When to Cook Directly on the Grates


For thick, STURDY FISH like tuna, mahi-mahi or salmon, grill it right on the grates. It will hold up well, especially when it’s time for the big flip. The same goes for shrimp, scallops and bivalves, such as oysters, mussels and clams.

Pat the fish dry, then oil it to prevent sticking and add your seasonings.

Leave the skin on. Even if you don’t plan on eating it, grilling with the skin on is a good insurance policy—it will be less likely to adhere to the grates and will help keep the fish together when you flip it.

Be sure to preheat a gas grill on high for at least 15 minutes, or build a fire in a charcoal grill and

let it burn down to high heat (about 500°F). Once it’s ready, give the grates a good scrub-down with a grill brush (debris can cause your fish to stick to the grates). Just before adding your fish, soak a folded paper towel in oil and use long grill tongs to run it over the clean grates. Reduce the heat to medium-high.

Don’t force the flip. If you find your fish sticking despite your best efforts, just give

it a minute and try again. It will release naturally when it’s ready—so patience you must have, young Padawan.

Grilling sea scallops or shrimp? Yes, you can grill each one individual­ly, but skewering them will keep smaller pieces from falling through the grates and make it easier to turn them all at once. Use two parallel skewers as opposed to just one to prevent your seafood from spinning and sliding around.

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