Warm weather is here, and with spring fully underway, it’s time to start thinking about lazy summer days and delicious barbecued feasts. This summer, up your grill game. Instead of cooking the usual wieners and patties, make this the year you learn to grill fish. After all, fish is one of the healthiest and tastiest meats out there, and there are tons of varieties that offer different nuances and flavors. If you can add fish to your cookout repertoire, you’ll be the champion of the barbecue. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Best Kinds of Fish to Grill
Look for larger, meatier types of fish. Some great kinds of fish to cook on the grill include swordfish, mahi mahi, salmon, halibut, and Arctic char. Tuna and snapper are also classic summer fish that work perfectly on the barbecue.
Ask your fishmonger to cut you a nice fillet—about 1 inch thick should be perfect. Don’t go thinner than that—you don’t want it crumbling when you flip it over.
Prepping Your Grill
Fish is more likely to stick to cooking surfaces than chicken or beef. The trick is to get the grill squeaky clean beforehand—any leftover gunk from last time will ruin your cookout. Give your grill a serious once (or twice) over with a Wooden Grill Scraper before and after cooking fish. Getting your grill nice and clean will help prevent the fish from sticking and preserve its flavor.
Once you’re ready to start grilling, thoroughly coat the grill’s surface with a heat-stable oil like canola or safflower. If you’re cooking on the Indoor Outdoor Portable Grill, it’s best to oil your food, not the grill grates.
Finally, give the grill some time to heat up before you start cooking the fish: This isn’t a kind of meat you want warming up with the cooking surface.
Grilled Salmon Recipe Worth Trying
What we love about this Pineapple Grilled Salmon recipe is that you save the pineapple peel and use it as grill planks. Genius! This keeps the salmon from sticking to the grill and imparts its tropical flavor to the fish. This is a must-try dish for the summer.
Onto the Fire
If you’ve done the legwork to get your grill ready to go, cooking your fish should be a fairly simple process. Lay your fillets—seasoned to your liking—on the grill and let them go until the bottom starts to turn opaque. Use your Grill Spatula to quickly scoop and flip your fish. If you feel resistance, let the fish cook a little longer. Just like any other kind of meat, fish will become less sticky as it heats up.
Once you’ve flipped it, let it cook until it’s opaque all the way through. Pay close attention, because fish can go from perfect to overcooked very quickly. It’s worth remembering the fish will continue to cook a little bit after you take it off the grill—if you use a fork to take a peek and see the fillet is opaque except for a thin section right in the middle, you should remove it from heat and let it finish up off the grill.
Serving Your Fish
The grill will add smokiness to your fish making it perfect to serve as soon as it’s done. And, there are plenty of ways to add a little something extra to your fish to tailor it to your taste. For example, you can serve it alongside homemade fruit salsa. If you’re a fan of heat, you can spice your fish up with some Sriracha. Of course, there’s always the classic fish prep: a quick squirt of lemon juice to brighten the fillets’ natural flavor.