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Old 05-04-2009, 09:29 AM   #1
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Grilling fish question

Hey guys, as I cook more I am more willing to try things I didn't eat when I was younger, one of those things being fish. Since I haven't eaten fish more then 3 times in say the last 10 years or so I don't have much experience working with it especially on a grill. Friday night I bought a beautiful fresh piece of Halibut (I am in the seattle area so it is fresh daily here) and marinated it in some olive oil and lemon and then salt and peppered it. I put it on a medium grill (about 2 seconds till I took my hand away from the grate). Reading seemed to say that 5 minutes per side should do it but it still looked a little translucent after 5 min on the first side so I let it go a little longer then I flipped it and did the other side a little longer than 5 min. My first problem was that the fish stuck to my grate (it was clean). So instead of my 1 nice piece I had a couple pieces and some smaller pieces (which I happily ate myself). Also, the fish wasn't as brown on the outside as I would have liked, these brown pieces were some of the most delicious. Finally.. there is like skin on the bottom of the fish. Do you normally leave this on when you server and cook the fish?

Thanks for helping a newbie out! The fish still tasted delicious but the presentation could have been just a little nicer.

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Old 05-04-2009, 10:48 AM   #2
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With skin on filets (salmon, halibut, etc) I spray the hot grill with Pam, put the flesh side down for just a couple minutes, then flip once to the skin side down, and don't turn it again. This works best with a grill with a cover like a Weber kettle.

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Old 05-04-2009, 10:50 AM   #3
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I cook a lot of fish and Halibut is one of my favorites. Fish sticking to the grill happens to me too. I am actually thinking of getting a grill basket to flip my fish in so I don't have to fight with it on the grill.

I have had more then one chef tell me that they spray PAM directly on their meet before it hits the grill. You certainly don't wabnt to spray the grill directly when its lit. A few hints for what a local chef does to their popular salmon dish...

1. Let the fish come up to room temp before it goes on the grill (no more then 2 hours). Its a lot easier to cook evenly when the center is not still at 32 degrees. They actually put their salmon filet's in the microwave for 30 seconds before it hits the grill.

2. Sear the top first and flip so the majority of cooking is done with the skin on the grates. The skin is great for transfering heat and most people do not eat it.

3. I think you had the heat a little too high if you could only hold your hand over it for 2 seconds. Try lower heat or maybe a little more indirect.

4. Toss some Alder wood chips and get them smoking before you start cooking the fish. Cook with the lid down so you get some smoking and baking. Talk about some good eating!!

5. Keep in mind that I'm still learning. There are those that are much better suited at giving this kind of advice.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:05 PM   #4
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I LOVE Halibut! I always do the "soak it in Italian dressing" thing then I Oil my grates real good right before putting it on. I take it pretty much from the fridge to the grill. I find it doesnt stick as bad as the room temp fish. (sorry chiles) Also LEAVE it on the grill for awhile until it's seared really, really good and that makes it easier to flip......sometimes you just cant avoid the sticking......but it WILL minimize if you oil the grill 30 seconds to a minute before throwin it down. hope that helps.
I used to get flash froze and flown here (colorado) Halibut in 24 hours. They were real nice too. About a solid inch to inch and 1/4. TASTY! I think I paid $12 lb. ( wich was a smokin deal). It was a my wife worked with his wife deal.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:42 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips guys,

db: That is a really good deal, I think I am paying closer to $18/lbs but the quality can't be beat. I think the piece I had was around 2" thick and it did turn out really great.

I need to make sure I oil up my grate and make sure it is hot before I start next time. I am predicting great success!

Thanks again.
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