The Dos and Don’ts of Cooking Fish Outdoors
By Larry Gaian
Grilling fish or any other seafood outdoors can be a great change for many outdoor cooking enthusiasts. With a little bit of practice you can produce fantastic tasting dishes that will please your friends and family.
Here are a few dos and don’ts that will make your fish grilling experience a little easier.
DO: Do Keep The Skin On The Fish
Keeping the skin on the fish serves two purposes. First it will act as a barrier against the heat from the grill and helping you achieve the perfect grilled fish meal.
Crispy fish skin can also be very tasty and adds a little crispness to the meal. To help keep your fish skin crisp grill that side last.
If the thought of eating fish skin doesn’t appeal to you, it is much easier to remove after it’s cooked than before.
DO: Do Use A Wood Plank
Grilling with wood planks is a great way to provide additional flavor with mild a trace of wood smoke. Seasoning the planks or soaking in flavored liquids will also give you additional flavor.
DO: Do Use The Right Tools
There is a special tool for just about everything when it comes to grilling and a lot of them aren’t really necessary. However, in the case of fish/seafood having a “fish turner” on hand is a necessity.
Fish can be one of the hardest proteins to flip on the grill and having the proper tool will not only make it easier it will help you not destroy the nice filet of fish you spent good money on.
DO: Do Oil The Fish, Not The Grill
As contrary as it may sound, when grilling fish/seafood it’s more important to oil the fish than the grill grates to keep your protein from sticking.
Using a good quality high smoke level oil like avocado oil or olive oil will help you get great flavor without a burned oil flavor. When using oils like avocado or olive it’s best to use non-virgin oils, filtered oils work best.
DON’T: Don’t Use A Dirty Grill
Starting your meal cooking on clean grill grates may be more important with fish/seafood than any other protein. Due to how delicate most fish is means it’s not going to take sticking to the grill well.
Most fish have a mild flavor and the burnt gunk on our grill, if not cleaned, will cause you to get an “off-taste.”
DON’T: Don’t Fuss With The Fish
Fish/seafood shouldn’t be turned more than once. Once you’ve put your oiled fish on clean grill grates leave it alone. If the fish is stuck to the grill grates chances are that it’s not ready to be turned over. The fish will release from the grill grates when ready. Turn it over and leave it alone.
DON’T: Don’t Grill Wet Fish
Grilling wet fish will cause it to stick to the grates. Dry your fish with a paper towel before oiling and seasoning.
DON’T: Don’t Be Afraid
The variety of fish/seafood is almost as endless as the techniques for preparing your fish on the grill.
Seafood can be grilled in filets or whole. It can be ground up to make fantastic seafood burgers. Fish is perfect for appetizers, salads, main dishes. With a little practice you can master fish grilling so don’t be afraid to give it a try.
These dos and don’ts are a guide to grilling fish. They are great basis for the beginner and a good reminder for the experienced outdoor cook. Don’t be afraid to experiment and you’ll be amazed at the dishes you can prepare on the grill.