Packed with protein, fatty acids, and Vitamin D, fish is a nutritious and delicious star of any meal. According to the USDA dietary guidelines, you should consume seafood at least two times each week to ensure you're getting the right balance of these important nutrients. This summer, trade your burgers and chicken for grilled fish. Use these tips and tricks to produce flaky, flavorful fish for all your guests to enjoy.
1. Get the right type of fish.
Firm fish cut into steaks and fillets are easiest to grill over direct heat. The best fish to grill includes salmon, sea bass, swordfish, tuna, and halibut, which hold up well under the intense heat of a grill and are less likely to fall apart during cooking. Whole sardines, snapper, mackerel and striped bass also cook well on the grill.
2. Oil up the grill.
Any tutorial on how to grill fish starts with instructions for properly preparing the grill. Make sure the grates are completely clean and have no traces of previously cooked food. Then apply a light layer of oil to the grates and crank up the heat. This helps keep the fish from sticking to the grill and creating an inedible mess.
3. Wrap it up.
Although delicate fish like flounder, sole, and cod are more likely to fall apart on the open grill, you can cook them on a slab or in a packet. To use the plank method, soak a piece of cedar or maple in water and top it with seasoned fish. Place the plank on the grill and cover it until the fish cooks completely. Alternatively, wrap seasoned fish in foil packets and toss the entire packet on the grill. Grilled fish in foil is a great weekday meal because you can prepare the pouches in advance and don't have to spend much time cleaning up.
4. Skip the marinade.
Marinades are great for infusing flavor in meat and keeping it from drying out during the cooking process, but they are best used with denser meats like beef, pork, and chicken. Marinated fish is more likely to fall apart while cooking. Instead, lightly season the fish before cooking. Save the marinade for later, or browse through online grilled fish recipes to try.
5. Don't lose the skin.
For best results, leave the skin on the fish when you grill it. The skin helps hold the meat together and makes it easier to turn with a spatula as long as you've properly oiled the grill grates. Fish skin crisps nicely on the grill, producing an added bonus for your guests who enjoy the flavor of crisped skin.