Grilling fish doesn’t have to be intimidating if you master two basic skills: preventing the fish from sticking and knowing when it’s cooked through.
Follow these easy techniques compliments of the chefs from Regal Springs Tilapia to make your grilled fish perfect each time. And follow this link to a recipe for Grilled Tilapia with Fresh Tomato Relish.
Fish Grilling Tips
1. Select a thick cut to avoid breakage when you turn the fish. If one part of the fish is much thicker than the other, consider cutting uneven filets into two to avoid drying out the thinner portion. Cook the thicker half first, and when it’s halfway cooked, put the thinner half on.
2. Achieving a non-stick cooking surface is a two-part process: First oil the grill, then oil the fish.
If you want to oil before the grill is lit, follow these directions:
- Spray a light coat of non-stick cooking spray on the grate or wipe a light coat of vegetable or olive oil directly on the grate with a paper towel.
- Never spray non-stick spray on a grate if the fire is lit.
If you want to oil your grate AFTER the grill is lit, follow these directions (note: This technique is preferred since heating and then oiling is key to getting those spiffy grill marks seared into the fish.):
- Start with a very hot grill.
- Brush briskly with a wire brush.
- Oil the grate by tightly folding a paper towel and dipping it in vegetable oil.
- Protect your hands from the heat by using tongs to grip the oiled paper towel as you rub it across the grate.
Oil the fish, too. Lightly brush both sides of the fish with olive, vegetable or sesame oil. Take caution to not over-oil, though, which leads to flare-ups and sooty residue.
3. For professional-grade crosshatches, turn the fish a quarter turn after two minutes on the grill.
4. To prevent breakage, do not flip the fish repeatedly, and do use a wide-headed spatula. You can tell when filets are ready to flip when edges are flaky and opaque.
5. The meat is done when the meat is opaque all the way through and the juices run clear. If any part of the meat is still glossy and partially translucent, it’s not done. Remember, too, that fish continues to cook a little after it’s removed from the grill.