Secrets to Grilling Seafood | System Pavers
Grilling fanatics may dream of succulent steaks, juicy burgers, and perfectly cooked brats, but there is good reason to add seafood dishes to your grilling repertoire. From fresh fish to shrimp, scallops, and even decadent dishes such as lobster, there is a wide variety of seafood items that are perfect to make on your BBQ island. Here's a fresh look at some ways you can craft healthy and flavorful seafood dishes in your outdoor kitchen.
Virtually every variety of fish that you can think of will cook up perfectly on the grill. Lots of folks think it takes a lot of preparation to cook fresh fish on the grill. However, firm and fleshy varieties of fish such as swordfish, salmon, and Mahi-mahi can go straight onto the grate. For more delicate varieties, a grilling basket or an aluminum foil packet is an easy way to keep the fish from falling apart on the grill. Many outdoor chefs cook on wooden planks exclusively in order to add some extra flavor to their fish. If you choose to experiment with wooden planks, just be sure to soak them thoroughly in water beforehand, and try to match the flavor of the wood to the fish. (Cedar and salmon are a classic combination.)
Of course, there are just as many ways to flavor your fish as there are ways to cook it on the grill. Light seasoning with spices such as pepper and chili powder suit blackened fish recipes to perfection, while fresh herbs such as dill and cilantro (that you can grow fresh in your garden!) add a delightful seasonal touch.
The delicate nature of fish makes many want to cook it at a lower heat – however, a medium to high heat is preferable. This helps to sear the surface and create that characteristic crust you simply don't get with other methods of cooking seafood. Gas grills make it easy to control the heat used to cook your fish. Charcoal grillers need only remember to make sure their coals are gray before putting their fish on the grate.
Shrimp and Scallops
Skewer shrimp and scallops for easy grilling. Try marinating them before they go on the grill – a mix of fresh and savory flavors such as cilantro, butter and garlic do wonders for these light and delicate seafood favorites. For additional flavor or to create a unique taste, include veggies or fruits on the skewer. Shrimp marinated in teriyaki sauce and paired with pineapple or garlic butter scallops with mushrooms and red peppers make for tasty skewer pairings. To cook, set grill to low. Place skewers in the middle of the grill. Cook until meat is white and fruit/veggies are slightly charred with grill marks.
Many people don't think about grilling lobster, but lobster tails can cook up perfectly on the grill with a minimum of preparation. The process is simple – cut the tails down the center, skewer them, and cook them cut-side down until the shells are bright in color. Unlike other seafood dishes, lobster works best with just a minimum amount of seasoning – a marinade of lemon juice, pepper, and garlic powder works wonders. Use your outdoor kitchen space to prepare some melted butter for dipping. Toss in fresh herbs such as parsley for a flavorful twist on this classic dish.
Whether you have a simple grill setup or a full outdoor kitchen and entertaining area, cooking seafood from the comfort of your outdoor space is simple. One last tip to keep in mind – be sure to serve your seafood dishes right away, as they always taste best right off the grill. Have some tropical drinks and flavorful sides at the ready and enjoy!