woodward 

      2 months ago

      It was one of the tastiest fish I have eaten. I didn't know that it was pike

      until I looked the name up when I returned home. I had eaten it in France. Normally I dislike fresh water fish as I can taste the earth in them, and that can apply to trout. Must be thoroughly washed.

      My friends whom I was with also thought exactly the same.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      6 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hello, Owen. Thank you very much for leaving such a detailed comment and sharing alternative ways to cook and enjoy pike. I'll be sure to give what you say a try in my future pike cooking experiences.

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      I have eaten pike several times. especially when in between jobs.

      The have a tendancy to taste a bit mucosy. I find that it can be eliminated by 2 methods. fillet the fish and leave overnight covered with salt. In the morning wash off the salt , which will have drawn much of the mucus flavour out of the fish.

      Cook the fish at a high temperature. Fry in hoy oil.

      My favourite is to fillet the fish remove the bones, cut into goujons. Get a frying pan or wok an fry ginger an spring onions(shallots, leek or even onions can be used as substitutes) gently fry for a couple of minutes. Turn the flame up and throw in the pike stir fry until cooked.

      when cooked throw onto a salad and enjoy with a bit of lemon delicious. The texture of pike stops it falling apart with the stir frying, which is quite rare in fish.

      An alternate finish to the dish is to add coconut milk after the stir fry and simmer for a couple of minutes to make a sauce.

      fresh chillies go well in the stir fry as well

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Pike is considered a delicatessen in France, which is only on then other side of the channel. Many consider its meat thinner and tastier than trout. I was stunned when fly fishing in Kent several years ago to see that fishermen who accidentally caught a pike were throwing it in the filed behind them as if it was some nuisance or old shoe.

      Little did they know that the fish was much better than the trouts in their bag, caught on the day in the fishery.

      Fishery trouts are all farmed trouts - they can't reproduce, they are clone fish and they taste nothing like trouts caught in the wild.

      Pike on the other hand cannot be farmed.

      You are guaranteed a real treat!

      Oh and by the way I am french. So you should trust my comment because after all, as you know we invented food. :-)

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      16 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      It certainly does sound delicious Scott. need to give that one a try. Thanks for visiting and letting me know about that way of cooking pike.

    • profile image

      scott ripley 

      16 months ago

      I've been going to Canada for over 40 years and we eat small pike and walleye. My 85 year old father fillets them and breads them with pork shake and bake and fries them in bacon grease. Doesn't get any better than that

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      20 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Glad the information is useful to you, Tony. Hope you enjoy the recipe. I think the biggest problem was and is that so many people don't realise that you can actually eat pike. Totally agree with you about only killing what you are going to eat.

    • profile image

      Tony brotherton 

      20 months ago

      Great recipe I will certainly try eating pike always thought it was a taboo subject evidently not ,when I was a teenager we were told not to put them back into the lake or pit we fished and just killed them obviously things have changed. I generally only kill something if I’m going to eat it so thanks for the info .

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Here in the US, what you call "coarse fish" we call "panfish". These include crappies, sunfish, perch and a few others that "fit in a pan" - these account for most of the fish caught in the US, by far. Pike doesn't fit that category, so it is considered a gamefish, along with bass, trout, muskie, walleye etc.

      Thank you so much for this recipe! I will certainly try it. It sounds like it would be good for "panfish" and others as well!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      2 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you very much for letting me know you enjoyed the idea, Kathy. I appreciate it and am very glad you also enjoy baked pike! No, I'm not a mind reader but I'm glad to connect with someone who also appreciates good eating fish. I hope you get the chance to fish for and enjoy pike again in future :)

    • profile image

      Kathy McQuillen 

      2 years ago

      I love baked pike and this is the ONLY roasting or baking recipe out there, mine is in my head but you nailed it! Are you a mind reader!? Just kidding, I a pleasantly surprised and wish I could still fish.

      No bone-appetit!

      From Michigan,

      Kathy Mac

    • profile image

      Clark Kent 

      2 years ago

      I might try it, it is one of the few fish I have never eaten tried all the salt water variety.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      In the United States pike is popular and served in many restrauntes.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Cathal. Yes, that is always advisable.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi - Thank you for this recipe, it looks really great!

      Just wondering if you need to remove the scales before roasting?

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, innerspin. Yes, pike has a pretty poor reputation. It would never be my dinner of choice but it really can be delicious if cooked sensibly and properly. I'm hoping to barbecue one this summer so will add to the page if I do.

      Yep - many people have the same opinion as your husband. Maybe you can use this idea secretly and surprise him... ;) If so, let me know how it turned out...! :)

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    • innerspin profile image

      Kim Kennedy 

      7 years ago from uk

      This does sound a good recipe. We usually put pike back in the water, as with all coarse fish. If one was killed by accident, like your chappie, good to know how to make use of it.

      My husband heard a recipe for pike - nail it to a plank, smoke it over a low fire, then remove the pike and eat the plank! I think your cooking suggestion beats that hands down.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, GG

      Thanks for your visit and the comment.

      What I would do with leftover pike like this is break it in to large flakes and simply toss it gently in a Mediterranean style salad. Mix such as some rocket or roughly chopped lettuce leaves with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, pitted black olives and sliced red onion. Mix the pike through it and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with fresh crusty bread. This is delicious and also works well with mackerel or herring.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      We baked a 26 inch pike the other night and still have half of him in the fridge im wondering if you know a good way to use the leftovers?

      We also have a 34 inch pike in the freezer im gonna use one of your recipes to bake him!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      You're welcome, Tony. If you get to try it, be sure to let me know what you think! :)

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 

      9 years ago from Yorkshire

      thanks for the help Gordon

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Tony

      I'm not aware of pike having seasons. I only do sea fishing, however, so am not really up on coarse fishing regulations.

      I got this particular pike from a friend who caught it by accident when trout fishing. It had swallowed the hook, so he had to kill it. He called me and asked if I could use it.

      Your best bet for getting them is from fishermen in your area. If you don't know any, pop in to a local tackle shop and ask if they can help you out, maybe with contact details for a local fishing club.

      I would suggest only, however, that for your first taste in particular, you cook and eat only fairly small pike, no more than about five pounds in weight. Some of the bigger ones can be a bit tough.

      Hope you enjoy it. It's delicious, I promise!


    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 

      9 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi Gordon

      I must say that I never come across pike for sale anywhere. Your pictures of the dish look appetising, I'll maybe see if I can get some. Does it have seasons like other course fish?



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