How To Grill Fish: Your Ultimate Guide

grilled fish with avocado sidings

There's nothing like the fresh taste of grilling a fish. When you grill a fish, you don't rely on fat to cook the meat: it's just the fish and an open flame. There is a natural taste to grilled fish that you will not get with frying or baking. However, you don't want to just toss the fish onto a grill. Instead, you need to know how to grill fish. It isn't difficult, but as fish is flaky and will fall apart easily, you need to make sure and follow these instructions to ensure the finest quality grilled fish in the end. 

What You'll Need

sliced fish on a griller

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You don't need all that much to grill tasty fish. While you are free to experiment with your fish, there are a handful of items you will need as you discover how to grill fish.

The Grill

Grill Prep

Grilling The Fish 

Paper Towel 

Fine Edged Spatula

How To Grill Fish Fillets And Steak

In general, fish steaks are thicker than fillets. The steaks come from larger fish, such as tuna or salmon, but there are other kinds of fish steaks you might have. Each fish is a little different, but there are some general instructions you need to follow when it comes to mastering how to grill fish.


Fish You Should Not Cook Directly On A Grill

Brush On Oil

Lid Down

Grilling Whole Fish

grilled fish with knife and fork in a platter

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As you learn how to grill fish, you'll discover that there are a few differences between grilling the whole fish and grilling a steak or fillet. For starters, when you grill the entire fish you'll want to use an indirect heat source instead of a direct heat source. So, if you're grilling, turn the heat of one side of the grill on and place the fish on the other. You will want to keep the lid down while you grill the entire fish.

Careful Spinning

Fish is delicate, so you can't be forceful while you cook the fish. As the fish cooks, it will begin to flake and break apart if you're not careful. So when you flip the fish, make sure to be delicate. Additionally, you'll want to coat the exterior of the fish with some sort of fat to prevent it from sticking. You can use an oil or a butter.

You can even use a Crisco butter that will not melt like regular butter. Some enjoy using mayonnaise around the fish, as it sticks better. This will come down to personal choice, so you'll need to try out the different options.

Aluminum Foil

When you are learning how to grill fish, you'll find it isn't always necessary to grill directly on the grate. Foil is a great option for grilling an entire fish. However, you will still want to apply some kind of oil or butter to the interior of the foil: otherwise the fish will stick inside of the foil and you'll have a nightmare of a problem flipping it.

To help add extra flavor to your fish, either in the aluminum foil or if you're grilling it right on the grate, cut down through the middle of the fish. Then open the fish and insert some lemon slices, fresh herbs, and butter. This will not only keep the interior of the fish juicy and prevent it from drying out but it will infuse the fish meat with these flavors. The beauty of leaving the skin on the fish is it will help insulate the fish as it cooks, preventing some steam from escaping.

Don't be afraid to cook full fish. It is a different experience, but it doesn't differ all that much from a steak or fillet.


grilled fish with vegetables

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One of the best meat you can prepare for nutritional value is fish. Fish is low in calories, high in protein, and a great substitute for other kinds of meat. If you want to avoid using much fat during the cooking process, you'll want to turn to the grill. Learning how to grill fish isn't difficult, but you need to have the right tools at hand. By following these tips and suggestions, you won't have any problem preparing delicious fish at any point of the year.


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