Grilling Seafood—Insider’s tips from CIA Chefs

grilled fish
Seafood lovers! You don’t want to miss the joys of grilling this summer! With just a few tips and tricks from our seasoned CIA chefs, your next barbeque is sure to go swimmingly!

Chef Sandy Sauter

  • A clean and well-seasoned (with oil) grill is crucial for seafood, since it tends to be very wet, which can cause sticking.
  • If you have a gas grill, use a cedar plank to impart flavor to the seafood.
  • Most seafood should be cooked on the hotter side of the grill, so it has the opportunity to gain the flavor of the grill and acquire grill marks quickly. Then, before it can overcook, move the fish to the half of the grill that is set at a lower temperature to finish cooking thicker pieces.
  • To grill shrimp, lay 3–5 shrimp nestled together, flat on a cutting board. With the palm of your hand gently resting on top of the line of shrimp, insert two (presoaked) skewers parallel through all of the shrimp. This will help you keep them organized, make sure they all cook evenly, and help you to turn them over efficiently without any shrimp spinning on the skewer.

Chef Hinnerk Von Bargen

  • Shrimp are best grilled in the shell because peeled shrimp tend to get very dry and rubbery. Choose big shrimp and be sure to split them to remove the digestive vein before grilling.
  • Make sure to grill firm fleshed fish. Very delicate varieties tend to stick and fall apart.

Chef David Bruno

  • Fish like salmon, sword, tuna and mahi-mahi are the best choices for grilling as they have firm flesh.
  • When marinating fish, make sure to use just a small amount of oil. Too much oil tends to promote flair-up, which would affect the final flavor and taste.
  • Remember that all fish is tender, so when applying marinades that contain acids, you should only apply it to the fish 15 to 20 minutes before you are going to cook it.

Chef John Reilly

  • Think about having the fish already cut into individual portions before grilling.
  • Using a good metal spatula will make the difference when it comes to flipping the fish.

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