How to Grill Seafood

Quick-cooking seafood is a great choice for firing up the grill, even on busy weeknights. When grilling seafood take extra care not to overcook it. When it comes to seasoning, it’s best to select lighter marinades and seasonings that do not mask the delicate flavor of seafood.

The Easiest Way to Grill Salmon

To Grill Fish

  • Oil fish well with a neutral-flavored oil such as canola to help keep it moist.
  • Fish cooks quickly using the direct heat method. Remove it from the grill as soon as it's done; it will continue to cook once it has been removed from the fire.
  • Once you put fish on the grill, don't touch it for at least three minutes. A crust needs to form on the outside, which will allow the fish to naturally pull away from the grates. Once the crust has formed, it can be flipped over without sticking or falling apart.
  • Thin pieces of fish can be wrapped in cornhusks, banana leaves or grape leaves before placing on the grill, or foil can be used for a similar effect.
  • Firm fish, such as swordfish, are ideal for cooking on the grill. 
  • Placing fish on cedar planks when grilling imparts a subtle woodsy flavor. (Try different woods for slightly different flavors!) Soak the plank in water for at least an hour prior to grilling to prevent it from catching on fire. Most fish fillets will cook on a plank, without turning, in about 20 minutes.
  • Fish is naturally tender and should not sit in an acid-based marinade (like lemon juice) for longer than 20 minutes, or it will start to "cook" the fish, turning it mushy.

To Grill Shrimp

  • Choose jumbo varieties, which are easier to handle. These can also be butterflied (leave the tail intact when shelling, then slice along the back of the shrimp without cutting all the way through).
  • Shrimp should be marinated (with or without the shells) or brushed lightly with oil.
  • Cook shrimp until it turns pink and opaque, about 5-7 minutes. Turn it halfway through cooking. Take care not to overcook or it will become tough.
  • Use an oiled grill basket or skewers to contain shrimp so it doesn't slip between the grates.

Grilled Shrimp with Mustard-Seed Sauce