It’s no secret that fresh seafood in the summer is as delectable as it gets. It offsets the sweltering summer sun with something fresh and light, but for some reason, seafood has a reputation for being difficult to grill. We’re here to send that rumor out to sea.
When it comes to selecting high-quality fish, the most important thing to consider is how firmness of the fillet. Think of it like a steak: the sturdier it is, the higher probability of it staying intact when fired over an open flame. We recommend getting fillets that are at least 1-inch thick and keeping them cold right up until you’re ready to grill. Also, what species of fish you choose will have a great impact on the final outcome. Delicate fish, like tilapia or flounder, don’t hold shape while grilling, so we recommend a hearty fish, like tuna, mahi-mahi, salmon, snapper or swordfish. If you’re feeling adventurous, try Grilled Summer Sardines.
Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” While he was talking about the invention process, we like to think it applies to grilling as well. When preparing your fish, the first thing you want to do is preheat your grill on high. This will decrease the amount of time your seafood is on the grill and increase the amount of caramelization from the fish’s natural sugars. You’ll also want to coat the fish in a thin layer of oil; this will help seal in some of the moisture, keep it from drying out and help prevent sticking.
There are few tricks of the trade when it comes to creating savory seafood. First, cooking with the skin facing down helps hold the fillet together and will help it cook more evenly. If you’re looking to get those iconic grill marks on the top, you should flip your fish as soon as it looks cooked halfway through. Also, once you’ve set your fillet on the grill, try not to move it. The more you move it, the greater probability of it cooking unevenly or falling apart. Last but not least, the most important rule of fish grilling: leave the grill closed. Every time you open the grill, heat escapes and you lengthen your grill time. By keeping your lid sealed, you’ll create that smoky flavor we all know and love.
What’s your favorite seafood to grill? Share your tips and tricks in the comments.