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what you have to know to get it right

23 mayo, 2021

Who doesn’t like a barbecue in the summer? At family or friends gatherings, we love to gather around the barbecue embers, to eat informally. Although it is more common to cook meats and sausages, do not forget that the fish are perfect after going through the grill and we will talk about that today.

In addition to what we already told in another article about what you have to take into account to make a fish barbecue, today we delve into cooking techniques and complete with our recommendations so that you can cook all kinds of fish on the coals, with almost professional results.

From the sea to the barbecue: fish and shellfish that are great after going through the embers

The ideal embers for cooking fish

Embers Barbecue Pixabay

First things first: if in our kitchens we use electricity or gas to heat utensils and food, when we barbecue, the essential thing is the embers, which have to provide us with the necessary heat and for enough time to grill food.

In general, the cooking of the fish is rather short so we will not need to prepare a lot of coal to make the embers. I usually use a kilo of charcoal and some small twigs type vine to light them every time I prepare a barbecue.

If we let the embers do well over a hot fire and let them ripen, fanning from time to time, soon we will have them red hot, covered by a light gray layer of ash. It is at that moment when we must spread them over the entire surface of the grill and begin our roast.

What fish to choose for the barbecue

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A priori, any fish will be very tasty after going through the charcoal grill, but it should be noted that it is better to use medium or large fish, since when cooking small fish on the barbecue, it is possible that they become dry.

For this type of fish like anchovies, red mullet or small portion fish, we can use a grill plate placed on the embers, which prevents the small ones from slipping through the grill slots and turn our barbecue into a large grill.

Sardines Pakus Spits

Special mention for the case of sardines: for them, it is preferable to use the technique of I blurt, stringing a few specimens on a reed close to the embers but not placed on them, until they are ready.

As for the species or different fish, the charcoal is very good sea ​​bream, sea bass, red mullet, bream, sea bream, turbot, lemon fish, sea bass, salmon, horse mackerel, horse mackerel or mackerel. Others so common in our diet such as hake or cod are not usually cooked on the coals.

How to prepare fish before grilling it on the coals


In general, fish are roasted gutted and de-scaled, although some cooks recommend leaving the scales behind and removing only the guts and viscera before salting the fish. Depending on the size and thickness of the fish to cook, it may be advisable to cook the fish open in half, or make it whole.

In the case of very large fish, if the chef does not decide to butterfly them by dividing them in half, he can roast them whole with a few crosscuts on the loins, to help them cook well inside. Small portioned fish can be cooked whole, turning halfway through cooking.

Whole fish open in butterfly

Open Fish In Butterfly

It is usual to open the fish in butterfly, giving a longitudinal cut that divides the body into two halves, without actually separating them. You can leave the thorn or scrape aside or remove it as in the photo you have on this paragraph.

To grill fish in this way is convenient to use a large cage or sea bream that helps us to turn the fish when it is ready. Keep in mind that the fish is very fine like this so its doneness is very fast. With five minutes on each side it will be enough for that sea bass to be perfect,

Whole fish open at the belly

Roe Fish BBQ

In order to gut fish, fishmongers often give a cut in the ventral area and take out the guts and viscera, leaving the whole fish ready to grill. If there are roe, we can remove them or leave them inside the fish, to which they will give a more intense flavor.

Cleaning and salting

Fish Cleaning Pakus

Before putting the fish on the grill it is convenient to review the work of the fishmonger and remove any remains, webs or bits that have not been removed so that diners do not find them already on their plate. What’s more, the fish should be slightly salted inside.

Marinades, fillings, garlic and seasonings

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To get more flavorful grilled fish, we can leave the fish in a marinade before grilling them on the embers. An hour will be enough for them to taste.

We can also put them in the sea bream with some lemon slices or we can even fill them with greens and vegetables, that will be cooked inside the fish, taking advantage of the ventral incision.

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If we make a marinade, in addition to marinating the fish prior to grilling, we also We can use this liquid to varnish the fish from time to time during its cooking, obtaining juicier fish with more powerful flavors.

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Once the fish is roasted, it is also common to complete the dish by adding a garlic sauce on top, which will give an extra touch of flavor. To make it, we brown some garlic in a pan with olive oil and when they are done add a drizzle of vinegar.

Barbecue Monkfish With Garlic Cataria

Once the seasoning or garlic is ready, we pour everything over the fish and take it to the table. Optionally, you can also add a little paprika before adding the vinegar, already with the fire off.

Seven tricks to make a fish barbecue perfect

Some utensils that will come in handy for grilling fish

Sea Bream 808 179 1920

To cook fish on the barbecue, plus the tools needed to handle the embers It is good to have a sea bream for ration fish, and a large cage in which you can cook the largest fish -or many small ones at the same time- on the grill.

IBILI 770100 - Besuguera INOX

IBILI 770100 – Besuguera INOX

WolfWise Barbecue Portable Folding Grill Stainless Steel Basket Fish Grill, L

WolfWise Barbecue Portable Folding Grill Stainless Steel Basket Fish Grill, L

Tips for making certain fish on the barbecue

Grilled Lemon Fish

To finish, we briefly tell you how to prepare some of our barbecue fish recipes, so that you can put into practice everything we have told you about how to prepare fish on the grill. You will soon see some of them published

  • Grilled sea bass: Place the sea bass, -also valid for the lemon fish- on the grill, letting it cook for six or seven minutes on each side. The skin has to start to brown but not completely.
  • Grilled chicharro: Brown the pea for three or four minutes on each side. Finish with a garlic paste.
Golden Pakus
  • Grilled sea bream: Place the bream on the barbecue grills, letting it toast well on both sides. It will take about five minutes on each side with the very powerful embers.
  • Grilled turbot: To make turbot, being a fatty but flat fish, it is convenient to cook it very close to the embers, very lively and for a short time.

With all these tips, we are sure that your next summer barbecue will be fish and we are looking forward to reading the comments about your experience.

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