How to cook BBQ fish

Written by james clark
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How to cook BBQ fish
Whole grilled fish with lime wedges. (

Barbecuing a fish is the way to go for anyone who loves smoked seafood. It's fast, flavourful and easy to clean up afterward. Good-sized whole fish (0.907 Kilogram and up), large fillets and thick steaks such as swordfish and tuna are recommended for grilling. Panfish can be grilled, but are not recommended as they are difficult to control on the rack, cook extremely fast and tend to dry out too quickly. Save them for the frying pan.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • grill
  • fresh fish
  • aluminium foil
  • fresh lemons and limes
  • seasonings
  • charcoal and lighter fluid
  • steel tongs and spatula
  • Fish grill basket (optional but handy)

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  1. 1

    Grill fresh fish. Frozen fish loses much of its texture when thawed and tends to fall apart on the grill. Save the frozen fish for indoor cooking.

  2. 2

    Heat the grill and wait until the coals are white.

  3. 3

    Clean and oil the grill grate. These are the most important steps you can take to prevent fish from sticking to a grill.

  4. 4

    Grill whole fish in a loose boat of aluminium foil, placing lemon slices, fresh parsley and cilantro on the body of the fish and folding the foil loosely over top.

  5. 5

    Grill approximately 10 minutes over direct heat until the fish is white and flakes easily with a fork, but is still moist.

  6. 6

    You can also grill whole fish directly on the grill for about 6 minutes, basting with oil, butter and lemon juice. Turn over carefully with a spatula, and grill another 6 minutes.

  7. 7

    You can also place whole fish inside a wire grill basket to ease the task of flipping the fish on the grill.

  8. 8

    Grill large steaks like swordfish, tuna and mako directly on the grill for about 6 minutes per side for steaks about an inch thick.

  9. 9

    Place the steaks on a smoking hot, oiled grill. After three minutes, rotate the steaks 90 degrees and cook another three minutes before flipping them over. This creates an attractive cross-hatch of grill marks on the surface of the steak -- the way the pros to do it.

  10. 10

    Sprinkle with fresh minced cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.

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