My BigMouth Blog | A Blog by Jason Glover

Quick Dinner Ideas: Flaky Grilled Fish

We know there are a million places where you can get quick dinner ideas and tips on how to grill protein like beef, chicken and pork, but what about us seafood lovers that enjoy the occasional tuna or halibut? Grilling fish comes with several problems from creating a dry rubbery meal to falling between the grill gates, but with a little practice you can grill fish better than hamburger.

The most important aspect is to recognize that grilling fish is different than grilling anything else.

The Type of Fish

Before putting fish on the grill, you need to decide how to grill the fish—on the grate, in foil or in a basket. It really depends on the type of fish, which method you choose. If the fish is hardier and has a thicker fillet such as tuna, salmon, etc., then grate grilling is perfect. If it’s a flakier and more tender fish like Petrale sole, then foil or even a grill basket would be better. That being said, you can always place hardier fish on foil, but you’re not going to get the best char marks that are the hallmark of grilling.

Grilling Mechanics

The hardest part of grilling fish is keeping it from sticking to the grate. If a pork chop sticks, you can just pull it and off it comes. If you try that with fish, then it will crumble into pieces. To keep fish from sticking, pat the fish with paper towels to make it as dry as possible and make sure your grill grate is free of debris. Also, keeping the coals at a medium heat will help keep the fish from sticking.

Fish Flipping

An undercooked fish, like a pancake, can be difficult to flip without crumbling. If the grill is set for medium or the coals are providing a medium heat, then the bottom of the fish will sear. When it has a good sear and the bottom is crispy, it’s time to flip. Instead of using a single spatula to lift the whole fish, which could cause it to break, use two. Use one spatula on each end and flip. This provides ample support under the fish to keep it intact.


We have many wonderful fish recipes in Dads that Cook, so explore our vast site and see what looks good to you.