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HomeRecipesYour Ultimate Guide to Grilling Fish & Enjoying Seafood This Summer

Your Ultimate Guide to Grilling Fish & Enjoying Seafood This Summer

Nothing says summer like grilling and backyard barbecues. Grilling seafood is not complicated and makes for an easy, healthy and delicious summertime meal that can be cooked in just a few minutes. So, what are the best types of seafood for grilling? Seafood Nutrition Partnership is sharing some fish grilling tips.

The smoky charm of being cooked over fire brings out the rich, yet delicate, flavors of seafood. Great options for grilling fish include salmon, snapper, tuna, trout, mahi mahi, swordfish, catfish and mackerel, and shellfish like scallops and shrimp. All of these stand up to the heat and taste delicious when grilled. Lighter, flakier fish like cod, tilapia and flounder are delicate, so it is best to use foil or a cedar plank to cook them.

As an added bonus, all the medium-to-fattier fish that do so well on the grill are also the ones with the most omega-3s – those essential fats reduce the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, arthritis, and more. Prominent health organizations from the American Heart Association to the American Diabetes Association suggest eating a variety of seafood rich in omega-3s at least twice a week.


Here are some tips to successfully grill seafood and cook fish perfectly every time:

  • How Thick Is the Filet? The best fish filets or steaks for grilling directly on the grates are at least an inch thick. You can still get the delicious smoky flavor from grilling thinner filets, but to make sure they don’t overcook, wrap them in corn husks, banana leaves, or aluminum foil — or place the fish on pre-soaked cedar planks.
  • Avoid Overcooking: Many types of fish are delicate and tender, so you want to avoid overcooking them. The best way to tell if a fish is done is by testing it with a fork. Insert the fork at an angle, at the thickest point, and twist gently. The fish will flake easily when it’s done, and it will lose its translucent or raw appearance.
  • Try the Indirect Heat Method: If you’re cooking a filet with skin on, start with skin-side down for three to five minutes before gently flipping with a wide spatula. The indirect heat method, perfected by Chef Barton Seaver, is a great way to get crispy skin while making sure the rest of the fish is perfectly tender.
  • Preserve the Moisture: Proteins and vegetables tend to lose moisture fast with the juice dripping down onto coals when cooking on the grill. To preserve moisture, coat the fish with oil or thick marinade, which will help seal the moisture inside.

Enjoy this grilled fish recipe for Cilantro Lime Swordfish or check out other grilled seafood recipes.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Swordfish

Serves 4-6


2-3 Swordfish Steaks (approximately 2 lbs.)

4 limes, juiced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 lime, quartered for garnish

  1. Pour lime juice and olive oil over swordfish steaks. Season with salt and pepper and half of the cilantro leaves. You can cook right away or let marinate.
  2. Preheat grill until it is smokin’ hot. Grill the fish for 5-7 minutes per side until it flakes easily with a fork. Actual grilling time will depend on the thickness of your filet.
  3. Sprinkle remaining cilantro over each steak and serve with lime quarters.

SOURCE Seafood Nutrition Partnership

READ MORE: Heart-healthy cooking tips