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How to Grill Fish

Everyday Food, June 2012

Fish plus grill equals terrifying, right? What if it sticks and falls apart? What if it's over- or undercooked? Check out my recipes and techniques and you'll see there's nothing to be afraid of. I outline two virtually foolproof methods and give tips for getting the job done with minimum stress and maximum flavor.

You Can Do It! Tips for Success

Think Ahead

Make sure you preheat the grill; put the fish on cold grates and it will stick for sure.

Play with Fire

The grill's setup makes a difference. My grilled fish with citrus calls for indirect heat: Arrange the heat source (whether gas or charcoal) on one side of the grill and place the fish on the other side. Cook with the lid closed. For my crisp grilled fish, you want to use direct heat: Distribute the heat source (gas or charcoal) evenly across the center of the area where the fish will be placed, creating a uniform hot zone for quick cooking. Cook with the lid off.

Prep the Grates

Scrub the hot grill with a wire brush before cooking. Lightly oil the grill (the fish should get some oil too).

Be Patient

Don't move the fish too soon; wait until it forms a crust before turning. To test for doneness, check with a wooden skewer or the tip of a paring knife; the thickest part should flake, and the center should be just opaque.

Best Fish for Grilling

You want firm fish fillets or steaks, not delicate ones that will fall apart on the grill. Here are a few good choices, but you can ask for recommendations at your fish market. Making friends with the fishmonger is a great way to get quality seafood!

  1. Salmon
  2. Swordfish
  3. Mahimahi
  4. Tuna
  5. Striped Bass


Grilled Fish with Citrus
Crisp Grilled Fish

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