Fish Guide: How to Find the Right Fish for Your Guests

Grill Tips, Grilling, Kelly B's 101, Seafood

Some people go crazy for grilled fish. Other people aren’t so sure. A grill master knows how to cater to his or her guests, even when cooking for picky eaters. Here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect fish for any seafood eater.

For the people who love to taste the sea…

If your guests love the fishy flavor of grilled seafood, try salmon, shrimp, or lightly seared tuna. Fish with a higher fat content generally taste “fishier” and contain healthy oils and Omega-3 fatty acids that keep them from drying out on the grill. Oysters are also a fishy alternative that hold in the smoky flavor of the grill. They taste best when cooked in the shell. Shrimp, on the other hand, tastes best when shelled and deveined. If you plan on skewering your shrimp with wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes so they don’t burn up on the grill.

For the people who think seafood tastes fishy…

If your guests are wary of seafood, try serving a mild fish. Grilled flounder is sweet without the strong smell of the sea, making it ideal for first-time fish eaters. Tilapia is another great option that has a subtle flavor and is great seasoned. To avoid a fishy smell, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fish before grilling. The citrus scent will help mask unwanted odors while adding a nice flavor to your mild fish.

How to Grill Fish

Seafood is a bit tricky because of its small size. Shrimp, lobster, lightly-colored fish, and crab should be cooked until they are opaque or lightly browned. If they begin to shrink up or become dry, you’ve overcooked them. For darker fish like salmon, tuna, and other finned fish, 145° F is a safe temperature. The meat should easily flake apart with a fork and should not appear pinkish or clear. You’ll know your fish spent too much time on the grill if it’s dry or rubbery.

Don’t forget to toast!

To the birds in the sky,
And the fish in the sea.
To this wonderful food
And those gathered here with me.