How To Get Started Grilling Fish This Spring


Whether it’s a trout from your local lake, striped bass that you reeled in yourself, or simply a fresh catch purchased from your local fishmonger, knowing how to grill fish can take your backyard BBQ game to the next level. Learn how easy grill-ing fish truly is—as easy as using your Instant Pot to cook fish–with these tips and recipes for the best fish to grill.

How To Grill Fish

Have you ever asked, “Can fish be grilled?” It’s a fair question because cookouts, by and large, are dominated by ham-burgers, hot dogs, barbecue chicken, and maybe racks of finger-licking ribs. But when you know how to grill fish, you can diversify your next BBQ with cedar planked salmon, shrimp kebabs, blackened halibut bites, and foil wrapped white fish that’s so easy, buttery and delicious that your guests will start to suggest that you open up your own restaurant…or at least be put in charge of the grill for every cookout this summer!

One of the best things about grilling is that it’s an extremely simple and easy process, with very little cleanup. While grill-ing fish can be every bit as stress-free as flipping a burger, and with equally as tasty results, the best fish to grill requires a more delicate touch than simply tossing some steak and chicken onto an open flame. This is because some fish does better on that open flame than others.

The Best Fish to Grill

Regarding the question you may be asking yourself, “What fish can I grill?”, the hardiest fish do the best on the grill, including:

Meanwhile, other fish, like the more delicate and flaky cod fish, are still some of the most delicious and best fish to grill, but you need to put it skin side down to get the best results. When it comes to grilling fish, the most important thing to know and remember is not to force it when you are about to flip the fish if it feels stuck to the grill. This is because, healthy proteins release when the fish is properly seared on each side, so once your grilling spatula slides cleanly under-neath, the fish it telling you that it’s ready to be flipped over!

Once the fish is directly on the grill or resting atop a cedar plank, you can rub it with a favorite marinade or the BBQ sauce of your choice, sprinkle dry rub all of it, season as you wish, or slather with anything you’d like to make the fish more flavorful for you and your family.

An Easy Recipe for Cooking Fish on the Grill

While not technically grilling fish, you can ease into the idea of cooking fish outside, while you are grilling other foods, with just 4 ingredients, and some aluminum foil. Here’s how to make the easiest and most delicious fish on the grill this summer:

  • Swordfish
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Snapper

    Serves 4


    Looking to get out on the water and catch some fish to grill this year? Check out the 2022 dates for free fishing, the days anglers can fish without a license and then discover a favorite new fish recipe.


    • 4 filets of white fish
    • 1 Tomato
    • 1 Lemon
    • 1/2 stick of Butter
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste

      1. Prepare 8 squares of aluminum foil.
      2. On 4 of them, place a filet of fish.
      3. Slice the tomato and lemon and 1/2 stick of butter. Place two of each slice onto each piece of fish.
      4. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
      5. With the other 4 squares of foil, make a tent atop each and fold the edges together to trap the steam and heat that will cook your fish while on the grill.
      6. Place on in-direct heat atop the grill for 15-20 minutes.
      7. Remove, let sit for 5-10 minutes, carefully unfold the edge (steam may be hot).
      8. Plate and enjoy!

Jeff Bogle

Jeff is a dad of teen daughters, avid traveler, photographer, and freelance writer. He’s penned stories on family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among other publications. Find him on his blog, OWTK.com and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the publisher of the quarterly literary zine, Stanchion



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