Nothing says summer like firing up the barbecue and preparing your favorite dish. If you are looking to become the grillmaster of your family, a common favorite that tastes great on the grill is fish. Grilled fish has a certain flavor and taste that is unbeatable, as long as it is cooked correctly. Follow these tips to ensure that your grilled fish becomes a fan favorite.
Choose Your Fish
The taste of fish varies depending on the type you buy, although they all follow the same basic principle while being grilled. That being said, thick fish like tuna or salmon can be grilled directly on the grill grate, while thin, delicate fish like flounder or tilapia should be wrapped in foil or placed in a grill basket to keep it from falling apart. Cooking the fish in this manner results in the same grilled taste, although you won’t get the grill marks that come from cooking directly on the grates.
Preparation plays just as big a role as cooking in getting your fish to be perfectly grilled. Making sure you have fish that is ready for the grill and a gril that is ready for the fish will be vital in ending up with a tasty meal that your friends and family will love.
One of the biggest problems with grilling fish is that it tends to stick to the grill grates. To avoid this, make sure your fish is completely dry before you throw it on the grill. Not only will damp fish stick, but it also won’t sear well and will result in a fish that tastes more steamed than grilled. To ensure it is dry, pat it down with paper towels and then wrap it in the towels and store it in the fridge until you are ready to begin cooking.
Grill preparation is also a vital part of properly grilling the fish. It is essential to make sure your grill grates are as clean as possible before you start! Any leftover residue or crumbs from a previous meal will negatively impact the taste and appearance of your fish. If necessary, heat the grill on high and use a grill brush to remove any leftover bits prior to cooking your fish. Once the grates are clean, you can reduce the temperature to medium-high for cooking the fish. You can also choose to lightly oil the grates at this time, as this will help prevent the fish from sticking while it is cooking.
When the grill is prepped, take the fish out of the fridge and lightly season it. First brush the fish with oil and then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. When placing the fish on the grill, place it skin-side down at a diagonal angle. This makes it easier to flip and it leaves appealing grill marks.
Once the fish is on the grill, cover and then leave it alone! It can be so tempting to lift the lid to check on the fish, or to flip the fish several times while cooking, but don’t do it! In order to get grilled to perfection, the fish needs to be left alone. The amount of time it will take to cook depends on the type of fish and its thickness. You can tell that it is ready to flip when the skin-side is a bit crisp and has a nice sear. It should also slide easily off the grate. After flipping the fish, simply cook it until it has reached its desired doneness. Fully-cooked fish should be firm to the touch, flake easily, and be opaque in color.
These tips and tricks are easy to follow yet they result in great tasting fish time and again. Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way to perfectly grilled fish time and again.