Recipe: Fish on the Grill


Cary, NC — Everyone likes to cook burgers and steaks on the grill, but many chefs feel too intimidated to attempt fish. Don’t worry, with the right cut and a few simple tools, you will see just how fast, easy and most importantly, how tasty fish on the grill can be!


Type of Fish to Grill

Start with a cut that is of uniform thickness, preferably a steak or thickly cut fillet. Uniform thickness means that the fish will cook evenly and that one area won’t be over-cooked while the other end is still raw in the center.

Ideal for the grill: Tuna steaks, swordfish, salmon fillets or steaks, or Mahi Mahi.


Marinating the fish ensures that it will stay moist and tender on the grill.

An easy marinade is lemon (or lime)  juice, salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil. You can get fancy with rosemary, or dried oregano, or thyme. Whisk these ingredients together, pour over your fish, and let stand at room temp til your grill is hot, (coals are white, or the gas flame is on and even) and everyone’s hungry.

Other Grilled Fish Favorites

  • Hearty – Pesto makes a great marinade for fish
  • Spicy – Marinate in honey, lime juice and Sriracha sauce (Thai hot suace)
  • Asian Fusion – Marinate with soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger and scallions

Cooking Methods

Some folks like putting the fish directly on the grill. If so, scrape off the rack, and then brush some oil on it, so that the fish won’t stick.

You can also use a special “cage” with a handle that you can place the fish inside and then place that on the grill rack. It is especially handy with more fragile fish or filets, to ensure that the filet stays all in one piece, and doesn’t break apart when the cook tries to flip it.

When to Know It’s Done

Fish cooks very quickly.  Only a few minutes per side and it’s ready to eat. If the fish has become opaque on both sides and easily flakes with a fork, it is fully cooked. If the surface is still glossy, or when sliced has any translucency, place it back on the grill.

Grilling fish only takes a few minutes, so you want to put the fish on the grill when all other dinner prep work has been done, and you are only 10 minutes away form eating. Because that’s all it takes.

Tell us about your favorite grilled fish recipe, we may publish it!


Lead photo by woodleywonderworks.


Food on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Whisk of Cary.