A couple of months ago, I did an episode in which I grilled a Red Snapper. The skin got stuck to the grill grates and came right off the fish, even though the fish itself was pretty good! But it didn’t have the crispy skin I was looking for. You guys gave me tons of comments and ideas (thank you!!) how to grill better fish, so I’m giving fish a second try. This time, I’m hoping to get that crispy skin that I was looking for the first time around.
In my quest to finding the perfect way to grill a fish, I did it two different ways: Directly on the grill, making sure I really oil the grill grates and the fish, and also using a Fish Basket, which many of you recommended.
Let’s see if I can do better today, so let me show you how to do it!
- Light your charcoal and set your grill to cook at medium direct heat, around 400 degrees.
- If you can, buy your fish already clean and descaled, otherwise clean and descale it now. Score the outside of the fish with deep pockets to help absorb the flavor.
- Stuff the inside of the fish with sliced lemons and herbs such as thyme and dill.
- Drizzle the fish with oil and rub it with salt and pepper inside and out.
First method: directly on the grill
Use a grill brush and paper towel to clean and oil your grill grate to prevent the fish from sticking.
Also oil the fish thoroughly on both sides. I used a spray avocado oil.
Place on the grill, you can also grill lemons at the same time.
Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes each side, until the fish releases from the grill. Serve with grilled lemons for extra flavor.
Second method: using a Fish Basket
- Oil the fish basket and the fish thoroughly to prevent the skin from sticking.
- Place the fish on the fish basket and set on the grill. You can also grill lemons at the same time.
- Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes each side until the meat is white and flaky. You can even turn it back and forth many times as the fish basket makes this easier to do. Serve with grilled lemons for extra flavor.
So what's the takeaway?
I think I did much better directly on the grill. But one of the fish burned a little bit, but I was able to salvage the entire skin. On both sides, the amazing crispy skin that did not come off and the fish looks beautiful. I was more nervous though of making sure I flipped it and took it off the grill at the right time!
At the same time, the fish that we did in the basket was way easier to cook, and I didn’t burn it all but it doesn’t have any charring. My greatest fear however is that the skin sticks to the basket, even though I oiled both the basket and the fish thoroughly! And guess what, it did kind of stick to the basket but I was able to work on it with a fork. Some of the skin came off but the fish looks nice and flaky.
As for the taste, add some of the grilled lemon juice and eat away! Both fish were actually very good. The charred one (directly on the grill) maybe had a stronger taste that I like but maybe my family wouldn't because they would find it overly cooked or a bit burned!
Maybe next time I will try grilling fish on a salt block or plank and instead of doing whole fish, we can do a fillet!
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