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How to: whole fish

A great grilled fish just takes a light touch and the right timing.

  • 1 whole fish, 2–3 lb (sea bass, branzino, snapper or trout are great options
  • Lemon slices
  • Herbs
  • Oil
  • Salt & pepper

    A perfectly grilled whole fish can be enjoyed as is, but you can also use it to make grilled fish tacos or a delicious sandwich — like our grilled walleye sandwiches. And if you love this take on grilled whole fish, you’ll also enjoy this grilled salmon recipe.

    1. 1

      Fire up the grill.

    2. Light a chimney of charcoal and prepare your grill for a two-zone fire, moving the lit charcoal to one side.
    3. 2

      Un-fridge your fish.

      Remove the fish from your refrigerator 20 mins before cooking. This allows any condensation to come to the surface, so it can be wiped away before cooking.
    4. 3

      Fill it with flavor.

    5. For seasoning grilled fish, apply a generous amount of salt and pepper to the cavity of the fish, then fill with a layer of herbs and lemon slices. Pat the fish dry and oil the skin well.
    6. 4

      Start grilling.

    7. Clean and oil the grates, then lay the fish on the “gentle heat” area to the edge of the coals.
    8. 5

      Handle with care.

    9. Do not move the fish at this stage or the skin will tear. After 5–7 minutes, gently flip the fish over. If the fish is sticking to the grate, cook for another minute or so. The skin should come away from the grate without tearing.
    10. 6

      Finish strong and serve.

    11. If the skin is getting too blistered, move the fish away from the coals. Cook for another 5–7 minutes, then remove and serve.

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