18 Aug How-To: Grill Fish Perfectly
When it comes to planning delicious grilled foods, fish definitely flies to the top of the list. With a delightful taste and perfect, mouthwatering grill marks, this healthy meal makes its way onto countless menus.
Unfortunately for many chefs, learning how to grill fish can be a challenge. Figuring out how to capture the delightful taste without the fish sticking to the grill and falling apart during the cooking process can feel impossible.
We are here to help you grill your next fish dinner perfectly. These are the steps you need to follow to make that meal a success.
What is the best fish to cook on the grill?
Fish that are a bit ‘sturdier’ tend to work better for the grill, as they are less likely to flake and fall apart during the cooking process. Salmon and swordfish both provide excellent options, as do tuna and mahi-mahi. In general, try to stay away from tender, thin fish like tilapia for the best possible grilling experience.
How do you grill fish without it sticking?
Grilling fish without it sticking is possible, but it takes some preparation. Cleaning the grill beforehand to get rid of any bits of food, preheating it, and then oiling it thoroughly before putting the fish on the grates will help avoid any sticking.
We mentioned these techniques when we discuss Grilling Specialty Cuisine, but fish is a special case. Most fish, even with the skin, can easily be torn apart if the proper precautions are not taken.
Can you put fish directly on the grill?
Putting fish directly on the grill is an excellent way to get that delicious grilled flavor. Following the proper preparation steps outlined below can help ensure that your grill is ready for your fish and will allow it to grill to perfection.
How do I grill fish?
Grilling fish requires a little preparation and patience, but with the right equipment and a solid understanding of how to move about the grill, you can prepare to enjoy some delightful grilled fish.
To make sure that your grill is ready to cook your fish, give the grates a good cleaning. Fish sticking to the grill is one of the biggest problems people have when grilling fish, so properly cleaning and preparing the grates remains an important step.
Prepare your equipment. You will need a quality grill that you can trust to cook your fish just right. While many people prefer the delightful taste that can come from charcoal grills, gas grills will work as well and still produce a great-tasting meal. Here at Summer Breeze, we sell Bull Grills and we have customers who appreciate that these charcoal grill heads allow them to bring together expert temperature control with all the benefits of a charcoal grill, which makes grilled fish even easier.
You will also want to secure a reliable meat thermometer, which will help you determine when the fish is done. Tongs or a spatula will then help you flip the fish so that it cooks to perfection on both sides.
Prepare your fish. If you are following a particular recipe, then mix any sauces or seasonings that you will need. About 10 minutes before you start to cook the fish, you want to set it on the counter to bring it up to room temperature before placing it on the grill. The fish will also need to be properly oiled before you cook. If you do not have a specific recipe, sprinkling the fish with some salt and pepper after oiling it can result in delicious fish.
If you are looking for a simple recipe our favorite is Grilled Fish with Garlic, Basil, and Lemon. It is a simple but elegant recipe. Garlic and basil are not common choices for seafood, but it combos with the lemon very well. Pair with green beans or a caprese salad for a healthy mid-western meal.
Preheat the grill and oil it. You want the grill to be hot before you put on the fish, and the excellent temperature controls on Bull Grills make this simple. This helps to reduce the risk of sticking and ensures that the fish cooks properly. As the grill gets hot, dip a paper towel in cooking oil and use tongs to repeatedly grease the grates. Doing this a few times to make sure they have a thorough coating will help form a protective layer that works to prevent the fish from sticking as it cooks.
Place the fish on the grates diagonally with the skin side down and close the lid. Reduce the heat on the grill slightly, bringing it down closer to medium, and allow the fish to cook undisturbed for about 3-5 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the fish.
You will know that the fish is about ready to flip when you see the skin side becoming brown and well-marked by the grill grates. When the fish has finished cooking, it should not stick to the grates anymore. Therefore, give the fish a gentle lift with your tongs or spatula. If it does not come off easily, let it rest for another 30 seconds and then try again.
Once the fish is flipped, close the grill again and allow the fish to cook about another 5 minutes. When the fish is done, the center should no longer look clear or translucent. You also want to use your meat thermometer to verify an internal temperature of 125 degrees for thick fish, like salmon, and 140 degrees for white fish, such as grouper or sea bass.
Remove the finished fish from the grill and set it on your serving plate. Let it rest for a few minutes, then top with any added sauces or finishes. Grilled fish is a delightful, healthy meal that people everywhere can enjoy. Add this summer favorite to your menu and get started planning on your next meal.