Knowing how to grill fish and seafood perfectly is a great skill to have, especially if you love seafood like we do at Juniper. It is an excellent way to enjoy a tasty meal. Getting that perfect char on your fish is not the easiest thing to do, though. It is not uncommon to have fish or seafood that sticks to the grill and breaks apart or is overcooked and burnt on one side. There are a few tricks that will allow you to get that perfect char and amazing smoky taste on your meal every time.
Tools for the Job
There are some different tools you can use to help you get around knowing how to grill fish. Special fish spatulas that are slightly curved and flexible make it easier to get under the fish and turn it without sticking. You can also purchase a fish tray or basket to cook the fish on the grill. Many people also enjoy grilling with a cedar plank for added flavor. This method is ideal paired with a ceramic smoker like our Kamado Joe® that accentuates the cedar flavor with the right amount of smokiness.
And if you are grilling seafood, you may want to consider kabobs or a grill basket for shrimp or tongs for lobster, scallops and oysters. The right tools can help you have a successful grill experience.
Preheat and Clean Your Grill
The first step is to preheat your grill. Preheating the grill allows the grates to be very hot when the fish or seafood first touches them and lets them interact appropriately with the proteins. A good temperature range to shoot for is 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the grill is preheated, clean the grates with a steel or copper brush to get any old food residue off. This will help the fish or seafood not stick to the grates. It also gives those perfect grill marks. A pellet grill, like the Memphis Wood Fire Grill®, is one of the best grills to use for this. You can use an app on your phone to set the right preheat temperature! It is so simple.
Whenever you cook fish or seafood on the grill, it is important to oil the grates well before it cooks. Before grilling, season or marinate the meat for a few minutes in your seasonings of choice to have it ready to cook. Fish and seafood are lean meats and need added fats to really bring out its best flavor and juiciness. Have some more basting oil or butter (seasoned, if you prefer) set aside at the grill to brush on while cooking.
Watch how you can cook a whole fish on a Memphis Wood Fire Grill.
When grilling the fish, do not try to rush the cooking. Trying to turn the fish too early will cause it to tear or break as it will stick to the grate. Also, only turn the fish once during cooking, especially if you are grilling with skin on. This allows for the most even cooking. A good rule of thumb is to allow around eight minutes of cooking per inch thickness of fish, grilling skin down first. Keep the lid closed as much as you can as this will help the fish to cook more evenly as well. For seafood, cooking times and techniques vary. Watch to see how you can grill shrimp and sear scallops on a Kamado Joe.
Once your main dish looks done, carefully pull it off the grill and check it. The meat will be done if it is opaque (white fish, shrimp, scallops, and lobster) or light pink (red fish) in color. Let your dish rest for a couple minutes to allow the juices to settle. Then, serve and enjoy!
Now that you have some great tips on how to grill fish and seafood perfectly, it’s time to try these ideas out for yourself. If you are looking for a grill or want to upgrade what you have, Juniper has a wonderful selection of pellet grills and ceramic smokers that are perfect for grilling fish, seafood or anything else. So, get your grill, fire it up, and cook a delicious meal for you and your family to enjoy.