Grilling Fish From Start to Finish
Simple Tricks for Grilling Fish
There are many kinds of fish and seafood, and generally speaking, they are all relatively simple to grill. There are, however, some grilling tips that could make the difference between eating fish grilled to perfection, or just cooking fish that is edible, but not that good.
The first thing you need to know is how to choose the right fish or seafood. Every kind of fish has its own taste and texture, and grilling the one you want at the time requires a little knowledge towards that taste and texture.
Choosing the right grilling fish:
The first thing you should know is that firm fish and seafood are the easiest to grill. The meatier and firmer they are, the better they hold together during the cooking and turning over during the grilling process.
Some of the firmer fish and include: swordfish, salmon, tuna, grouper, and squid.
Some medium-firm textured fish include: halibut, mackerel, monkfish, sea bass, red snapper, and mahi-mahi.
Many softer, or more tender fish work well on the grill also, but you have to keep a close eye on the fish and the heat of the grill while they cook. Some of the more tender fish include: striped bass, trout, and bluefish.5 Tips to Prevent Sticking:
1) Use a brass-bristle brush to get a really clean cooking grate.
2) Coat the fish on all sides with a little oil before grilling.
3) Grilling fish usually require high heat in order to develop a caramelized crust between the flesh and the grate.
4) Show a lot of patience, and try to leave the fish alone. Caramelization happens faster when the fish stays in one place on the grate. Keep the grill lid closed as much as possible, and turn the fish only once.
5) Get your timing down. The first side of the fish that hits the grate will be the side you will look at on the plate. If you grill this side a few minutes longer than the other, it will release easier off the grate. It will also look great, as it will have perfect grill marks.
Doneness of Fish:
You should never overcook fish. Always get it off the grill before it starts to flake by itself. Perfectly cooked fish will have an internal temperature of 125-130 degrees, although that is tough to measure in fillets or steaks. Visually, the fish should have an opaque look about it, and feel firm to the touch, but not falling apart.
As for shellfish, they don't flake, but they do turn an opaque, pearly white color at the center of the flesh when cooked properly. The only way you will know for sure how the center looks is when you cut into it, so it might be a good idea to plan and sacrifice a couple of pieces should they be undercooked. If they are done, the cook gets to eat them for a snack.
Follow these tips using your favorite grilled fish recipes, and you will soon be on your way to grilling fish perfection.
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