How to Grill Fish Like a Pro

Grilling fish can be tricky.  It’s a little more difficult that other proteins due to their delicate nature.  Here are some tips that will help you create some good lookin’ good tastin’ fish that doesn’t end up split between your plate and stuck on the grill.  For the purposes of this tutorial we are using salmon.  This particular one is a jerk salmon that I will be posting later on this week.  It was goooooood.


The single most frequent issue that people have when grilling fish is sticking.  there are 3 important steps that you must follow to reduce sticking on the grill.

  • Having a clean grill
  • Having a hot grill
  • Making sure your grill is oiled

Having a clean grill. Whether you clean your grill after your last cook or before your next cook it must be clean.  You need that uninterrupted contact between the fish and the grates which is what creates those nice grill lines we love.  You can find tons of grill cleaning brushes and cleaning solutions on the market that can make it easy.  Just make sure you follow the directions and you get the correct cleaner for your grill grate type whether you have cast-iron, stainless steel, or whatever kind of grates you have.

Making sure your grill is hot enough is important because of how quickly fish cooks. Your grill must be screaming hot so make sure you give it enough time to heat up.  Some grills have adjustable components that can manipulate the heat level.  You need to know your grill and how it works to get the best results you can.

Just as if you were cooking your fish inside you would use some type of oil to prevent sticking to your pan.  The same concept should be transferred outside to the grill. Some people say you should oil the fish instead of the grill and I found that it is more beneficial for me to oil my grill since I have cast iron grill grates.  I like to use a simple paper towel soaked in an oil that can stand up to higher heats like vegetable oil or canola oil.  You can also use a grill spray if you’d like but I prefer using the oil that I have on hand.  Olive oil or any other light finishing oil is not recommended at all. Watch how I prepare my grill for cooking fish.

Prep is key!

Ok, now it’s gametime. Youve started cooking and now it’s time to flip. Dont be nervous, just take it easy. When flipping the fish, take a second and feel it out first to make sure its ready to flip.  If you try to flip it too early it can tear.  Use a pair of tongs in one hand to help grab from the sides and a spatula in your other hand.

Flip time is gametime!

Hopefully these steps will help you when you’re grilling fish.

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