Everyone knows how to grill hamburgers, but did you know that grilling fish and seafood is just as simple? In this blog post, we'll continue the Grilling 101 Series and cover the basics of grilling fish and seafood so that you can perfect your technique.

Grilling 101: The Basic of Grilling Fish & Seafood

Grilling fish and seafood is one of the most popular ways to cook outdoors, but it can yield mixed results if you don't know what you're doing. The secret to successfully grilling fish or seafood is all about the heat and having clean grill grates. If you follow these steps correctly, your guests will love your grilled fish!

The Basics of Grilling Seafood

The grill is a lifesaver for seafood lovers and cooks who adore seafood, but the smells and mess are an aversion to cooking indoors. Use medium to medium-high heat to cook everything from the sea, including whole fish, smaller fillets, and shellfish. A clean grill is always essential when grilling anything, but it is even more crucial for cooking fish and seafood, which will easily stick to the grates.

Grilled Shrimp

Shrimp of all kinds is one of my favorite foods with lovely texture and an almost unlimited number of flavor combinations and marinades. Most people use skewers or baskets while grilling to help prevent them from falling into the fire. Regardless of what tool you use, shrimp cook quickly, particularly when they’re peeled.

When shrimp are packaged and sold, they receive a number like “16/20,” meaning there are 16 to 20 in a pound. Shrimp of this size will typically only require two to three minutes per side to cook through. Other sizes of shrimp will use marginally adjusted cooking times.

Season with salt and pepper, rub lightly with oil, and then grill over direct heat, turning once. Larger shrimp are better for the grill and work better as a main course.

Grilled Lobster

Grilling 101: The Basic of Grilling Fish & Seafood

Grilled lobster is a delicacy whether served in a restaurant or at home.  Many cooks steam or boil their lobsters, but grilling them infuses the taste of the shell into the flesh for a more robust, caramelized flavor.

To grill lobster tail halves, rub with oil and place them on a medium-high fire for five to seven minutes. Baste with butter sauce while grilling, but don't flip the tails, or else the butter will drain and cause flareups. Once the lobster flesh is firm and white, pull it off the direct heat. Serve these beauties with your favorite melted butter sauce and side dish for a high-end meal that won't disappoint.

The Basics of Grilling Fish

When grilling fish, whether whole or fillets, you first need to understand which fish are best for the grill and how they interact overheat. White-fleshed varieties like halibut, haddock, or cod are often preferred for grilling since they are harder to overcook because they're less dense than darker meat choices like salmon or swordfish.

When shopping for fresh fish from your local market, look for these signs:

Grilling 101: The Basic of Grilling Fish & Seafood
  • Clear eyes without any cloudiness
  • Bright red gills with no slime
  • Shiny scales

When grilling fish, you have two options: place the whole fish on the grill or put it in a grill basket. To start, rub oil over the cleaned and gutted fish to coat. Season it inside and outside the cavity with salt. You can also pack herbs or lemon slices within the fish for flavoring purposes if you prefer.

Prep your gas grill for medium-high heat and grill your fish over direct heat until the skin is crisp on both sides and the flesh is just opaque. If you're not using a basket, use two spatulas to turn the fish, so it doesn't break or fall apart. If your fish is large, you may need to move it off the direct heat and finish with indirect heat if the outside starts to burn before it is cooked throughout. Remove from the grill and allow to stand for five minutes before drizzling with more olive oil.

Grilling 101: The Wrap Up

Grilling seafood can be a little intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Fish and seafood are delicious and healthy, so don't shy away from grilling this summer because you're worried about the taste or how to cook it. Grilling 101: The Basic of Grilling Fish is here to show you how easy and affordable it is to grill these beauties at home.

Join us next time as the Grilling 101 series continues with the basics of grilling fruit and vegetables.

July 07, 2021 — Jason Klein