whole fish on grill PS

Grilling fish like a pro

  • Grill firm fish and shellfish
  • Keep the skin on when you’re grilling fish
  • The fish needs to be dry
  • Only turn it once
  • Split the lobster before grilling

Choose the type of fish you are going to grill with care. Firm fish such as salmon, trout, halibut, tuna, monkfish and Atlantic wolffish work best. Shellfish such as large scampi also work well on the grill.

Wait for the browning

The coals should be ready and the griddle hot and clean. If it’s properly hot before you put the fish on the grill, it won’t stick so easily.

Keep the skin on when you’re grilling fish. It doesn’t stick as easily and acts as a wrapper, helping to keep the fish together. Wipe off the fish if it has been marinated and leave it on the griddle a while before attempting to loosen it. The Maillard effect – the browning between the fish and the griddle – is your friend. Give it time.

Use a fish slice

A half hour in a salt solution can make fish firmer and easier to handle. Use a large fish slice to turn it, not tongs. A frying fork that can get down between the bars works well too. Turn the fish once. If you’re grilling cured fish, you don’t need to turn it.

One grill surface is enough

To avoid turning fragile fish on the grill, you can settle for only grilling it on one side. If the fish has a skin side, pick this one. If you’re using a grill with a lid, you can also use juniper twigs or other woods to add a smoky flavor.

Think roast

If you’re grilling fish whole, stuffed with herbs, you can truss it like a roast.

Fatty fish burns

Fatty fish tend to have firm flesh and work well on the grill. If the fat drips and catches fire, move the fish to indirect heat.

Buy a double-sided hand-held grill

A double grill encloses the fish on both sides and keeps it in place while it’s cooking. It just makes things easier.

Skewers are a tricky business

Skewers are a great invention but because fish, shellfish and vegetables take different amounts of time to cook, they ideally need cooking separately for the best result. If you still want to go for skewers, make the pieces all the same size.

Kill your lobster correctly

Kill your lobster by slicing through the head before grilling it. Doing it right is the most humane way of killing a lobster. On the carapace there’s a Y-shaped dent. Put the tip of your knife there and slice forwards towards the head. If your lobster is very big, you can boil it before grilling it.

The right way to grill a lobster

Grill the halves of the lobster with the flesh side downwards first – grill for a brief period on a high heat. Turn them and finish off shell side down. Now you’re ready to flavor the flesh with a marinade, glaze, or just butter.


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