Grilling Fish on Gas - The Inside Scoop
Grilling food simply means cooking your favorite meal over a heat source - be it direct, indirect or a combination of both sources. A temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable to grill your food while there are instances where the temperature can rise to over 650° F. However, the required heat capacity, as well as the method of roasting purely, depends on the size of the fish or piece you wish to serve.
Cooking over Direct Heat
This method is used when grilling thinner fish fillets while the burners are set to medium or high heat over a gas apparatus of your choice. Since the fillets are thin, it cooks thoroughly to the middle when kept over the direct heat source. The job becomes quicker and convenient, especially if you are hosting a meal outdoors.
When preparing the Salmon or Tuna, it is best that you keep the pieces refrigerated until the time of the cook. Make sure that you leave the skin intact to prevent the Salmon from flaking or curling up. Once you have seared the pieces well, you can quickly take off the skin. Rinse the seafood well and pat dry with paper towels. The grill grate and fish should be brushed with a very thin coat of oil which can be of your personal preference. This trick is done to merely prevent the fish from sticking to the grate during the cook.
During the cook, place the piece of Salmon skin side up over the direct heat source. The ideal time for one side of the fillet would be four to six minutes which has to be repeated once you flip the fish on to the other side as well. You can stick the tip of your knife to the thickest area of the fillet to check if it's properly cooked. When properly done, it should be flaky and opaque in its appearance.
Cooking over Indirect Heat
In this method, you will make use of an area of the grill that is not located directly over the heat source. This grilling technique ensures that the cooking process is slowed down so that the centre of the fish can be grilled and cooked thoroughly without burning the outsides of it. When using a gas grill, you can turn off the side of the burner once it is preheated offering you a low temperature. The Salmon or Tuna is then placed on the indirect heat source which is the burner that is turned off. This method is ideal when you have larger pieces or a whole fish. You can also foil the piece of seafood to reduce the temperature.
Preparation consists of keeping the seafood refrigerated until the time of the grilling. The skin should be ideally kept on to prevent the pieces from curling up or flaking off. Similar to the direct cooking method, you can pat dry with paper towels, and if it's a whole Salmon, you can have slits on each side. A thin coat of oil can be used which prevents the stickiness.
When it comes to the grill, place the whole Tuna or slice skin side up and make sure that it is not directly over the burner or heating element. A tip would be to grill it for 10 minutes per inch of thickness and flip it over.
If you don't want to waste the fatty acids and oils that drip through, then the best possible option would be to have your seafood wrapped in foil. Having your fish in foil makes grilling quicker and simpler while all the moisture is retained within the small packet itself. There are many seafood recipes where you can incorporate, foil, a little bit of oil, lemon, salt and pepper along with your favorite piece of Snapper or Mahi Mahi.
If you have a preferred recipe or more grilling tips for barbecuing seafood over gas, please feel free to share them with us. I’m sure that many barbecue enthusiasts would love to change their meal plans and try out new cooking techniques. Let us also know the type of stove you used if it was an infrared gas grill, portable one, combo grill, built-in gas grill etc. Happy Grilling All!
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