Some Simple Tips On Grilling Fish
Grilling fish can be a delicate matter, as heat moves quickly through this light and airy meat. Another common issue with grilling fish is the flaky texture that it adopts during the cooking process, making it quite difficult to handle on the grill. It falls apart, it falls down into the flames, it’s ruined. With the exception of some of the more dense fish varieties, such as tuna, salmon, and swordfish, fish needs to be grilled in it’s protective skin to avoid over drying and flaking issues. Here we go…
A common method for grilling fish is to encase it with vegetables, herbs and butter in heavy tin foil, and place this pouch on the grilling grate for a flash steaming approach. This can also work directly on the open coals of a camp fire, but you may wish to double or triple the tin foil in this case, and find coals that are glowing slightly from the inside rather than those which are still on fire. Tin foil is a tough material, but raw flame and intense direct heat can burn through it, and your meal will be lost. On the grill, a medium flame is acceptable, as long as you watch for heavy burn spots on the foil. The cooking time, depending on your choice of vegetables, is about 15 to 20 minutes. If you have only pouched the fish, your grill steaming time is about 10 to 12 minutes for a fillet 1 inch thick by 4 inches long.
If you intend to take the direct approach to grilling fish, you should try to keep the body intact, where only the head, the innards, and the bones, if possible, are removed. The fish should be scaled and meticulously cleaned.
A simply rub of salt and pepper goes a long way with the delicate flavor of fish, as the flaming technique of the grill adds a great amount of aroma and stimulation to the meat. The skin, as mentioned, will protect the tender meat from flaking and falling apart on the grate. A fish that is 6 to 8 inches long will need about 4 minutes on each side in order to cook to perfection. Let the fish stand off of the heat for about 5 more minutes, allowing the internal steam to finish the cooking process. The meat should easily separate from the skin and bones when eaten.
For grilling fish in the form of steaks, you will want to use a medium flame and spice or marinate the fish to approximate taste before applying it to the heat. A steak of 1 inch in thickness needs about 4 minutes per side on the grill. Once again, allow the fish to stand for at least five minutes before serving. The heat keeps penetrating inside the meat, and cooks itself without the risk of drying over the open flames of your grill. Enjoy!