When grilling fish, some people like to use a grill pan or skillet as the cooking surface instead of using cook-tops such as gas burners or solid fuel rings. A grill pan is great because it can be used in either direct heat or indirect heat modes!
In indirect fire mode, the grill pan cannot contact any flames so all of the energy is directed towards the broiler element where the temperature rises. This helps create more crispy skin and warm internal temperatures for your meat and seafood. The trick is finding one that has very good thermal conductivity.
Good grill pans have very high quality steel which conducts heat well and does not get hot itself. There are many brands that make excellent grill pans with different designs and textures. Make sure to check out our list here!
Another important part of having grilled fish is letting it rest. Grilled fish will continue to cook slightly after you take it off the stove. Have a piece of bread to put under the fillet to prevent drying out and making it taste salty.
Pat the pan down with oil
When you cook fish in this type of grill, one of your starting points is to pat the grill pan you use dry. This includes using a paper towel to do so!
After doing this, it’s important to make sure that the grill pan is very hot before putting the fish into it. The hotter the pan, the higher temperature the cooked fish will be!
Because the bone can carry some flavor, leaving the bones in when cooking the meat can add more taste than if they were removed. If you are trying to avoid or limit gluten, then remember that the pan used while baking or roasting foods may not be totally clean. Some pans contain traces of wheat as part of their manufacturing process.
Choose your fish
When it comes to grilling, there are two main types of meat you can grill- red meat or white meat. The difference between the two is really simple: red meat contains more iron, which helps in muscle growth.
Because most people don’t eat enough iron, some experts recommend limiting yourself to one whole side of grilled red meat per week. That’s why we suggest trying broiled or roasted salmon as an easy way to get your daily dose of iron!
Broiling or roasting fish also works well because no fat is involved. This article has tips that will help you cook the right amount of fish without over-cooking it.
Make a marinade
While most people use olive oil as an edible oil, that is not always the best choice when it comes to cooking meat or fish. When baking or broiling meat or seafood, using butter instead of olive oil will give your food more flavor.
When grilling meat, using just plain white wine can sometimes taste funny in the finished product. Using balsamic vinegar as a little bit of liquid in the grill pan helps keep the acidity down so your mouth does not feel watered.
For fish, either water or milk can be used as a wash for the grill pan before putting the grilled piece into a dish. The soft fat in the milk or cream helps prevent dryness and keeps the fish moist.
Making sure the grill pan is hot before adding the salt or pepper really matters because this changes how salty or spicy the cooked food tastes! If the pan is cold, the raw materials may stick to the grill which could make it difficult to cook the meat/fish properly.
Cook the fish
After you have checked your grill for hot spots, made sure it is good contact with the meat you plan to cook, and ensured that it has enough fuel, start cooking!
Cook the fish completely until done both inside and out. The best tip we have is to use an instant-read thermometer to check if the internal temperature of the fish is reached. Make sure to take a piece of the fish outside to touch the heat source to determine if it is warm enough.
Once it is cool, cut into the skin to see if it pulls away easily from the flesh. If it does not, the cooked whole side will remain stuck so try cutting it down later or just throw it out since it will be too dry. Also remember that raw fish can contain bacterial spores, so make sure to wash your pan well and soak in fresh water before using it again.
Take out the pan
The next step is to prepare your grill or cookware. You can use either an oven-safe skillet, a baking sheet, or a large plate as a grill tray. If using a skillet, make sure it is tall enough so that you can hold it up while cooking the fish in the top area.
If using a plate or baking sheet, cover with greasable material like heavy paper or grease proof plastic until ready to use. Make sure this is removable so that you can put the cooked fish on the table!
Now, if you are very careful when removing the grill pan from the hot stove, it should come away easily without any sticking or burning.
Once cool, wash the pan and leave it to dry.
Let it cool down
After taking your fish out of the grill, let it rest for at least two minutes before cutting into it to prevent burning. Your hand may still feel warm from holding the grill, but that is okay!
After you cut into the meat, make sure to pull off any burnt pieces because they will just burn more as you eat the meat. The charred bits add flavor though, so do not throw them away!
Once done resting, use a clean knife to slice through the flesh and under the bone to separate the fillets or strips. If there are bones in the fish, then try to remove these with ease since hard ones can hurt if you get caught.
Wipe it down
After cooking your fish, its grill pan or plate is one of the most important things to wash! When you cook meat or chicken on a grill, leftover grease and burnt bits will stick onto the grill pan.
This can be very hard to get off unless you are careful where you put the grill pan and how you wipe it. If you don’t, then those left over flavorings may stick and burn in which case nothing good would come out!
To avoid this, make sure to wash your grill pan with some type of dishwashing liquid or water and use a soft cloth to clean all the areas. Avoid using steel wool as it could scratch and damage the grill pan.
After wiping everything well, dry the grill pan thoroughly before putting it away. This way any residual moisture has time to evaporate and the grill pan will not rust or clog up.
Use it again
Once you have mastered grilled fish, try something new! Grilling meat is a pretty universal technique that anyone can do, so why not apply it to more foods?
Grilling seafood does present its own set of challenges, however. Basting or brushing each piece of food with oil or butter can be tricky because most recipes call for cooking the fish until it flakes easily.
That’s why there are special grill pan products designed just for grilling fish. A few brands even feature recipe ideas and tips, too!
Some people also recommend using non-stick pans when baking fish in the oven due to possible sticking. Some types of cookware seem to work better than others, though. Check out our list below to see which ones are worth having around the house.