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Old 10-30-2014, 07:47 AM   #1
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Grilling fish - I give up

I have been trying for a while now to grill fish. We love it in resturants but I have a less than successful results at home. I tried every method of oiling the grill grates and the fish stuck everytime, using tearing it up when removed. I bought those folding wire racks, oiled them and the fish still stick. Any TnT methods you guys have to keep it from sticking? Our fav fish is Mahi. Also what seasons do you use?

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Old 10-30-2014, 08:58 AM   #2
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Well,,I sort of stumbled on your thread from looking around for my favorite cereal off all time rice crispy marshmallows but that's another show.

Ok back to your fish dilemma which I believe I can help you with that. Now do you know why your method doesn't resemble your fav fish restaurant? It's because they don't use the grill so why should you.

I love grilling esp,with real fire for the char n smokiness but no matter how much I grease it the skin will stick n ruin everything. Plus grilling tends to dry out your fish more so than the oven, steaming, etc.

Here's the best part ok, the easiest n quickest way is what most fish house cook their fish is the broiler. Yep that's right, ,..8 min & my piece of salmon is crispy yet still moist n juicy on the inside.

And wait, that's not all. It's actually better with the ole trusty toaster oven right on your counter. Hopefully it's of the convection variety, that's the secret. We have a 10 yr old black n decker infrared oven & a new fancy Cuisinart convection but the older B&D does a better job.

I've tried it in the big oven it's alright, but the toaster oven perhaps with smaller area heats up faster & clean up is much easier. Honestly, my fish comes out under 10 min like red lobster.

It helps that I get our fish at Whole foods which will surprise most ppl that it's no more than Albertsons or Ralph's. The salmon is $8/lb, whole trout is really cheap $7/lb and their fish is the freshest, they have new stock every single day at 10am.

I don't even bother anywhere else because I got tired of getting near rotten fish from costco, Frazier farms time after time plus it's the same price so it's a no brainer for me.
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:41 AM   #3
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I have real good luck grilling salmon, tuna steak, trout, mahi mahi, and more fatty/meaty fish varieties. Oiling the grates is only part of the equation. There are three tricks I've found.

First, rub oil on the fish when applying seasonings. Speaking of which, I don't do marinades when grilling fish because 1.) the acidity tends to break down the meat, and 2.) it seems to produce a drier texture.

Second, this is one instance where you don't want a screaming hot grill, because what happens is that the fish finishes cooking before the grates "release" the meat. If you're using a gas grill, turn down the heat. If you're using charcoal, use the indirect heat method, and use about 2/3 of the briquets you would use for something like, say, steak. I actually stack all the charcoal on one side and cook the fish on the other. Again, don't put your fish on until after the coals burn down a bit and are white all over. Spread them out a little.

Last, if you still have trouble with it sticking, put a piece of foil over the grates and spray it first with non-stick spray. Then cook your fish on the foil.

Don't overcook your fish. If it's turning out consistently dry, you're cooking it too long. I just use the finger poke test for doneness. If the meat has turned opaque and has just a little give when you press on it, it's done. Take it off the grill and let it set for a few minutes to finish cooking off the grill. If there's no give and it just flakes apart, it's overcooked at that point. Cooking it until it's just done will help maintain the integrity of the flesh and keep it intact.

I should also add that I don't bother grilling small delicate varieties like sunfish, bluegill, or tilapia. Not even with one of those fish holder rack thingies. They just cook too fast and dry out quickly like you say. There's a reason they call those "pan fish." Of course, you can always use your pan on the grill

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Old 10-30-2014, 09:53 PM   #4
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I have never worked in a professional kitchen before,
but I can tell you how I grill Mahi Mahi
(I can only get frozen from the Pacific)
get your grill glowing hot
(I use a gas grill, so I leave it to heat for about 10 minutes on high)
pat your fish very dry with paper towels
brush with a neutral oil
(I've been using spray canola oil)
(I use S&P and garlic powder)
put fish on the grill and DO NOT TOUCH until it's ready to release
(it'll give easily, no sticking,
the first side you put down is your presentation side on the plate)
flip using a spatula, not tongs
the second side will not take long to cook, so watch it closely
remove and cover with tin foil to rest for about 5 minutes or so,
other wise all of those lovely juices will run out as soon you
cut into it, as any meat will do (beef, pork, lamb, chicken)
and you'll have BONE DRY fish, not appetizing at all
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we enjoy our fish with wasabi and shoyu
Steve, your fish looks scrumptious!
The literal meaning of aloha is "the presence of breath" or "the breath of life." It comes from "Alo," meaning presence, front and face, and "ha," meaning breath.
Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:12 AM   #5
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What Steve said regarding charcoal grills. One thing I will add is never put the lid on when grilling fish. Especially thin filets.
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus and C. batesii.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #6
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When camping we wrap fresh catfish in tin foil and put it right on the coals.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:59 PM   #7
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Grill fish whole when possible. Or have the fillet thick enough so the fish doesn't crumble when flipping.

Maybe its your seasoning that is sticking.

Try to wrap the fish in foil but don't wrap it up tight so that the smoke can flavor the fish inside.

If grilling straight on the rack, make sure the rack is hot.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:03 PM   #8
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Your fish shouldn't stick as long as your grates are well seasoned and screaming hot.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:46 PM   #9
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You are making a Government project out of cooking some fish. Simply dredge the fillets in flour before grilling them.
The older I get, the harder it is to tolerate STUPID!
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:47 AM   #10
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Lay some lemon slices on the grill and place your fillet on top. A cedar plank works good too.
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