The key to grilling fish?

The perfect spatula.

We asked our Facebook fans for BBQ blog topics this month! This post is in response to Lisa Ruark’s request:  “Here in the Pacific NW we are blessed with fabulous fresh caught salmon. We’re always interested in new prep/grilling tips… Bring ’em on!”


 1. Because grilling fish is all about how ya flip it, you’re going to need the right spatula!

  • Broad, sturdy base (at least 8 inches across)
  • Sharp edge
  • Long handle

2. What kind of fish are you grilling? Depending on the kind, your job might be a little bit easier. Thick steaks and slabs, preferably with skin, and many kinds of whole fish, gutted and cleaned but not boned, are best for grilling. Delicate flounder, sole and small fluke fillets are not suitable. Cod is another fish to avoid because it flakes and falls apart too easily.

Small whole fish, like sardines, red mullet, butterfish or the seasonal baby bluefish (snappers), are all excellent candidates. Mackerel, bluefish, porgies, weakfish and striped bass are all winners on the grill.

3. Make sure your grill is scrubbed clean, brush your fish and the grill grates with oil, and get the grill screaming hot!

4. Cut the fish into sections of the fish that have similar thicknesses. That way each portion will cook evenly.

5. And finally….wait for the fish to tell you when it’s time to flip! Okay, so he might not start flapping again when it’s time, but he’ll be easy to life off the grates, and if you poke him, he’ll pull apart easily from the bone.

Get 5 awesome fish marinades here: