Grilling Fish At Home? These 6 Pointers Will Help

A light, buttery grilled fish with a dash of lime can be the perfect summer lunch, especially if you’re trying to avoid protein sources that can generate too much heat in your body. However there are certain things you need to be careful about when you’re grilling fish. Temperature is quite crucial when it comes to griling fish as fish can be quite delicate and retaining its freshness is important so it doesn’t lose its essence.

Moreover, some soft-fleshed fish varieties are best avoid during peak summer since they may not keep well for long or may not work well with seasonal spices. Moreover, there are some basic know-how that can help you cook better. For instance, allowing your grilled fish to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allow the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the flesh and this resting period allows for a more tender and flavorful end result, ensuring that each bite is juicy and succulent. Here are some other hacks you should bookmark for when you grill fish at home

Semi-firm fish is best

Delicate flaky fish may not be ideal for grilling. Opt for firm-fleshed varieties like salmon, tuna, seer, pomfret, swordfish, bhetki etc which can withstand the heat of the grill without falling apart. These fish hold up well to grilling and offer a meaty texture that's perfect for outdoor cooking. Additionally, consider sustainability and freshness when purchasing fish to support responsible fishing practices and ensure optimal flavor.

Preheat and Clean the Grill Properly

Before you start grilling, ensure your grill is clean and properly preheated. Preheating helps to prevent sticking and ensures even cooking. Heat your grill to medium-high heat and brush the grates with oil to create a non-stick surface. This step is essential for achieving those coveted grill marks and imparting delicious smoky flavor to your fish.

Use the Right Oil and Seasonings

Coat your fish lightly with a high-heat oil like grapeseed or avocado oil before placing it on the grill. This helps prevent sticking and promotes a beautiful sear. Season your fish generously with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices. Lemon zest, garlic, and fresh herbs like dill or cilantro can enhance the flavor of your grilled fish and add depth to each bite.

Invest in a Fish Basket or Grill Mat

Grilling delicate fish fillets can be tricky, as they are prone to sticking and falling apart. Investing in a fish basket or grill mat can make the process much easier. These tools provide a barrier between the fish and the grill grates, preventing sticking and allowing for easy flipping. Fish baskets are especially useful for whole fish or larger fillets, while grill mats work well for smaller pieces.

Practice Proper Flipping Techniques:

If you’re not too skilled at flipping fillets, opt for a two-pronged tong. Flipping fish on the grill requires a gentle touch to prevent it from breaking apart. You can also use a wide spatula to carefully flip the fish halfway through the cooking process. If you're grilling skin-on fish, start by grilling it skin-side down to achieve crispy skin, then flip it over to finish cooking on the flesh side. Avoid flipping the fish too frequently, as this can cause it to fall apart or lose its shape.

Monitor Cooking Time and Temperature

Properly timing your fish is essential for achieving perfect results. Fish fillets generally cook quickly on the grill, typically requiring 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillet. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your fish reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption. Overcooking can result in dry, tough fish, so keep a close eye on the cooking process and remove the fish from the grill as soon as it's done.