7 Tips for Grilling Fish

7 Tips for Grilling Fish

I try to grill some type of seafood once a week. Grilling seafood is easier than you think. Once you get a taste of it, you’ll be hooked! I always pass by the seafood counter at my local market to see what the “catch of the day” is.

Salmon is usually my go-to. It is readily available year round in most markets and can be purchased whole, cross cut steaks with the bone-in or boneless fillets. Salmon can be seasoned with a wide array of spices or rubs. That’s what I love most about it. One day I’ll marinate steaks in a teriyaki recipe, and the next time, I will do a simple salt and pepper with lemon butter sauce.

Fresh halibut is another of my favorites. When in season, I’m grilling it often. I like to season my halibut with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano. Once taken off the grill I’ll squeeze fresh lemon over it.

You can even grill whole fish!! My local fishmonger from time to time gets whole fresh Mediterranean Sea bass. Each fish weighs about 1 to 1¼ pounds.

There are so many choices in grilling seafood. Some of my other favorites include: Sea Scallops, Shrimp Skewers, and my new favorite… seared Tuna!

   Here are some of my tips for grilling seafood:

1. Flipping fish is easier when you have a spatula specifically designed for the task! 

2. Be sure to preheat your grill on high for 10-15 minutes and brush the cooking grates clean.

3. Keep the skin on; it will help prevent your fish from falling apart.

4. Brush a light coat of oil on the fish to prevent it from sticking to the grates. 

5. Grilling time for a filet will be about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

6. When grilling a filet with skin, I grill the flesh side first for 70% of the total cooking time, and then flip it to the skin side for the   remainder of the time.

7. I recommend ½-lb serving size for a boneless filet, ¾lb for a bone-in cross cut steak, and 1 to 1 ¼lb on a whole fish.

8. The most important tip…. Get to know your local fishmonger!!! 

What are your thoughts? (2)


Brent T

In Alaska, grilled fish is a popular dish. Often called a "Salmon Bake," they pretty much use the method you recommend. One way of preparing Salmon and Halibut like they do at Salmon Bakes involves a "Potlatch Rub." My recipe for that is: two parts kosher salt; three parts each smoked paprika and black pepper; one part each cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and celery salt. Rub it on the fish and let it sit at room temperature for about the 15 minutes it takes to heat and clean the grill, then apply the oil and grill! "Potlatch" by the way, is the name for gift giving feasts among several Pacific Northwest and Alaskan native peoples.


Mark Holzkopf

I am definitely going to try your "Potlatch Rub" next time I grill some halibut!!
Thanks for sharing!
Grill on,


Scott W

I agree with your tips, but I get the grill very hot and first sear the fish skin side up. You must make sure that you have oil on the flesh side so it does not stick. If done properly you can almost get a thin crust on the fish. You cannot leave it very long or your fish will fall apart. Most of the cooking is still done with skin side down.


Mark Holzkopf

Hi Scott,
Thanks for your tip!! I'll have to give it try next time. That's what I love about grilling seafood... So many options!!
Grill on my friend,


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