The Chef in Stead

"To barbecue" means to slow-cook foods at a low temperature for a long time with wood or charcoal.

"To grill" means to cook foods over direct heat and cook it much faster than barbecue with gas, wood or charcoal.

Grilling Fish

Firm swordfish steaks are super easy to grill. Tuna is also pretty easy to handle on direct heat because it is a firm meaty fish. Their dense texture helps avoid it sticking to the grills. The reason fish steaks are easier to grill than a fillet is simply because the backbone holds everything together. So salmon or halibut can be used too, but keep in mind that those are softer fishes.

Use direct grilling and the hotter the better. Do not forget to clean and oil your grate before you start. Once you are ready, super hot is the word. Also if you let your fish reach room temperature first, it will help avoid unwanted "stuckiness"! (This is because there is less difference between the temperature of the fish and that of the grill.) The fish also needs to be oiled. Olive oil will do just fine, stay away from your can of Pam.

There are a few things you can buy to help you grill fillets. A fish grate, or a fish basket or even cedar planking can make your life easier. With long pieces, it's always a bit trickier to flip it over, so a basket makes fish really easy to flip!

As a general rule, 135F internal temperature is just right for fish, but tuna is very nice rare (125F)

The best way to experience fish at its best is simply to grill it and once it's done, place it on a tray or directly on your dinner plate and add extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and sea salt and cracked pepper. If you wish, a few sprigs of herbs can also give you a fine fish experience.

I use oak coals to grill, as it gives a nice taste to any fish and it burns pretty hot too!

Happy grilling!

Private Chef Martin for Cooking Classes and Catering in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton.

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