While cooking fish on a stone is our favourite way of preparing great food here at The Stone Grill, we love a good barbecue too. While the sun is with us for now, millions of people are dusting off the barbecue and cooking on coals. It is a fantastic way to cook food and we only wish our climate was one that supported outdoor cooking a little more.
There’s nothing quite like the smell of cooking on a fire and the experience of eating outdoors. However, it’s easy to forget or become out of practice with cooking on anything other than a cooker. So we asked our chef for his top ten tips for cooking fish on the barbecue. Here is what we learned.
Make sure the barbecue has been thoroughly cleaned from the year before. Get all the dried grease and food off the wire, clean the base, use new coals and make sure the barbecue is ready to go
Get the barbecue hot! The coals/briquettes/charcoal or whatever you use need to be very hot to cook effectively. Typically, a barbecue will be hot enough between 45 minutes and an hour after lighting
Marinade the evening before or at least for a couple of hours before cooking. Choose a marinade that complements the flavour and texture of the fish. The lighter the better and avoid sugary marinades as they can burn
Coat the fish lightly with oil to stop it sticking
A light butter and lemon mix can be brushed onto all kinds of fish to give a lovely flavour, colour and smell
Cook shellfish in the shell by placing them in the centre of the barbecue. They are cooked once the shell opens
Only turn your fish once during cooking. Turning it multiple times will cause it to fall apart and will force that valuable cooking juice out into the barbecue
Fish is cooked once it looks opaque and begins to flake off. Only remove from the heat once the entire fish is like this
A good guide is to cook fish for 10 minutes for each inch of thickness
Use flat skewers for seafood kebabs as they stop the fish from rotating and twisting
We still think cooking a fish on a stone is a winner when it comes to preparing seafood but we have to admit the barbecue comes a close second. It’s just a shame that we are limited to only a few days each year to enjoy it!