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3 Easy Ways to Grill Seafood

Grilled Seafood on a White Plate

 The recipe and photography for this post was provided Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi. 

Learn a few foolproof ways to maximize the flavor of fresh seafood using a grill!

Preparing seafood can be intimidating, especially on the grill. Don’t let this deter you from taking advantage of Heinen’s fresh seafood selection this summer! With a few simple tips, you’ll be grilling fish like a pro in no time!

Pre-Grill Seafood

Tips For Getting Started

  1. Whether you’re grilling or cooking with a pan, fish will likely stick to the cooking surface. The first thing you can do to help prevent this is pat the fish dry on both sides with a paper towel. Anything that is wet is going stick to a hot surface, so remove as much moisture as possible.
  2. The second thing to remember is to let the fish cook. It’s hard to be patient when you’re constantly worried about overcooking. Let the fish naturally pull away from the grill grates or pan before being flipping. You may cook the fish for 6-7 minutes on one side and only 2-3 minutes on the other side after flipping.
  3. Lastly, remember to use some sort of oil or butter on the fish before cooking. Oil or butter will help lubricate the fish, allowing it to release from whatever it is you’re cooking on. No need to drown the fish in oil, a few teaspoons can go a long way.

Cooking Methods

Grill Pan

The easiest way to cook fish on the grill is with a grill pan. Grill pans are cast iron and have built-in grates that will help you achieve grill marks and smoky flavor. Start by heating the pan on the grill over high heat (550°F). Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Make sure the fish is dry and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then, add some oil to the grill pan, followed by the fish. Remember to let the fish gently pull away from the pan instead of trying to scrape it off. This procedure will work for any piece of fish, although I recommend using a steak-like fish such as swordfish, tuna or salmon. If you close the hood of the grill while cooking with a grill pan, the heat will be intense and the fish will cook fairly quickly.

Fish in Grill Pan

Salt Block

One of the most unique ways of cooking on the grill is with a salt block. A salt block is a large chunk of salt that can be used in the oven or placed directly on a grill preheated to 550°F. The goal is to make sure that the salt block is very hot to prevent the fish from sticking. There is no need to season the fish before cooking on a salt block because it will absorb the delicious salt during the cooking process!

Once the salt block is hot, it will start to lighten in color. Once hot, drizzle some oil right onto the salt block, followed by the fish. Close the hood of the grill to allow the fish to cook evenly on all sides. After 6-8 minutes, simply flip the fish and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Fish such as grouper, sea bass, mahi mahi or halibut are all delicious grilled on a salt block.

Fish on Salt Block_

Basket

The last, and most practical way to cook fish on the grill is with a basket. This is a foolproof way to ensure that fish will not stick to the grill, as it will not touch the grates directly. With that being said, it is incredibly important to still pat the fish dry and brush it with oil, because it can absolutely stick to the basket. Using a basket will allow you to cook skin-on fillets and crisp them to perfection without worrying about sticking. The only other way to cook fish with the skin on is in a hot sauté pan.

You can also add flavors like lemon and herbs to the fish while in the basket. For this method, use whole, skin-on fish or any skin-on fillet, such as walleye.

Fish in Basket

That’s all there is to it! Have fun and get creative cooking seafood on the grill and remember, you are only limited by your own creativity.

Chef Billy Parisi headshot
By Chef Billy Parisi
Chef Billy Parisi is a culinary school grad who spent 15 years in the restaurant industry as a line cook, sous chef and executive chef. Now he develops, photographs and films simple and delicious recipes that will make everyone feel like a chef in their own kitchen.

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