How To Perfectly Cook Fish on the Barbeque?

Everybody around the world love to enjoy barbeque and with literally thousands of parks, beaches and specialized camping grounds throughout the world, so  we can make best use of these resources? People are cooking fish and seafood on the barbeque more often than ever making it much more of a entertainment in their lives. Barbequing sounds great for bringing out the best flavours that fish has to offer so cleaning the barbeque, or planning that trip to the park are wonderful and then, we can start enjoying.


First we must clean the grill or the hotplate thoroughly as we don’t want our freshly cooked fish contaminated with remains from the last barbeque adventure ruining the flavour, plus the fish will stick if the surface is not clean. The other reason for fish sticking is that the grill or hotplate is not hot enough! You need to get the barbeque hot enough to not only produce that familiar sizzling sound, but to continue to do so during the whole cooking process.


If using a gas operated hot plate or trolley barbeque it is advisable to preheat the BBQ for at least 10 minutes and then you will want to cook using a medium to high heat. If using an open wood fire or charcoal barbeque, make sure to build up a good sized fire and let it burn for around 20 minutes where the flames should then start to dim and create a perfectly heated surface.


Take your fish out of the refrigerator or cooler around 20 minutes before cooking, removing the chill from your fish allowing it to cook more evenly. Coat the grill or hotplate with a film of oil and lightly coat the fish with oil also prior to placing it on the barbeque to prevent the dreaded stick. Once you have placed your fillets onto the hot grill or plate, let them cook for 3-4 minutes per inch of fillet before turning. If they still have skin, place the skin side face down first as this will help to hold the flesh together and add a crispy texture. Once the fillet has formed a crust on the bottom and the colour of its side has turned opaque, turn them over. You’ll only want to turn the fish over once and ideally use a wide blade utensil rather than tongs. Cook the other side for a similar amount of time.


An easy way to check if the fish is cooked all the way through is to place a knife blade into the thickest part of the fish. If the blade then feels warm to touch, the fish is ready to remove off the BBQ. If not, cook for a little longer and do the same check again. The flesh will have changed from transparent to an opaque colour once done.


You can wrap whole fish in foil when cooking on the BBQ as it makes for much easier handling and stops the fish sticking to the grill or plate but keep in mind we do lose the BBQ penetrating taste and the crispy film without the direct contact. Add a bit of lemon juice or a marinade mix for flavour and make a handful of slits that are about 1/8″ deep on both sides of the fish as this helps to get the heat throughout your whole fish cooking it more evenly.


About the Author: Danny Bonney is a professional fish filleter and seafood industry expert of 45 years. For instant access to all of his seafood knowledge, visit