If you are a lover of seafood, you have definitely considered grilling your fish. Grilling is one of the best methods of making any meat. When done right, you are left with a slice of mouthwatering meat that will keep your guests coming back for more. Grilling seafood provides the body with healthy proteins, making them perfect alternatives to steak and chicken on your meal plan.
Unlike other types of meat, grilling fish is not a straightforward process. You need to ensure you cook the fish properly, especially when using a grill. If you are new to grilling seafood, here is everything you need to know about grilling fish.
The right way to cook fish on a grill
To be able to master the art of grilling seafood, you need to familiarize yourself with the fish grilling process, from prep to place. It involves choosing the right cuts of fish and choosing the best grilling method for the different cuts.
Choosing the fish cut
Before firing up your grill, the first thing you need to do is choose the best fish to grill. If you are not sure about the best cut, you can consult with your fish seller to ensure you get fresh and clean cuts for your grilling needs.
The best seafood to grill includes:
Whether you prefer it as steak or fillet, salmon is a type of seafood with the ability to withstand heat on the grill without losing its distinctive flavor or coming apart on the grill. You can grill the salmon on cedarwood to enhance the flavor. If you are a beginner, salmon can be the best seafood to grill when trying to perfect your seafood grilling skills.
If this is your favorite type of fish, you will love how well it performs on the grill. Swordfish has a mild fish taste and is more of a meaty fish, making it perfect for the grill. You can choose to buy the fish as a steak, whole, or as piece cuts for grilling. Smoking swordfish is a fantastic idea if you want to add the smoky feel to a fish.
This is the steak of seafood for most people. The versatility of tuna makes it a favorite amongst most seafood lovers. If you want to try your hand on grilled fish, this makes a perfect beginner candidate. The thickness of tuna makes it a good candidate for the grill and high temperatures. You will love the added smoky taste to the distinct taste of tuna. Consider giving the steak a good sear before grilling it over medium heat.
Also commonly referred to as dolphinfish or Dorado, Mahi Mahi is one of the most flavor fish types of fish to grill. The firmness of its texture makes it suitable for grilling without the potential of coming apart over the heat.
This is a perfect mild white fish for the grill. You can choose to grill the fish as a whole or portion it into fillets.
Leaving the skin on the fish makes it easier to retain the meat’s moisture while giving it added stability, which is important when grilling fish. The skin also acts as a heat barrier to protect the meat from the hot flames. You can remove the skin once the fish is cooked if you prefer not to eat it.
Prepping your fish for the grill
Once you have the best seafood to grill, you need to prepare the cut.
- Rinse the fish with cold water to remove any debris
- Wrap the fish in a towel to remove excess water
- Remove any bones protruding from the surface of the fish.
- When grilling whole fish, ensure you make cuts 3-inches long along the sides. This allows even cooking in and out.
- Brush the fish with oil and season with salt and pepper. You can stuff whole fish with herbs and citrus for added taste.
Prepping the grill
The most common issue with grilling seafood it the easiness by which it sticks on grates. The best way to prevent this is by seasoning your grill.
- Use aluminum foil to cover the grate.
- Heat your grill to the highest temperature for at least ten minutes.
- Remove the foil and use a grates brush to brush the grates.
- Coat the grates with a layer of oil using a swab or towel on a tong. Wipe off the grill several times while dipping the towel in oil each time. This seasons the grates and makes them non-stick.
Grilling the fish
You can choose one of the many methods for grilling fish. Some types of seafood cook better based on the method used. The most important aspect of grilling fish is to achieve an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit before serving the fish. The cooking time varies, depending on the thickness of the cut. Generally, fish should be grilled for 8 to 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
Grill before marinating
Most meats are marinated before they are cooked, but this is not the same for seafood. Fish is a very delicate type of meat. The flesh easily breakdown when you marinate it before grilling. Marinating fish before grilling can completely ruin your meat since the fish will come apart while on the grill. If you must marinate your fish, you need to do it after it has been cooked. This way, you can add to the flavor without compromising the texture.
- Place your fish diagonally on the grates for easy flipping and to ensure it gets the grill marks.
- Close the lid to the grill and reduce heat to medium. Leave the fish to grill for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness.
- Use tongs or spatula to lift it and turn. If it is not lifting well, leave it to cook in 30-second intervals. This ensures it is firm enough to lift and turn without the flesh breaking.
- Flip the fish on the second side and close the lid again. Leave it to cook for another 3 to 7 minutes, or until the thermometer reads 145 degrees F.
- The fish is ready when it turns opaque and flakes when tested with a fork.
- Season the fish to your liking.