There are all sorts of clever tricks to achieve perfect fish on the barbecue – we’re talking melt-in-the-mouth flakes with a gorgeous smoky flavour and perfectly crispy skin. So next time you’re lighting the coals, make sure you put fish on the menu and use our five top tips to really impress your guests.
- First up, never place your fish over a searing high heat. Barbecued fish needs to be cooked on a medium-hot part of the grill so that you don’t risk burning the skin before the middle is cooked. More: Totally brilliant barbecue seafood
- Go big on flavour. You can stuff a whole gutted fish with any of your favourite flavours – think fresh herbs, lemongrass, ginger or chilli. Or go for something a little more punchy, like Jamie’s super-spicy Cajun rub, inspired by the flavours of New Orleans.
- If you’re grilling fillets (rather than a whole fish), start off cooking skin-side down. Only turn the fish over when the skin is crisp and golden. If fish skin is properly cooked on the barbecue it’s amazingly tasty and crispy! Jamie says it can be as good as pork crackling when it’s done well.
- Wrapping a whole fish in newspaper will keep it extra soft and juicy. The trick is to wrap your fish in several layers of paper and then soak the whole parcel in water, so that the smoking paper adds even more flavour to your dish, but doesn’t catch fire.
- You can test if your fish is cooked with the ‘flake test’: simply push apart a piece of the flesh and if it separates easily into natural flakes, is piping hot in the middle, and has changed colour throughout, then it’s ready to eat.
Serve your barbecued fish with a big leafy salad, buttered new potatoes and a glass of something chilled. Check out the rest of our barbecue recipes here.