Living on the coast and enjoying the bountiful harvest of the ocean’s diverse range of seafood gives us the opportunity to expand our grilling opportunities.
There are a wide range of firm-fleshed fish that are perfect for the grill including swordfish, grouper, tuna, sea bass, catfish, snapper and salmon.
And, even the more delicate fish can be grilled with a little extra attention.
One of the most common problems in cooking fish – grilling or otherwise – is cooking it too long.
Some things you need to remember about grilling fish is that it loses moisture faster than meat. To prevent fish from drying out, coat it with oil.
Rule of Thumb: For every 1-inch of thickness, expect about 10 minutes of cooking time (over medium high temperatures). Flip when the fish is cooked about half way through.
Plan on 6-8 ounces per person for fillets and 8-12 ounces per person when buying whole fish and keep the skin on the fish.
Why? Well, grilling is a “contact” method of cooking because most people interact with their food a little more while cooking on the grill. To keep the fish intact, leave the skin on and then there are no worries about the fillets falling apart.
If you have thinner, or more delicate, fillets, wrap them or place them on aluminum foil. (Some grill masters recommend putting parchment paper between the fish and foil to prevent sticking)
NOTE: If you are not sure about the thickness of your fillet, ask your fishmonger for advice on which cut of fish would work best for your grilling needs.
Some experts recommend using either a fish/vegetable grid to make it easier or a wire grill basket – especially for the delicate fish. With a grill basket, you can turn your fish over without worrying about it breaking apart.
Another way to grill seafood is to use a plank. Soak a wooden plank in water for at least 2 hours before grilling and then place your fish on the plank. Cover the grill and leave it until it is done.
There’s no need to be intimidated by grilling seafood – let loose and enjoy!