Cooking fish on the grill is quick and easy. There are a few key differences from grilling your everyday steaks, chops and burgers – but it is still quick and easy.
Here are a few of my tips for grilling your favorite fish.
- Buy fresh – Seafood is extremely perishable so I like to buy it the same day I plan to cook it. Look for fish that is vibrant in color, appears glossy and smells like the ocean. If the fish you want looks grayish, dull or smells strongly of fish or ammonia, skip it and pick something else.
- Keep it cold – Unlike steaks and chops which benefit from being left at room temperature before cooking, fish should be kept very cold from the time you buy it until right before going on the grill. My fishmonger packages mine with ice (after weighing it, of course) to keep it cold on the way home and it stays in the fridge until after the grill is preheated.
- Wipe it dry – Even if you don’t use a brine or marinade, your fish will probably be slightly damp. I mean, it lived its whole life in the water, right? Patting it dry will help you get attractive grill marks and helps keep the fish from sticking to the grill grates.
- Use a hot fire – Fish benefits from high-heat cooking methods like pan searing and grilling. Unfortunately, the convection heat from many gas grills will dry out the surface of the fish before the insides are done cooking. TRU Infrared™ grills eliminate that problem by using at least 65 percent infrared energy for cooking. But we will let your neighbor, whose fish is like sawdust, just think that it is your superior grilling skills that makes your fish reign supreme – it’ll be our juicy little secret.
- Use super clean and lubricated grates – This is more important with fish than anything else. Use an effective cleaning brush like the Char-Broil® Cool Touch™ to get your grates immaculately clean and then just before putting the fish on, lightly oil your grates.
- Watch your temps – Fish starts off slowly but then the internal temperature rises quickly, so start checking your temps early and often. In general, cooking times are about 10 minutes total per inch of thickness but that is a rough guide. It’s best to go by internal temps and most fish is done at an internal temperature between 120°F and 140°F.
- No rest for the weary – Also unlike steaks, chops, and chicken, fish does not require a resting period after cooking. Have all of your sides ready to serve as soon as the fish comes off of the grill.
This is one of our favorite fish recipes. It works well with fish with thick, dense flesh like tuna, mahi-mahi and swordfish.
A quick delicious recipe to get fish into your diet.
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
- Small can pineapple slices
- 1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (from the can of slices)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, peeled and finely diced
- 5 green onions
- 2 tuna steaks, 1-inch thick
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat grill to medium-high (400-450 degrees).
- Cut lemon in half and grill cut side down until slightly charred, about 3-4 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce, pineapple juice, ginger, garlic, and one of the green onions, finely chopped. Use tongs to squeeze the juice from the lemon halves into the marinade, being careful to keep any seeds from the lemon from falling into the marinade.
- Pour half of the marinade over the tuna steaks and let marinate for 30 minutes.
- Simmer the other half of the marinade over medium-low heat until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Grill the pineapple slices until sear marks form, about 3 minutes per side. Grill the green onions until slightly charred, 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside.
- Wipe excess marinade from the tuna steaks with a clean, dry cloth and season them on both sides evenly with several pinches of salt and pepper.
- Place the tuna steaks on the grill and grill for 4-5 minutes for rare or 5-7 minutes for medium rare. Carefully flip, brush the top with the glaze, and grill another 4 minutes for rare or 5-6 minutes for medium rare.
- Flip one last time, brush the unglazed side with the glaze and let cook just long enough for the glaze to set, about 1 minute. Remove and serve.
If you want to brighten the fish up even more, instead of salt and pepper, you can make a quick seafood rub of 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon dried ground lemon peel, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/8 teaspoon dried parsley.