Grilling is one of the best ways you can cook fish because it creates a crispy crust on the skin. There’s something about putting a fish steak over the fire that makes its’ flavor stand out. Grilling fish is an art that takes time to develop. The best grill masters sometimes find themselves puzzled on how to grill fish for the first time. The problem with grilling fish is that it is a delicate meat that it can easily fall apart. Here are a few tips on how to grill fish successfully.
Don’t Take Off The Skin
Skinning your fish works fine with other cooking methods like baking, where you don’t need to be flipping it, but when you are grilling you want the fish to keep together in one piece. The skin does the perfect job of stopping the fish from falling apart. Not only does it help to keep your fish together, but the skin of the fish is less likely to stick to your grill mat than if you put the naked meat on it. It also does wonders for the flavor. Fish that has thinner skin, like Trout and Mackerel, are great to eat with the skin-on since it becomes deliciously crispy when its cooked. But if the fish has thicker skin, like Tuna, you can simply remove the skin after you finished and VOILA! You have a perfectly grilled fish ready to eat.
Prepare Your Fish
Preparing your fish to be grilled is easy and requires little effort. Once you take your fish from the fridge use a soft brush to apply oil on both sides of your fish and use simple spices like Coarse Salt and Cracked Black Peppercorns to season it. Grilling larger pieces is the best way to get good results on the grill but if you have smaller pieces such as fillets, then you want to put your fish inside foil packets which you can also fill with sliced veggies and herbs to give it additional flavor. Don’t forget to cover the foil with your favorite oil both inside and out to stop it from sticking and give it flavor.
Let It Be
Leaving the fish alone while it cooks is one of the simplest yet most important pieces of advice. Many people freak out at the thought of overcooking the fish. Once you have added your fish to the grill you must close the lid and leave it. The time it takes for it to be done depends on the thickness of the piece, with 4 to 5 minutes per side for each inch of fish being the perfect time. Over-flipping will only stop the sides from cooking properly so you want to leave it undisturbed as much as possible.
*Pro Tips: 1. Because you are using a grill mat, it is not critical for the grill to be well cleaned. You also do not have to add oil to the grates since the grill mat keeps it from sticking. 2. When using the grill mat, keep temperatures at or below 500 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal performance.
Artichoke, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Pizza
- ½ standard 12” pizza dough
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 large onions sliced
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 cups sun dried tomatoes in oil chopped
- 1 cup marinated artichokes chopped
- 1 cup goat cheese crumbled
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4t sp pepper
- 1Tbsp parsley for garnish
- Preheat BBQ grill to 475°F.
- Heat the oil in a skillet. Add sliced onions. Slowly cook the onions until caramelized, stirring frequently. It should take about 12-15 minutes.
- Roll out the pizza dough with no edges and place on the Cestari grill mat and carefully place on the grill grates. Close the grill lid and let cook for two minutes.
- After two minutes, open the grill and check underneath the dough to see if it is getting browned. If it is on one side, but not another, use a spatula or tongs to rotate the dough 90 degrees and cook for another minute.
- If it is not beginning to brown, cover the grill and continue to cook a minute at a time until the bottom has begun to brown. It should only take a couple minutes if you have a hot grill. The top of the pizza dough will start bubbling up with air pockets.
- Remove grilled dough and flip it over onto a cookie sheet:
- Once the pizza dough has browned lightly on one side, use your cookie sheet or pizza peel to remove it from the grill. Use a spatula to flip the dough over so that the grilled side is now up. Keep the grill covered so it retains its heat for the next step.
- Brush the crust before adding toppings. Arrange caramelized onions over the pizza crust. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, and crumbled goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper and grill for about 3-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
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