grilled fish

3 Ways to Grill Fish and Prevent Sticking


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One of the most intimidating proteins to cook on the grill has to be fish. Notorious for sticking to the grate, preparing grilled fish can be overwhelming for beginner and novice cooks alike. So to help alleviate some anxiety before hitting the grill, we consulted "Grill Girl" Robyn Lindars who shares three simple techniques to prevent fish from sticking to the grill.

Types of Fish to Grill, Plus Which Cuts to Buy

Okay, so you've decided to grill some fish for dinner. Now what?

First, you need to figure out what fish you would like to grill. The best fish to grill are usually firm in texture and can stand up to the heat of a hot grill. These fish include:

  • Swordfish
  • Red Snapper
  • Halibut
  • Tilapia
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Tuna
  • Flounder

There are also a few different cuts you can grill. Most popular are fish fillets and fish steaks. You can grill whole fish as well, however, guests may find it hard to eat the piece of fish without biting into a bone or two.

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When purchasing fish, use your nose. If the entire seafood section in the grocery store smells like fish, run the other way because the fish may not be stored properly or it's a sign that the area is not cleaned thoroughly.

Fish fillets and steaks should be shiny, bright, and moist in the packaging. If purchasing whole fish, the eyes should be clear rather than cloudy and the fish should have a mild scent.

How To Prevent Fish From Sticking

How many times have you put your fish on the grill only to have it get stuck on the grates? To prevent this, pat the fish dry with paper towels to get rid of any excess moisture, then liberally coat the fish in a neutral oil such as vegetable or canola. This foolproof method makes sure your grilled fish recipes come out perfect every time if cooking directly on the grill grates. However, if you would like to skip the grill grates entirely, check out Lindars' genius tips.

Grill Fish on a Cedar Plank

Impart a smoky flavor on your flounder (or any other fish) by using a cedar plank. After soaking the cedar plank in water, place it on the side of the grill with indirect heat. Add the fish and a dab of compound butter for flavor. Let cook until the fish reaches the desired doneness.

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This method will dramatically help prevent sticking due to the nature of the plank preparation.

Use a Steam Packet For Moist Fish Fillets

Looking for an easy grilled fish recipe? Look no further than aluminum foil packets! Cooked on a charcoal grill or a gas grill, these packets keep the fish moist and flavorful without having to worry about sticking or flipping. Lindars notes that adding a compound butter to the foil gives it a great flavor.

Cooked over direct heat, these packets are great for camping!

?Got Lemons? Make Lemon Grilled Fish

When life gives you lemons, make lemon grilled fish! Over direct heat, add lemon slices and top with your fish of choice. Once the fish is cooked, serve the lemons alongside. (They'll have beautiful grill marks!)

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READ MORE: Farm-Raised vs Wild Caught Fish: How to Buy Sustainable Seafood

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