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6/8/2015 12:42 PM grooming • 0 Comments

10 Tips for Grilling Fish Perfectly

Grilling is a favorite summer pastime of many, both for the delicious food and the social camaraderie that comes along with the activity. But in reality, it’s all fun and games until the swordfish gets overly charred, you have to throw your hard work (and ego) in the trash and then order a pizza to feed your hungry guests.


Even with being a seasoned cook, I still need to hone my grilling skills once in a blue moon, especially when it comes to throwing fish on the BBQ. I am a man who loves flavor, especially when it comes to my fish, but tossing a piece of salmon over fire is far different than tending to a filet mignon-quite literally, if you want a delectably savory piece of fish for dinner, you can’t go treating it like a slab of meat. Fish can be delicate and requires a little extra TLC and finesse if you want it to work out-sort of like your relationship. Additionally, grilling fish can be tricky because there are some types that work better than others on the BBQ. With all that in mind, here are some tips and tricks to help get you started on grilling a flawless piece of fish this summer.

 

 

 

image credit: seriouseats.com

  • Get excited about making thicker fish on the grill, like salmon, tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi, red snapper, and even sea bass-these fish are made for grilling and are unlikely to fall apart in the process.

 

 

image credit: cooking.com

  • On the same token, be careful with tender fish, such as tilapia, flounder and Dover sole. These fish are better baked, fried or cooked on the stovetop; because of their delicate, flaky textures, these fish tend to break up on the grill. Now, if you insist or are forced into grilling one of these, do so on some aluminum foil or use a fish stainless steel fish wire basket.

 

 

 image credit: thepescetarianandthepig.com

  • Marinate your fish for extra flavor; your thicker fish will hold the marinade best, and let me tell you, it will taste pretty damn good. You can get creative and crazy with your marinade or just keep it simple with herbs and some olive oil. Or try this: coat your fish with Aioli, or other similar condiments and spreads; throw it on the grill and let the fire blend and work its magic.

 

 

image credit: realsimple.com

  • Apply any oils and condiments using an old kitchen towel or a cooking brush before the fish is taken off the grill-this way, the flavors are seared into the fish on both sides. After marinating your fish, rub excess oil off with a paper towel; if you don’t, your fish will soak up the liquids, making it more challenging to grill.

 

 

  • Always make sure that your grill is as hot as possible; this ensures that your fish is immediately seared, sealing your marinate inside of it while compressing skin. This little tip makes a big difference in preventing the fish from sticking to the grill, and thus, making it a lot easier to cook. Here’s the test: hold your hands six inches above the grill—is it hotter than holy hell? Perfect, then cook away.

 

 

  • If you want to remove the skin, wait until after you are finished grilling. (I personally love the skin—besides being good for you with all those omega-3s, it also tastes delicious.) With swordfish and thicker fish, definitely go ahead and remove the skin; because of the texture, it will be very tough to eat.

 

 

  • When it come to applying sugary or sweet ingredients, like lemon juice for instance, it’s always best to do it when the fish is done, because these ingredients will not fuse the body of the fish.

 

 

image credit: cooksillustraded.com

  • Start out grilling on the skin side first. This sets everything in motion—it will prevent the fish from curling up during uneven grilling, which creates a chewy skin. If you are going to have any stickiness on the fish, it will be on the side with the flesh, so if you attack with the skin side down from the get-go, it will help keep your BBQ clean.

 

 

  • Leave your fish alone—the more you mess with it, the more chances you have of tearing the skin and affecting its overall consistency. Once you place the fish on the grill, cover it and let it be until you are ready to turn it.

 

 

images credit: cookillustrated.com

  • How do you know when your fish is perfectly done? Always cook it for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the fish’s thickness per-inch. If you passed first grade math, then you know that 10 minutes means 5 on each side. Another thing to remember: your fish will cook an extra two minutes once it’s off the grill just by letting it sit, so check on it a couple of minutes before you think it’s totally ready.

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