Grilling

Grilling gives a smoky flavor and crisp texture to finfish and shellfish. It works best for meatier, firmer-fleshed finfish cut into steaks or fillets with skin. However, flakier finfish, skinless fillets and smaller shellfish can be grilled using a grill basket.

Prepare seafood for grilling by very lightly spraying both sides of it with olive oil or vegetable oil. Once oiled, season seafood with salt and pepper. Or, marinate the seafood in your favorite combination of juice, herbs, spices and oils. Shake off excess marinade before grilling to avoid flare-ups.

If using a gas grill, begin by preheating it for at least 10 min on the highest setting with the lid closed. For charcoal grills, allow the fire to burn down so that you can comfortably hold your hand above the coals for only 2-3 seconds. Next, clean the grate by scraping it with a grill brush then wiping it with a wad of paper towels dipped in a light coating of oil (grasp the paper towels with tongs to avoid burning your fingers). Both a very hot grill and a clean grill grate will help prevent seafood from sticking.

Finfish, large shrimp and scallops may be placed directly on the grill grates and cooked until opaque. Smaller varieties are easier to turn if placed on water-soaked wooden skewers/planks or in a grill basket. Shellfish, including mussels, clams and oysters, may be placed directly on the grill and cooked until their shells open-about five minutes. Discard any that do not open after cooking. With a little more preparation, whole lobsters, lobster tails, king crab and whole crabs may be grilled.

As a general rule, seafood steaks and whole fish will take about 10 minutes to cook for each inch of thickness. Thin fillets will take less time. If fillets have skin, place them skin side down and do not move the fish for at least two minutes to build up a crust that won't stick. If grilling smaller fillets, make a few shallow slashes through the skin, which will keep the fillet from curling as the skin cooks and shrinks.

 

***Information provided by our partners at National Fisheries Institute***

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