Grilling fish is a fantastic way to enjoy this lean protein and increase your family’s consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also an impressive dish to serve at dinner parties, as it’s quick and easy to prepare. With just a bit of care and preparation, you can grill up a healthy and delicious meal in no time.

Importance of Freshness and Choosing the Right Fish

When grilling fish, it’s crucial to buy the freshest fish available in your region. However, grilling fish can be challenging because it can stick to the grill or fall through the grates. Choosing the right fish for grilling is essential for a successful dish.

Best Fish for Grilling

Fish is a versatile protein, and it’s hard to make a bad selection for grilling. Oily fish are recommended for smoking, and they’re also great for grilling. Some of the best fish for grilling include:

  • Blackfish
  • Butterfish
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Marlin
  • Salmon
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna

These fish each have unique characteristics and range from lean to meaty and fatty. Some are better cooked as fillets, while others are best when cubed on kabobs or cooked as steak-cut fish.

Apparatus and Techniques for Keeping Fish from Sticking

Preventing fish from sticking to the grill is essential for successful grilling. There are several apparatus and techniques you can use for this purpose.

Fish Basket

A fish basket is a wire mesh basket that can be placed on top of the grill. Place the fish inside the basket to prevent direct contact with the grill and sticking.

Aluminum Foil

Place aluminum foil on top of the grill and poke holes in it to allow heat to reach the food. This prevents the fish from sticking to the grill.

Additional Tips for Preventing Sticking

  • Wrap the fish in tin foil with holes for heat
  • Wrap the fish in a large lettuce or cabbage leaf, brushing the outside with oil to prevent sticking
  • Keep the skin and scales on whole fish and oil the outside before grilling
  • Spray cooking spray directly on the fish (avoid spraying the lit grill)
  • Use a grilling basket, but ensure the fish doesn’t stick to the basket

Recipes for Preparing the Fish

While some people prefer to grill fish with no additional preparation, adding some simple ingredients can enhance the flavor and create a more memorable dish.

Simple Seasoning

Add cracked peppercorns, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon to the fish while grilling. Citrus and fish are a great combination, keeping the meat moist and adding a hint of summer taste.

Marinades for Grilled Fish

For those looking to add more flavor, marinating fish before grilling is an excellent option. Here are three simple marinade recipes that require one to eight hours of marinating time:

  1. Lemon Garlic Marinade
  2. Tangy Fish Marinade
  3. Lemon Herb Marinade

Grilling the Fish

Fish cooks quickly on the grill. To prevent damage to the delicate meat, it’s best to cook the fish on one side, turn it once, cook on the other side, and then remove it from the grill. Overcooking or excessive flipping can ruin the dish.

Knowing When Fish is Done

Fish is done cooking when the outside flakes easily with a fork, and the middle is almost flaking. Be cautious not to overcook, as it’s easy to do. Cook fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

How Long to Grill Fish

A general rule is to allow 8-10 minutes of grill time per inch of fish thickness. So, if your fish is two inches thick, grill it for about 6-8 minutes on each side. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check the specific recipe’s directions.

Can You Overcook Fish?

Fish has a delicate texture and can be easily overcooked. However, it’s also essential to ensure the fish is cooked thoroughly to avoid foodborne illnesses. When cooked to the proper internal temperature of 145°F, your fish will be both safe to eat and delicious.


Grilling fish can be a quick and delicious way to enjoy this healthy protein. By selecting the right fish, using techniques to prevent sticking, and experimenting with simple seasonings or marinades, you can impress your guests and family with a beautifully grilled fish dish. Just remember to keep an eye on the cooking time and internal temperature to ensure a perfectly cooked meal every time.

Last update on 2024-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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