Fish is a flavorful and healthy choice for grilling. However, getting a perfect finished product can be tricky. Fish fillets cook very quickly, so it is important to have a plan and get it just right. Here are some helpful tips to make sure you are on the right track:
1. Choose the best fish for grilling. Whatever fish you are interested in grilling, you want to make sure you are getting it fresh. The best way to tell is by smell. The flesh should be firm to the touch and it should be a little moist. If it smells too fishy, don’t hesitate to ask for another option. You should purchase the fish when you plan on grilling it fairly soon. No more than a couple of days should transpire before you fire up the grill. Also, the style of fish is important. Fillets are tougher to grill because they fall apart easier. Steaks are a better choice for grilling because they will stay together better.
2. Get the grill hot. No matter what type of grill you are using, get it as hot as you can prior to putting the fish on. You want to get a good searing to lock in the juices. It also helps firm up the fish quickly which will stop it from sticking to the grate.
3. Brush the grill with oil. Use a basting brush to apply oil to the grill grate. Any type of cooking oil will do the trick, but extra virgin olive oil is the best choice if you want to preserve the healthy nature of this delicatessen. If you don’t have a basting brush, use tongs to pick up a paper towel and soak it in oil. Then, use it to apply it to the grates. You want to put on the oil when the grill is preheating. Cooking sprays are okay, but oil works much better.
4. Hold off on the sauce. Allow the fish to get a good searing before adding sauces or marinades to the outside of the fish. Give it at least two minutes of cooking time on each side before you brush on your sauce of choice.
5. Cooking time is very important. The rule of thumb is to cook fish about eight minutes per side for each inch thick. However, you should check the fish constantly. This is not the kind of grilling operation you can walk away and check back later. Grilling a perfect fish requires attention, but the results will make it well worth it.