Summer; while it resonates for some like an invitation to outdoor activities and pool parties, others’ taste buds awaken just by the thought that the barbecue season has finally arrived! For lots of people, BBQ means meat, but it doesn’t have to be. Grilled fish takes on whole new flavour tones, absorbing the flavour of charcoal and wood smoke. Though all that sound very tasty, lots of people are scared of cooking it because it’s delicate and can easily fall apart.
Cooking fish only takes a few minutes per side to be ready. If the fish fillets are an even thickness, sometimes they don’t even require flipping, they can be cooked through by grilling on one side only. One of the most important secret about grilling fish is knowing that some fish works better than others on the grill. It’s better to cook thick steaks, such as tuna, swordfish and salmon and avoid cooking tender fillets, as they tend to break and fall through the grate.
For those who decide to cook thin fishes, grilling them in a foil pouch allows for the smoky taste while keeping them intact. Foil pouches enhance heat distribution to the fish for even cooking over the often uneven heat of charcoal fires. No special equipment is needed and, cleanup is a breeze. Plus, this method of cooking is great for those who want to keep calories and fat in check.
Another very simple method to cook fish on the grill is to put some lemon slices between the fish and the grill. It will help to prevent the fish from breaking, especially if they are very tender like sardines.
The tastiest sauce for fish
One of the simplest, easiest, and tastiest sauces to add on top of your fish while is cooking is: olive oil, a few drop of lemon juice, and fresh oregano (and for this, it really has to be fresh). It’s particularly good with swordfish.
One can also have a great sauce mixing a clove of garlic, lemon, olive oil (about half the amount of the lemon juice), salt, pepper, and a spoon of cappers. Goes especially well on grilled wild striped bass fillet, added to the flesh side up in the last 2-3 minutes of grilling.
For those who want to cook their fish in a foil packet, we suggest adding inside the foil 6 halved chopped cherry tomatoes, one whole shallot, a little bit of fresh thyme and 4 spoons of pesto sauce. Close the foil and let the fish cook for about 20 minutes on the grill (for a medium size fish).
Now you have almost all the good tips to cook a perfect fish on the barbecue! Enjoy!
Written by Angelina Ti. Originally published June 2012. Updated July 2016.