How to Perfectly Succeed with Grilling Whole Fish

Warm summer evenings are made for grilling in good company. Thus, it becomes easy to become a fairly one-sided meat diet during the summer months. As a change to all steaks, burgers and barbecue sausages, it may be good to grill fish instead. Here you get the best tips for a well-grilled fish.

Is the fish fresh?

Fresh fish has a taste and texture that really comes into its own on the grill. Therefore, try to buy as fresh as possible, e.g. from a fishmonger or dedicated fishmonger. Feel free to ask your local fish seller for advice – they have lots of knowledge about which fish are best kept together and taste good together with the smoke aromas.

If you choose to buy in a grocery store, it is good to check that the fish is caught in an approved manner and does not come from an area where the fish stock is endangered. Check certifications/markings to be sure.

How to make sure the fish is fresh

To know if the fish is really fresh, there are some tricks. It is partly about what you see, what you smell and what you feel.

Use your eyes, nose, and fingers

First look at the fish’s eyes. They should be clear, transparent and curved outwards. They must not be dull and sunken. The skin should have a natural sheen and be easily covered by a translucent mucus. The skin should be intact and firmly fixed and the gills of the fish should be clear red and without mucus. The fish should smell fresh of sea and seaweed – it can also have a slightly sweet scent. Watch out for fish that smells sour or a little too strong of “fish”. If you press your fingers on the back of the fish, the meat should quickly return to its original position. The belly of the fish should be felt. If the fish is not fresh, the mark will not disappear from your fingers again.

How to grill the whole fish

It is a little harder to grill whole fish than to fix barbecue sausages, but it is absolutely not impossible. Here are our top 5 tips for increasing your chances of making a “fishatic” success on the grill.

Whole fish do not get caught in the grill as easily due to the skin remaining. If you are only grilling one side, it is best to always do so with the skin side down.
Brush the whole fish with a flavor neutral oil before putting it on the grill. Then it becomes easier to get rid of it afterward.
You can also wrap the fish in aluminum foil to avoid sticking. The fish will then be more “baked” than grilled, but the smoke aromas will still provide enough flavor. In a foil package, you can also add spices or vegetables for extra flavor.
Use a roasting thermometer. This is especially handy when barbecuing because it can be difficult to know if the fish is done without cutting it. The inside temperature should be about 55 ° C when removing the fish from the grill. At that temperature, the meat is grilled and still juicy.
Most fish taste good with a little lemon. Divide a lemon and grill each half with the cut surface down until golden. Then squeeze the lemon over the fish before serving.

3 fish that are good to grill

There are almost no limits to what you can cook on the grill and this applies to fish as well. For beginners, however, it is easiest to start with oily fish that can withstand high heat.

Salmon for the beginner
Salmon is a bit of a favorite in many homes and makes itself excellent on the grill. Thanks to the fatty meat, the fish can be grilled directly on higher heat. You can cut some slits in the skin to prevent the fish from contracting too much.

Halibut to anyone looking for a challenge
Unlike salmon, halibut is a lean fish that is sensitive to heat. Therefore, you can advantageously wrap the fish in foil to avoid the direct heat. A good tip is to also throw in lemon, some spice butter and why not a little grilled, fresh spring onion?

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