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A Guide to Cooking Fish on the Grill

Despite what the ground hog says, Spring is almost here! And with that comes grilling season for most areas around the United States. If you are new to grilling and attempting to cook fish on the grill here are some important tips.

(Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash)

The first tip I can provide when choosing to cook fish on the grill is to consider your selection of fish carefully. I highly recommend limiting your choices to more dense fish such as tuna and swordfish. Of course salmon is also popular cooked on the grill but this is usually cooked on top of a cedar plank and smoked more than it is grilled on the grill.

Marinading fish does not take very long. Typically a couple hours is plenty of time for your fish to absorb the flavor of the marinade. Another good option is a spice rub on the outside, which requires no marinading time.

Before placing your fish on the grill make sure that the grill cooking surface is well oiled. Keep in mind though that you must be careful how you oil your grill grates. Never use a spray over hot coals, you will get a fireball. Take a paper napkin and dip it into oil. Using tongs rub your grabes with that balled up paper towel to oil the grates. There is still a risk of flare ups, but it is much lower than with the other method.

When cooking your fish on the grill, be attentive but not overly attentive. Do not play with the fish as it is cooking in the first 3-5 minutes as the meat of the fish will actually release it’s attraction to the grill grates when it is close to done on that side. If you try before it is done you will end up leaving the surface of the fish attached to the grill grate. Be careful though not to wait too long or your fish will be overdone. After flipping the fish over the second side will typically take between half and two thirds the time the first side took before it is done.

After removing your fish from the grill you should serve it rather quickly. Keep in mind the fish will continue to cook after being removed and waiting too long could result in a drier fish off the grill than you thought you had prepared.

Hopefully these tips will help those of you looking to prepare fish this grilling season on your grill at a barbecue for your friends or family members.