Great fish recipes come in various guises: grilled, poached and baked but so often the results are disappointing! So, when cooking fish outdoors what are the secrets to success? Here are 10 absolutely essential recommendations:
3. Never overcook fish! This is the number one rule. If you do you’ll have dry, tough fish devoid of its natural juices and flavor; remember your outdoor cooking equipment can be a tough place for delicate fish, but it need not be!
2. Quick and hot is the only safe way to retain moisture & flavor when cooking fish outdoors!
3. Fish easily breaks up if handled roughly, touch it as little as possible when cooking; some simple guidelines: use a fish baskets in your stockpot; well oil your grill or pans before you put on the fish; and only use thin fish slice to turn fish, big heavy plastic ‘tools’ simply will not do!
4. Always defrost your fish before cooking…… and if you can, always buy fresh not frozen fish; frozen fish after defrosting is often limp and watery!
5. When buying your fish try to buy fillets that are the same thickness throughout their length. If you do have thin ends then when you’re cooking the thin ends will be overcooked whilst the thick end isn’t cooked all the way through! If you do have thin ends, cut them off and grill them separately;
6. Aim to serve 1/3 to1/2 lb of fish per person when cooking outdoors. This simple formula will stop you ending up with no fish left half way through serving up!
7. Its thickness not weight that decides how long a fillet of fish should be cooked.; freshness also counts. The simple rule of thumb for cooking fish is ten minutes/inch or five minutes per centimeter, calculating the time based on the depth at the thickest point of the fillet. Using more intuitive means you can simply look and when you see that the fish is no longer translucent and has become opaque & can be easily separated then its cooked; so get it off the heat immediately.
8. Don’t be frightened of marinating fish; marinades work great with fish; but an hour is as much as is needed. Remember also that herbs & spices can be rubbed into the flesh just before grilling. Wine helps to add flavor to fish, add wine to the skillet when cooking whilst the fish is simmering or you can drizzle your fish with a tablespoon or two of wine when baking it in a foil package.
9. If you don’t have the right outdoor cooking equipment for cooking fish then don’t be surprised if things don’t turn out as best they might. Smoking, baking, poaching or grilling fish each have their own special peculiarities and having the right kit helps enormously. We’ve found there is one tool that really is a dream as it allows your to bake, smoke, grill and to poach; this is the Bayou Classic ceramic grill. In our tests, nothing compares. Why? Because it uses a simple technique proven for over 3000 years as heat circulates & penetrates it seals in the moisture leaving food full of flavor and moist.
10. Ceramic grills are not for everyone but worry not as there are exceptional alternatives dependent on what you want to cook and how. If you want to start cooking fish outdoors and don’t have any outdoor cooking equipment then its recommended to buy a kit with everything included, stove, stockpots etc. If you’ve got a stove or got a fryer then buy what else you need individually. The choice today is amazing with: fish fryer pots, deep fryers and stainless steel, cast iron & aluminum deep fryers. Simply decide what will best meet your needs and get online as there are some great deals to be had.