How to Grill Whole Fish Recipe (Easy Homemade)

Grilling a whole fish is exceptionally easy and is reliable to ensure you get fresh fish, as its freshness is more evident than that of a fillet. Additionally, it tends to be more cost-effective, even when you factor in the weight of the bones and head. I will provide you with a helpful foundation on how to grill a whole fish recipe.

A Mediterranean-style grilled whole fish is the epitome of simplicity, as it is as easy as putting it in the oven. I have shared a method for serving a cooked whole fish without cutting it into pieces, eliminating any concerns you may have. 

Grilled fish

However, in terms of flavor, the grilled whole fish recipe is my favorite as the dry heat from the grill makes the skin crispy and delicious, while cooking over hardwood coals adds an extra layer of flavor.

It can be challenging to grill a whole fish, especially if it sticks to the grill. You should be able to master grilled seafood recipes in no time with a few tips and tricks. We’re going to begin our journey now, pals.

Do You Need a Fish-Grilling Gizmo or Not?

The essential request is whether or not to use one of those fish-grilling bushels. I’ve tried the two different ways, and the response is that it depends on you since you won’t turn out badly with a fish bin, yet you also needn’t bother with one to barbecue a fish effectively.

On the other hand, it’s another piece of equipment to purchase, store, and maintain. In case you’re trying to cook beyond what each thing can handle, the bin can also take up some valuable barbecue grill space.

What’s more, if you know the beneath stunts to barbecue a fish, you genuinely don’t need to utilize one of these.

How to Grill Whole Fish (Recipe)

Grilling a whole fish recipe is easy if you follow these steps.

Stage 1: Prepare the Fish and Grill

The main thing you want to do when barbecuing fish is prepare both the fish and the barbecue. I prefer to arrange the barbecue for two-zone cooking, allowing me to transfer the fish to a cooler section or a hotter area, depending on how it’s cooking.

  • Starting over the higher-heat barbecue area: As a rule, beginning over the higher-heat barbecue area is better for the entire fish since, like in a skillet, the fish’s skin is more opposed to adhering to a boiling surface.

 Nevertheless, if it’s a hotshot and the skin is well scorched, but the fish isn’t completely cooked, I need to be able to transfer it to the cooler side without burning it.

  • Cleaning And Oiling The Barbecue Grill: The following thing is to clean and oil the barbecue grind completely. When it comes to grilling, a dirty and unoiled grill is more likely to stick to the fish than a clean, hot, and well-oiled one.
  • Preparing The Fish: Lastly, I prefer to take my fish out of the fridge approximately 20 to 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature. 

A cold fish tends to form condensation on the skin, while a wet fish is more likely to stick to the grill. Then, at that point, I rub the entire thing down with oil to help forestall stay.

  • Preheating: Whenever you’ve preheated the barbecue, cleaned and oiled the mesh, and marinated the fish, it’s an ideal opportunity to get cooking. My restaurant experience taught me to position the fish at a 45-degree angle to the grill, as shown in the picture above.

 This approach is essential to achieve desirable crosshatch grill marks on the fish, which requires a 90-degree rotation to complete the effect. Moreover, it’s also a practical arrangement for flipping the fish.

Marinate the fish
  • Positioning The Grilled Fish: I didn’t do the 90° turn and never got my crosshatches on the fish. It was ready to turn when the fish left the barbecue.

I’m more stressed over immaculately cooked fish than with faultlessly cross-hatched fish. I also place the dorsal side (the back of the fish) closer to the hot coals because it’s the fish’s thickest part and requires more cooking time.

Stage 2: Time to Turn The Grilled Fish 

  • When To Turn The Whole Fish: Knowing when to turn the fish is a smidgen of a speculating game. As a rule, however, I delay until it appears the skin has seared pleasantly before endeavoring to turn it. Most attempt to turn a fish on the barbecue with a spatula. However, that is the requested inconvenience: You need to slide the spatula under the fish. 
  • Using A Cutting Fork To Flip the Fish: Pasternak trained me to utilize a cutting fork. By embedding the prongs down through the barbecue grind, you can endeavor to lift the fish from beneath. 

Let it cook longer until the skin discharges. Thinking it’s prepared, the fish will lift straight up if you’ve designed the barbecue and fish well. And if you stand sufficiently long, the fish won’t stick.

Time to Turn The Grilled Fish
  • Checking If The Fish Is Ready: Utilising the spatula, I mosey it onto the barbecue on the opposite side. Then, it’s simply a question of sitting tight for it to cook through. It’s prepared when a moment-read thermometer embedded in the thickest part enrolls around 135°F (57°C). 

Once more, assume that you think the skin is getting excessively brown before the fish is cooked through. Utilize the cutting fork to lift it. Then, at that point, move it to a more remarkable piece of the barbecue to wrap up.

Stage 3: Serve With Lemon And Olive Oil 

  • When your whole grilled fish is prepared, let the fish rest for five minutes or something like that. Then, cut it up at that point, adhering to my directions here. 
grilled fish recipe

Concerning serving, you can eat by seasoning the fish with lemon and a sprinkle of olive oil. Or, again, you can serve it with a topping similar to this olive-and-tomato compote I prepared.


What type of fish is best for grilling whole? 

The best type of fish for grilling whole is firm and can withstand heat, such as salmon, sea bass, trout, and snapper.

What are whole fish grilling techniques? 

First, scale and gut the fish. Then, make a few slashes on both sides of the fish for even cooking and flavour absorption. Season the fish with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices.

Do I need to oil the grill before grilling the fish?

 Oil the grill grates before grilling the fish is recommended to prevent it from sticking.

How long should I grill a whole fish? 

The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the fish, but as a general rule, it takes about 10-12 minutes per inch of thickness. Turn the fish once during grilling to ensure even cooking.

How can I tell if the fish is done?

 The fish should be opaque and flake easily when tested with a fork. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C).

What are some good sides to serve with grilled whole fish?

 Grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, asparagus, or bell peppers, are a great complement to grilled fish. A side salad or rice pilaf also makes a tasty accompaniment.

Can I grill a whole fish on a charcoal grill? 

A charcoal grill can be used to grill a whole fish. Ensure the coals are evenly distributed and the grill grate is oiled before cooking.

Final Thoughts 

The grilled whole fish recipe is delicious and healthy that is simple to prepare, and flavorful. Whether you’re a seafood lover or just looking for a new way to incorporate more fish into your diet, this recipe is a great option.

You can create a stunning and satisfying meal that will impress your guests with simple ingredients and basic grilling techniques. So go ahead and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!

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