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Old 09-18-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
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Grilled whole red snapper help!

Hello all,
I just bought a wonderfully fresh (at least for our area) red snapper that I plan to prepare for dinner tonight. I've never done a whole fish on the grill before, so I'd love some advise from those who know. I plan to cut a few slits on each side of the fish and season with salt & pepper. Then stuff the inside cavity with onion, jalopenos, ginger, lemon slices, S & P. My main question is since I plan to cook the fish directly on the grill racks, should I leave the scales on to help hold things together, or should I scale the fish first?
Thanks for any help,
John.

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Old 09-18-2008, 05:27 PM   #2
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I suppose you could leave the scales on if you didn't plan on eating the skin, but mildly charred fish skin cooked on a grill.... mmmm, that's some good eats. And there's no way I know of to scale an already cooked fish. The skin should hold it together for you.
Clean and oil your grates (and the outside of the fish could be oiled, too) and if you have a SS grill screen, use it.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:06 PM   #3
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Thanks Pacanis,
I'll scale it and oil it well.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:15 PM   #4
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I always scale whole fish before cooking - whether roasting, baking, or grilling. The scales don't really help hold the fish together, & you 1) can't eat the skin, & 2) the scales can get into the fish flesh when you're serving up, & they're like little pieces of plastic.

And I agree that it's uber-helpful if you have a grill screen or basket. Nothing's sadder than watching gorgeous perfectly-cooked pieces of fish falling thru grill grates!!
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:08 PM   #5
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And it's like cooking in a SS pan.... don't flip the fish over too quickly. It needs to release, then the second side usually doesn't take as long.
Geez I gotta take up fishing again....
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:13 PM   #6
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Well, the fish turned out really well, dispite my efforts to ruin itThanks to Pacanis and Breeze for the recs. I did scale the snapper, but even after oiling both the fish and the grill racks, some of the skin did still stick. Guess I'll have to buy another grill basket,(my daughter confiscated mine). Overall, we were very happy with the results. Now that we have a decent fish vendor within driving distance, I hope to be grilling whole fish on a regular basis.
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:56 PM   #7
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Another method you can try - even with a basket - is, if you have access to any fresh fennel, rosemary, or dill branches, to grill/roast whole fish on a bed of them. Terrific aroma & makes a natural non-stick surface.

But I'm glad that the fish turned out okay & you enjoyed the results. Fish, even under the best circumstances & in the most experienced of hands, can be difficult on the grill. Just keep experimenting.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:23 PM   #8
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I would definitely scale the fish first.

I've never grilled a whole large fish before, but I have grilled smaller scaled fish (fresh sardine, pacific saury, trout) on skewers before. I set it up like a little bar, each person takes a fish, seasons with whatever they want, skewers, and we all stand around cook our own dinners. Accompany with steamed rice and tsukemono.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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I love grilled trout and...... you never need to worry about scaling it!
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