When cooking fish, there are two things that can quickly ruin your meal- dry heat and very hot or burnt grills. That is why it is important to have good grill marks on your fish!
Grill marks come from browning of the meat due to exposure to heated air. The more exposed surface area, the faster the meat will cook and burn which results in darker, richer flavor and texture. The best way to get great grill marks on any kind of fresh seafood is by prepping the food ahead of time and then just putting it onto the grill when you’re ready to eat!
There are several ways to achieve this with no needed equipment beyond a grill. We will go over some easy recipes here!
How to Make Perfect Grilled Salmon
The easiest way to make grilled salmon is by starting with raw salmon fillets and baking or broiling them until warm. Then, while still warm, roll the salmon in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Finally, put the rolled up pieces of salmon onto a greased grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side (or as directed by the type of salmon).
This method works because the oils in the olive mixture help promote crispy, golden grill marks.
Use a fish sauce mixture
One of our favorite ways to get grill marks on meat or chicken is by using a liquid that contains salt, sugar, and acid. These three components work together to create an effect called browning, which occurs when moisture in the food reacts with the ingredient in the burners.
The flavor and texture of the cooked meat or chicken comes from this reaction. Because water evaporates during cooking, there’s less water for the browning agent to work with as the meat dries out.
That’s why lean meats like steak can sometimes taste dry — the browning process doesn’t happen as much because there’s not as much water left over to react.
With seafood, however, there are usually more leftover liquids, so your grilled fish will be slightly wet with some of the browning liquid. That’s what gives it its rich flavor!
So how do you make your own grill mark liquid? It’s pretty simple, actually. Just mix one part soy sauce with two parts rice wine vinegar. Add enough of both liquid until the color changes and the consistency becomes thicker.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper
After cooking your fish, it is very important to give it some flavor or people will want to eat it raw!
One of our favorite ways to do this is by sprinkling it with a mix of kosher salt and black pepper. This sets off any strong flavors in the fish and gives it taste.
After this, let the cooked piece sit for at least five minutes before serving so that the salt can stick to the meat.
Cook for a long time
When it comes down to it, grill marks are caused when there is browning or burning of the meat. This happens when the surface of the meat touches the hot grill, which then seeps onto other parts of the meat. The part that gets burned first will take longer to cook than thinner pieces, so they finish cooking later.
The trick in getting great grill marks is to make sure your meat is cooked all the way through before you pull it off the grill. That way, it will not burn as easily!
Remember, even though fish may take less time to cook, it can still stick and sometimes charred skin can come away with the meat, creating unwanted color and texture.
Use a grill pan
When it comes to cooking fish, there are two main types of grills you can use. One is an open-top grill, which means that you have to cook the fish directly over the fire.
This isn’t very practical because most people don’t have a good enough burn going on the barbeque to actually brown the flesh of the fish properly.
The other type is a closed grill, but using this one will probably create some ugly grill marks on your meat. These burnt bits of charred fat usually look really gross, so try to avoid those if at all possible!
Fortunately, there is a way to get rid of these annoying grill lines completely! And it doesn’t require any fancy equipment or techniques either. All you need is a grill pan and some melted butter.
Grill pans are just like regular oven racks with a handle attached. They are great for toasting bread or baking cookies, and some even come with a lid! If yours does not, then they are quite cheap to buy second hand.
Butter should be soft and fluffy, almost like dessert cream. You want it to melt down slightly when dripped onto the surface you are cooking in, leaving little strings behind. The better the butter, the more likely this happens.
Now, take your grill pan and dip it into the melted butter (making sure to spread it around).
Use a lot of oil
When cooking meat or fish at high temperatures, it can sometimes burn. This happens when there is not enough moisture in the food. If this occurs while using grill marks, they can become very annoying.
To avoid this, you have to use lots of oil. The trick is finding the right amount of oil for your recipe. For example, if you want to make grilled chicken breasts, then one tablespoon of olive oil will probably be enough!
But if you are making salmon, then two tablespoons may be needed because it can get dry. Try experimenting with different recipes and see what gauge people have given before being too picky about grill marks!”
Editor’s note: Grilling is an art form that requires practicing under varied conditions to achieve perfection. As such, we agree having some level of grilling expertise is important to achieving beautiful results.
Use a lot of salt
When cooking meat or fish at high temperatures, where there are marks or textures that show, such as grill lines or crunchy bits, it is called “grilling”.
The thing about grilled meats and vegetables is that they taste good because of the salt in the pan. The salty fat in the grill layer seeps into the flesh of the food while it cooks which adds flavor.
When grilling fish, however, some people like them very dry so they don’t want to add too much liquid to prevent burning. This can sometimes result in dried out and crispy fish though, which isn’t pleasant.
Use lighter colored fish
When it comes time to cook your meat or fish, you want to know two things: how to make it taste good and how to win “the battle of the grill”. The first thing is making sure that your food tastes delicious!
The second one is in the process of cooking the meat or fish, something called grilling. Grilling is when you coat the surface of the meat or fish with some olive oil and then use a hot pan (or grill) to flavor the meat or fish and also burnish the exterior. This happens due to an electrochemical reaction which creates different flavors and textures.
The problem is that not all foods taste great grilled. Some oils get burned off during the baking or frying process, leaving only raw fat behind. For this reason, some people recommend broiling instead, as there is no burning involved.
But what if we told you that there are easy ways to get ugly grill marks on almost any kind of meat or chicken? And what if we said they can be made from ingredients most people already have at home?
Well, your search for tips about how to bake with less butter ends here! In this article, we will go over five recipes using mostly just olive oil and milk as the main ingredient! If you try these out, let us know what you think in the comments below.
Use a hotter heat
When cooking fish, your grill or stove can get pretty hot. If you like your fish more cooked than raw, then this is not an issue, but if you love it barely warm or even raw in some parts, then make sure your grill isn’t getting too hot.
Grilling at very high temperatures will cause the surface of the meat to burn which may result in gross, ugly burnt bits that taste bad. This doesn’t matter so much for thin pieces of fish such as fillets, but thicker cuts like flounder or salmon might suffer from this. These overcooked areas should be avoided unless they are going to be discarded before eating (or if you like them! 🙂 )
To avoid this, Grills must be kept between 250°F and 500°F. The best way to check this temperature is by using a digital thermometer attached to the side of the grill next to the fire. When the sensor reads above 250°F, then you know the grill is already past its limit and needs to be cooled down or replaced.
However, we recommend staying well below 450°F since higher temperatures only cook the outside faster, leaving the inside raw. This could potentially hurt digestion!
Never leave a burning grill alone! Even a few minutes after the flames go out, the leftover burned material could reignite and start a new flame. Make sure to quickly put out the fire either with water or use of another burner until it goes out.