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Tips for Grilling Fresh Fish
Date August 1, 2016
Author creative

Tips For Grilling Fresh Fish


Fresh Fish

Fresh Fish

Tips For Grilling Fresh Fish, how to do it right this summer.

Grilling Fish

Grilling fish is not easy. Unlike beef or chicken, fish is delicate and can easily get destroyed if not handled and cooked properly. Here are a few tips on picking, and grilling fresh fish this summer.


Selecting Fresh Fish can be confusing- there are so many species to choose from-which is best? Also, how does one choose fresh fish?


When selecting fresh fish from the seafood counter, ask to smell it. The fish should be free from any odors and have a slightly sweet scent. If the fishmonger is reluctant to let you smell the fish shop elsewhere.


If purchasing a whole fish, take a look at the eyes- they should be clear, and buldging. Stay clear of fish with cloudy eyes; this is an indicator of aged product.


Lastly, inspect the gills. If fresh, the gills will be bright red and not a dull pink.


There are a few types of fish that are easy to grill because of their meatiness and firm make-up.


They include:










Red Snapper






Before your fish comes in contact with the grill, there are a few things you need to do. First, make sure the grates are scraped down, and seasoned. You can season the grill by running a veggie or olive oil soaked rag across the hot surface of the grates.


Secondly, the temperature should reach no higher than 350 degrees. Higher temperatures will cause the fish to stick, and become over-charred.




Don’t over-complicate the fish with seasoning, toppings and sauces. Remember, the fresh fish is the star of the show, not the accompaniments.


Place your fresh fish on a clean surface, and coat both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Carefully place the fish on the grill, and leave it alone for 3-4 minutes. Flip with a fish-spatula, and cook for an additional 3 minutes. An internal temperature of 120 degrees is ideal for a medium cooked piece of fresh fish. Doneness may also be determined by touch.   Pinch the sides of the fish- there should be a slight, but not firm resistance.  Touching for doneness may take some time and experience to develop.

Fish Spatula

Fish Spatula


Carefully remove the fish from the grill, and serve immediately.


Chef Chuck Kerber


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21 Responses to Tips for Grilling Fresh Fish

  1. Charles Kerber says:

    Just what I needed.

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I have been over marinating, over broiling, and under salting for way too many years.

    Tried this technique last night on some yellowtail. Worked perfectly.

  2. I didn’t realize that you shouldn’t run the grill higher than 350 degrees. That is good to know so that I don’t ruin my fish! I would hate to burn dinner and waste all that food and money. What its the best temperature for fish?

  3. This is some good information about how to cook fish. I like grilled fish and it does seem like it would be hard to judge when it is done. I wonder what tips a professional restaurant has when it comes to grilling fish.

  4. Bhavik Vasa says:

    I love ur tips they r really helpful and looks delicious!

  5. Denis Genta says:

    thankyou for sharing it 🙂

  6. Now that I am out on my own I am wanting to enhance my cooking skills and have been looking at different ways to go about doing. It’s good to know that when it comes to grilling fish that there are some things that we need to do to have it done right like selecting fresh fish by smelling to make sure that it is. When I go out to get fish this is something that I will have to remember so that cooking it won’t turn out too terrible.

  7. Thanks again for all the help on grilling fresh fish! My wife and I love to eat fish but we usually have to go out and order it because we do not know how to prepare it. Just like you mentioned, not over-complicating with seasonings and sauces when preparing the fish. Thanks again!

  8. Grilling seafood does seem like a difficult thing to do properly. Even though it is super hard to do it tastes really good. Personally, I would want to get a professional to grill fish for me.

  9. My family likes eating fresh seafood, so, we all decided t eat lunch in a seafood restaurant this weekend. It was explained here that the fish must be free from odors to be considered fresh. Furthermore, it’s recommended to consult experts when looking for a fresh seafood restaurant lunch menu.

  10. I wanted to thank you for this advice for grilling fish. You mentioned that you should coat both sides of the fish with olive oil, salt and pepper. I’m interested to learn if there are other ingredients you could use to coat the fish, depending on how it should be prepared.

  11. Liz Hudson says:

    I’ve been wanting to get into fishing but I’m not the best cook. I’m especially lost when it comes to seafood. Thanks for the tips on grilling fish. That’s interesting that you could tell the freshness by looking at the gills.

  12. Devin Scott says:

    I liked your tip of smelling fresh fish before grilling it. My wife and I are looking to cook for our friends at our party and we were wondering how we can tell if the fish we will barbeque is fresh or not. I’ll be sure to check if the fish has any sweet scent before grilling it.

  13. That’s good to know that fresh fish should smell mostly odor-free, except for a slight sweet smell. I could see why that would be a good way to find fresh fish since I have heard that fish smell pretty rough if they are not freshly caught. I’ll have to remember that if I decide to try grilling some seafood.

  14. Tante says:

    Great Article and I agree that over seasoning can totally ruin a perfectly good piece of fish.

  15. Mason Smith says:

    I really appreciate you reminding me to scrape down the grates so that they are clean and ready to go. My spouse and I want to start eating more seafood because it’s really great for us. We need to find a supplier that is sustainable and provides high-quality ingredients.

  16. I really like your idea to ask to smell the fish first so that you can make sure it’s fresh. My spouse and I are trying to get more seafood in our diet this year. We are trying to eat a plant-based diet with more fish and chicken for protein instead of beef and pork.

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