Grilling a whole fish can be intimidating! You might think it is hard to maneuver, the skin will stick, or how to know when it is done? But grilling a whole fish is actually quite easy using your TEC Grill and the Infrared Grill Tray.
The grates of your TEC Grill are already fairly narrowly spaced, so you can definitely place a whole fish directly on the grates. But the Infrared Grill Tray has even narrower slots, making it even easier to flip the fish during cooking. You can also easily oil the tray, which helps ensure that the skin won’t stick. But the slots still allow for the infrared heat to penetrate the fish so that it cooks all the way through, while also keeping the meat moist and juicy. You can also grill other meats, fruits, and vegetables on the tray at the same time you grill the fish. This makes it even easier to grill your whole meal all at once!
We love grilling fish because it takes on that delicious smoky flavor! Be creative and add your favorite herbs, spices, and seasonings to flavor the meat. But the best part about grilling a whole fish is that it makes an impressive presentation when brought to the table. But your guests don’t need to know how easy it was!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The most important thing when cooking fish (whole or not) is to be sure it is fresh. So get to know your local fishmonger because they are a great resource for you. If you can’t get fresh fish, then frozen fish is fine too (in fact, most of fish that is sold “fresh” has actually been frozen). You probably won’t find a whole fish, though, if you are buying frozen. But the cooking tips below work for filets, as well as for a whole fish.
In terms of what kind of fish to grill whole, you really can’t go wrong. Just be sure to choose a fish that is around 2-3 pounds, so that the inside filets will be cooked through by the time the outside skin is crispy and browned. The most common whole fish you are likely to find are snapper, halibut, flounder, and maybe even branzino or mackerel.
PREPARE THE FISH
Rinse the fish with cool water, and pat dry. Be sure that the fish is gutted and the gills removed.
Make 3 slashes on each side of the fish, down to the backbone. This will help the infrared heat penetrate the fish, and help it from curling up on the grill.
Rub the fish all over with canola oil, and season with salt and pepper all over. Stuff the cavity with slices of citrus and herbs to flavor the fish while it cooks. Try lemon, lime, and/or orange slices, along with parsley, thyme, rosemary, or oregano. But whatever is your favorite combination!
GRILL THE FISH
Preheat your grill on medium heat for 10 minutes with the hood closed.
Turn the grill down to medium-low to low.
Place the Infrared Grill Tray on the preheated grill.
Brush the Infrared Grill Tray with some canola oil.
Place the fish on top of the tray, and close the hood.
Grill for about 15 minutes, or until the skin has browned and crisped on one side. If you check the fish, and the skin is sticking to the grates, let it sit for a few minutes longer. The skin will release naturally as it is grilled.
Use the Ultimate Spatula or a wide fish spatula to carefully flip the fish.
Continue grilling on the second side for about 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Fish is cooked when it is opaque, and flakes easily with a fork.
Remove the fish from the grill, and serve immediately.
TEC Tip: For delicious extra flavor, pour a sauce over the fish when it is finished grilling. We like melted butter mixed with garlic and chopped fresh herbs!