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Grill the Perfect Fish Fillet

Most folks like grilled fish fillets, but they don’t like to do the grilling. They fear the fish will stick to the grate and they won’t be able to get it unstuck. So they order grilled fillets in restaurants and let someone else do the cooking. Here is how to get past that fear and start grilling fillets at home.

Grilled Salmon Fillets with Herb Butter

Click here for our perfect grilled fish fillet recipe, and keep reading for our foolproof grilling tips.

Buy the Right Fish & Measure Fillets

The most common mistake people make is buying the wrong kind of fish. Don’t reach for flounder, sole or other thin, delicate flatfish fillets. Go for meaty and/or oily fish, such as tuna, salmon, grouper, mackerel, sea bass or striped bass. Ideally, the fish fillets are at least 1 inch thick at their thickest point. Thinner fillets can sometimes dry out before they have a chance to pick up that good grill flavor.

Brush on the Mayo

Recipes often call for oiling the grill grate, but the reverse is true with fish fillets. Although it is still a good idea to oil the grate as a precaution, fish fillets cook best when the fillets themselves are lubricated – and mayonnaise is the ideal lubricant. Don’t worry if you hate mayonnaise, because you’ll never taste it. Brush a fillet on all sides with mayonnaise, and we guarantee it won’t stick when you try to turn it.

Clean the Grate

The mayonnaise definitely helps prevent sticking, but the most important factor when grilling fish fillets – or fish steaks or whole fish – is an impeccably clean grill grate. It does not have to be as shiny as the day it was bought, but all the carbonized proteins should be removed.