Imagine this: A warm summer evening, the sun is setting and you and your loved ones are out on the patio relaxing, enjoying each other’s company while beautiful seafood is cooking away on your beautiful charcoal grill. The best feeling ever.
Grilling seafood is not complicated. Preparing seafood on a grill (or grill pan) actually makes for an easy, healthy, and delicious summertime meal that can be cooked in just a few minutes. You may be thinking, what are the best types of seafood for grilling? We’ve got the answer.
Great seafood grilling options include salmon, snapper, tuna, mahi-mahi, swordfish, catfish, scallops, and shrimp. All of these stand up to the heat and taste delicious when grilled. Seafood like cod, tilapia and flounder are super delicate, so it is best to use foil or a cedar plank to cook them.
Cheers to the start of a new grilling season! In celebration, we have 5 easy tips to cook fish perfectly and impressively every time.
- How Thick Is the Fillet? The best fish fillets or steaks for grilling directly on the grates are at least an inch thick. You can still get the delicious smoky flavor from grilling thinner fillets, but to make sure they don’t overcook, wrap them in corn husks, banana leaves, or aluminum foil — or place the fish on pre-soaked cedar planks.
- Avoid Overcooking: Many types of fish are delicate and tender, so you want to avoid overcooking them. The best way to tell if a fish is done is by testing it with a fork. Insert the fork at an angle, at the thickest point, and twist gently. The fish will flake easily when it’s done, and it will lose its translucent or raw appearance.
- Try the Indirect Heat Method: If you’re cooking a fillet with skin on, start with skin-side down for three to five minutes before gently flipping with a wide spatula. The indirect heat method, perfected by Chef Barton Seaver, is a great way to get crispy skin while making sure the rest of the fish is perfectly tender.
- Preserve the Moisture: When cooking on a grill, proteins and even vegetables tend to lose moisture fast with the juice dripping down onto coals. To preserve moisture, coat the fish with oil or thick marinade, which will help seal the moisture inside.
- The Perfect Temperature: A good rule of thumb is to cook the fish to an internal temperature of 140° to 145°F.