Prep Your Grill

Since fish is delicate and breaks apart easily, thoroughly clean your grate before grilling by letting it sit on high heat for at least ten minutes. Also, you can rub the grill with oil multiple times to further prevent sticking. You might even consider using a fish basket or wrapping the meat in foil. For more info on how to clean your grill before and after grilling, read “Outdoor Cooking Tips.”

Prep Your Fish

Coating your fish in oil or fat is a good way to flavor the meat and prevent breaking. Try olive oil or mayonnaise (the mayonnaise flavor will cook off during the grilling process).

Seasoning fish can always be tricky. Here’s some popular seasonings to use:

  • lemon pepper
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parsley, basil, cilantro
  • garlic
  • lemon juice

Here’s some recipes for fish seasonings.

Fillets & Steaks

Keep your grill on medium to high heat. Thick fillets like salmon, halibut and snapper are good for the grill; thin cuts like flounder and tilapia are often too delicate and end up sticking to your grate.

Completely dry your fish with a paper towel and then brush with oil (vegetable or olive).

Sear the skin side first and then flip the fish and sear the other side. Try putting your fish across the grate at an angle, like in this picture, so it’s easier to flip.

fish fillet on grill grate






Use a thin metal spatula instead of a fork or tongs, like this picture. Tongs or forks will tear your meat apart.
grilling fish with spatula






Put the lid down to allow the fish to cook evenly. Most websites will tell you to allow 5 minutes of cooking time per each 1/2 inch of thickness, but this can lead to dry fillets. Start out with 3.5 or 4 minutes per 1/2 inch (or about 8 minutes for inch-thick pieces). If you go to slip the spatula under the fish and it sticks, it probably needs about 20 more seconds on that side. Be careful to not overcook it, though.

A fully coked fish should be tender and pull apart easily. Once your fish is done, carefully remove it from the grill and enjoy!



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