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On my seasoned barbecue, I usually cook pork ribs or chicken wings or other delicious kind of meats but i have never cooked fish and i would like to try.

What types of fish are suitable for cooking on the grill?

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closed as not constructive by KatieK, Mien, rumtscho May 24 '13 at 11:59

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

On the close vote, I think this question can be made appropriate and focused--it really is about I think what fish is suitable for cooking on the grill. We would accept "what cuts of beef are suitable for braising" I think, which is analogous. Edited –  SAJ14SAJ May 24 '13 at 10:40

12 Answers 12

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Salmon is very good when it's grilled on a cedar plank. The smoke from the cedar flavors the meat while it's cooking and gives it a great flavor.


You can buy cedar planks at many cooking stores.

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I love salmon on cedar. My first set of planks came from Woot - they were great. Then, as recommended by Alton Brown, I actually started buying untreated cedar at my local hardware store and cutting it to size myself. Significantly cheaper! –  stephennmcdonald Aug 6 '10 at 14:21
Take Jack Daniels, Soy Sauce, and Maple syrup (equal parts), add a load of finely chopped ginger. Reduce by half. Glaze fish as it's plank smoking. Delicious. –  yossarian Aug 6 '10 at 15:05
oh yes... salmon definitely! –  Stefano Borini Aug 13 '10 at 12:47

Salmon, Tuna, Snapper, and Monkfish, as already mentioned. Swordfish is also great. Skin on Trout.

Generally, what you want to avoid are very flaky fish as they will stick to the grill and fall apart when you try to take them up. A meaty fish is more likely to stay together. It helps greatly if you oil your grill well before putting the meat on and re-oil as you flip the meat. Skin can also help keep your fish together. Sear the flesh side first and then finish it skin side down. The skin may stick to the grill as you take it off, so be careful. Plank smoking is great for fish on a grill and by far the easiest method of smoking. That way, you can cook nice flaky fish too.

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Sardines are lovely barbequed. You need to get a cage to put them in as they'll slip through the barbeque. Marinate in a little olive oil and lemon first, if you like.

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mmmm, yummy :P –  systempuntoout Aug 6 '10 at 15:34

I tend to work with the fish that are readily available here in Minnesota and tend to BBQ/hot smoke* fish that other people don't.

In particular, I end up hot smoking walleye, tilapia and catfish. Because they are less firm and more flaky than the typical suggestions for fish on a grill or smoker, I tend to cook them on greased foil to avoid sticking and usually pop a few holes in the foil so the fish doesn't end up getting poached in its own liquid.

I think these fish turn out great when my smoker is right around 300F and I basically "bake" the seasoned fish in the smoky environment.

I usually season with "BBQ" style seasonings and I'm happy with the results.

*Hot smoking is when you both smoke AND cook the food at the same time. Cold smoking is the kind of smoking that bacon and other uncooked food (including lots of fish) goes through that doesn't cook the food, but does preserve it.

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I don't smoke mine, but I do the same with cooking on foil. I use individual squares, so I can move 'em around to the hotter / cooler parts as needed. –  Joe Aug 13 '10 at 0:03

Salmon, Tuna, Snapper

Those are the three fish I stick to cooking on the grill. They're not as delicate as some of the other fish out there, and are very delicious when cooked properly.

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Monkfish. It can be hard to find, but it is around. Very nice grilled. Like Tuna, it ends up with a very meaty texture.

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definitely salmon, tuna, and swordfish. any firm-fleshed fish, really.

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I grill salmon that I get with the skin on. I start with a lot of dill on the flesh side along with salt and pepper. Then a spray of olive oil and onto a hot grill for 5 minutes. I then use two spatulas to flip it over onto the skin side. At this point the skin helps to protect it and keep it from falling apart. Keep an eye on it at this point, sometimes the skin catches fire and things get a bit burnt. When I pull it off I use the same trick with the two spatulas. Works like a charm every time. Also, I use a gas grill and preheat it hot.

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Most fish works, but fat fish are most suitable. Halibut, sardine and mackerel are my favorites.

You could also bake in tin foil if you want to preserve the juice.

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+1 because of tin foil. –  nalply Aug 7 '10 at 16:38
@nalply I thought it was only used to make hats... :) –  Stefano Borini Aug 13 '10 at 13:01

Salmon is a great choice and it's readily available pretty much everywhere. There are many recipes for salmon.
However I have yet to see lake trout or simply trout up here yet. A fresh trout, cleaned with skin on and spine in (no guts, head, or fins/tail), can be stuffed with onions, lemons, a little mayo, and some red peppers. Then once wrapped in foil, it takes about 15 minutes on the bbq over med heat with the lid closed. The skin will easily slide off the fish and the meat flakes tenderly off the bone with a fork. Yummy :)

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Mahi-Mahi is extremely firm and holds up great, as well.

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You can grill any thick fish, such as Salmon, Grouper, Mahi Mahi. I look for the freshest fish at the fish market. I ask them to debone and separate the skin from the meat. I then keep the meat of the fish on the skin while cooking but also use a grill skillet large enough to handle the entire fish, making easy to separate and serve. Use whatever spices or marinades on the fish and enjoy!

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