Barbecued seafood has the potential to be a delicious cooking experience whenever prepared properly. Numerous folks are turned away from cooking seafood since they do not know how to do it. Seafood can be a very delightful, wholesome meal on the grill. I would, any day of the week, be happy to put a nice salmon fillet on the grill. Grilling extraordinary seafood does require a bit of practice. I have assembled ten tips and tricks to assist you in getting started.
Ten Tips for Grilling Great Seafood
1.) Get the freshest fish possible. Your grilling experience will be a lot better. If you can only get your hands on some previously frozen fish, that’s okay. As far as proportions go, I’d shoot for at least 8 ounces per person for cut fillets and probably 12 ounces per person for a whole fish.
2.) Since you will be grilling directly on grill the best fish to use are the ones with the toughest skin such as salmon, or tuna. If you can get your hands on some of that special vegetable grilling foil will make things go a lot smoother. The good thing about this type of foil is that it keeps the cooking fish from falling through the holes on the grill. Another great tool you could use is what is called a grill basket. This neat little utensil lets you enclose your food tightly in a closed basket and turn over your food without it falling apart.
3.) One important thing to remember is, seafood cooks best on a well cleaned and oiled grill. What this does is it keeps your fish’s skin from sticking to the grill. That’s the one bad thing about cooking with fish, it breaks apart very easily, so its best to take preventative measures when you can. A quick tip: to lube up your grill the easiest way to do this is to take a paper towel and soak it in your favorite oil (I like to use olive oil) and wipe down your cleaned grill with it. Come to think of it, I do remember seeing a cooking spray in the stores especially for cooking on the grill. It might be worthwhile to check that.
4.) If it happens that you had your butcher leave the skin on the fish, do not take it off. It is best to leave it on anyway. Remember that cooking your fish with its skin side down first, will make sure that the juices stay in the fish. This helps keep the fish well moistened and will cook faster as well. I usually turn over the fish about midway through the cooking process.
5.) A good tip to remember is that you will always want to cook your fish over a searing hot to medium-hot grill. A good way to tell how hot your grill is would be to place your hand palm side down about 4 or 5 inches above the grill. If you can only hold your palm above for around 2 seconds, your grill is searing hot. If you can do the same for about 3 seconds or so, your grill is medium-hot. The technique above applies to fillets. If you will be cooking with whole fish, it is best to lower your temp. You want to do this because cooking whole fish takes longer than fillets. We don’t want our food to burn before it is fully cooked, do we?
6.) How long you cook your fish depends on the thickness of it. In my experience, I cook the fish 10 minutes or so for every 1 inch that the fish is thick. Now, occasionally you’ll run into some exceptions but if you are following a recipe, it should tell you. When the fish is ready, its color just begins to turn a slight opaque color and the meat will flake off easily with a fork. Here is an important tip that will help you make sure your fish is cooked just right: After deciding that the fish is done, take it off the grill immediately! It will continue to cook slightly even after being taken off.
7.) If you want to add more flavors to your fish, use a marinade. The best way to time to marinade a fish is approximately 1 hour before grilling time. Fish can absorb marinades very quickly, just remember to do this too long or the marinade will take over the flavor of the fish.
8.) When cooking fish on the grill, it tends to dry out unless you baste. The best basting liquid I’ve used is simply plain extra virgin olive oil. Just a few brushes of the oil throughout the cooking process will greatly enhance the flavor and moistness of the fish.
9.) If you want to try something different, use grilling skewers. You can skewer anything really, as long as it has a tough outer skin or firm meatiness. You could even throw some vegetables into the mix.
10.) Cooking with seafood tends to make your hands very smelly. To remedy this, you can try squeezing a lemon in your hands making sure to coat the juice all over them. Afterwards, wash with some strong hand soap and hot water.
So that’s it! Cooking seafood on the grill is very easy. Practice makes perfect so keep practicing and you’ll be making scrumptious grilled seafood in no time. Hope you enjoyed my tips and tricks for grilling seafood!