With the new barbecue unpacked, you are ready to try grilled fish recipes that you found online. About 30 minutes into the experience, you are trying to pry loose the barbecuing fish fillets – only to have them turn into a flaky mess right on the grill. What went wrong? When you follow our tips for grilling fish, you will never have to ask this question again.
Cut for Success
Grilled fish fillets frequently fail to cook properly because they are of an uneven thickness. If the tail end of the salmon fillet is thin but the top of the fillet is thick, the tail end turns black and dry while the top end is still moist and partially uncooked. Avoid this problem by cutting fillets into pieces with an even thickness.
Reduce Your Marinade Bath to 10 Minutes
Fish is a prime candidate for the flavor infusion that only a marinade can bring to the table. When marinating beef or chicken, longer is better. When placing the fish into the mix, keep it short. If you go longer than 10 minutes, the acids in the marinade begin to break up the flesh, which then makes grilling fish on the barbecue a bit of a challenge.
Grilled Fish Requires Oil
Lubricate the grill as well as the fish. Depending on the cooking temperature you choose, you may have to keep a close eye on the oil’s smoke point. The Baseline of Health Foundation explains that extra virgin olive oil tastes great on your salad but does nothing for high-temperature cooking. If you anticipate searing the fish, choose avocado oil or another oil with a high smoke point.
The Right Technique Calls for a Hot Grill, an Uninterrupted Sear and a Spatula
Tips for grilling fish abound but when you want to ensure that turning the fish does not turn into a disappointment, leave it on the grill for about four minutes until one side is nicely seared and sealed. The trick is to start with a piping hot grill. By the way, you already know to put the tongs away, right? When turning over fish fillets or steaks, you need a grilling spatula – oiled – to move the seared fish around. Using tongs is just asking for trouble.
Put a Whole Fish into a Basket
There is no shame in using grilling baskets. In fact, the BBQ Guys offer a nice variety. A good fish basket accommodates a variety of whole fish pieces, is made of non-stick material and comes with a detachable handle that lets you close the barbecue’s lid. Could you put the whole fish straight onto the grill? Sure. But why?
Barbecuing Fish in Foil is Quick, Simple and Tastes Great!
When you are not after the seared taste of a piece salmon or swordfish, consider barbecuing fish in foil. Choose the heavy-duty non-stick foil, shape it into a package, put in the fish and drizzle some oil over it. Next, add sliced lemongrass, chilies, ginger and minced garlic over the fillet. Close up the foil package and put it on the grill. The fish will now steam and cook in its own juices for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on cut and size. Yum!