How to Grill Fish Perfectly Every Time
It's a hot Saturday night. You reeled in a juicy fifteen-pound salmon, and the grill is hot and ready.
You place the salmon fillet directly on the grill. Five minutes later, you smell burning flesh.
You grab the fillet and wrestle it off the grill. Flakes of salmon fall into the flames, and chunks of pink meat are glued to the metal.
You don't know what looks worse: your fish or your nine-hundred-dollar Weber.
The salmon is burnt on one side, but completely raw on the inside. You sigh and drop the salmon fillet onto a plate and it lands with a loud PLOP!
"Looks like its sushi for dinner, kids."
Grilled salmon with olive oil and herbs is a simple dish, but it allows the flavor of the fish to come through. Fish is tricky to grill. Unlike steak, fish meat breaks apart easily. Here’s how you can grill your fish perfectly every time:
½ cup of olive oil
½ cup cilantro
1 onion, peeled and chopped in half
2 fillets of salmon
Step 1: Chop the vegetables.
Chop up the cilantro and cut the lemon in half and set them aside.
Step 2: Brush the oil onto both sides of the fillet.
Be generous with the oil. This is what will keep the fish from sticking on the grill.
Step 3: Turn the heat to high on the grill.
Step 4: Grill the onions.
Cut the onion into thick slices, about half an inch thick. Grill the onions on both sides. If you’re worried about sticking, you can oil the onion slices.
Don’t throw away the raw, unused ends of the onions. You’ll need these later.
Step 5: Remove the grilled onions and set aside.
Step 6: Place the salmon fillets on grill, holding the fillet by the sides with your tongs.
Forget what you know about barbecuing steak. Never grab the fillet by the top or bottom, and use just enough pressure to lift the fillet off the grill.
Fish meat isn’t like chicken or beef. When fish meat heats up, the collagen binding the muscle fibers together soften and turn into gelatin. That’s why fish fillets flake easily, while chicken and beef don’t.
Step 6: When the salmon starts to brown, flip it to the other side.
Remember to grab the fillet by the sides.
Step 6: When your fish is thoroughly cooked, place it on a plate.
Serve with chopped cilantro and a spritz of lemon.
Step 7: Clean the grill
Remember those onion ends that we saved? Turn up the heat on the grill and burn off any excess food.
Once you’ve burned away as much food as possible, skewer the onion end with a grilling fork and rub off any lingering food with the onion.
This works best with an entire half onion, but even a small piece of onion will work.