Grilled Whole Red Snapper

  • Recipe Type


  • Skill Level


  • Grill Time

    <1 hour

  • Method


  • Servings

    Serves 2

You know that I love to eat anything meat - steak, sausage, chicken. But my wife says I should eat more fish. I actually find that grilling fish is daunting, but after doing the whole fish in this episode, I realized how easy and quick - not to mention how delicious - it can be!

For this episode, I am grilling a locally sourced whole red snapper. The first time I ever tried a whole fish on the grill was when I was visiting my wife in El Salvador. You can see why. She took me to Puerto La Libertad, where you can get all kinds of the freshest seafood. You can see that fish market at the beginning of the Paella episode, it is really an amazing sight. 

It was my first time grilling a whole fish in a few years. So I invited my friend Ron to help me with what I thought to be difficult task, and together we tasted the grilled whole red snapper. It came out really good. The only thing is that you will see me saying in the video that the fish itself doesn’t look that great, and what happened was that the skin stuck too much on the grill, even though I put oil to prevent this from happening. Ron suggested that next time I try with a fish basket, because the crispy skin is really nice if you’re able to get it crispy. I will keep trying and find the best method for me!

The fish was so flavorful, and really the herbs and lemon by themselves on the fish, are just enough to help the fish flavor pop out once its been grilled!

Video Recipe


  1. Light your charcoal and set your grill to cook at medium direct heat, around 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. If you can,  buy the fish already cleaned and descaled, otherwise do that now. Then stuff the inside of the fish with herbs like dill, thyme and lemon slices. Score the outside of the fish with deep pockets, these help with absorbing more flavor and also cooking it. Rub the fish with oil and season with salt and pepper inside and out.
  3. Use a grill brush to clean your grill grate and rub it with oil. The idea is to prevent the fish from sticking.
  4. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes per side, until the meat is white and flakey. Serve with grilled lemons for extra flavor.

I was surprised at how quick it was to grill a whole fish. It took no more than 20 minutes! I am now looking forward to grilling all kinds of other fish like salmon and mahi mahi.

Have you tried grilling fish? What are your tips and tricks that you can share with us?


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  • We’re going to copy your recipe, since this we’ll be our first time grilling a red snapper. It does look delicious! Thanks again.

    David Strout
  • Looks great. Up here in the northern states we do this with walleye and trout. A basket is not necessary for these smaller fish. Fresh tortillas and lime are all you need to serve.

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