Page 29 - Barbecue News Magazine SEPT 2020
P. 29

lems for the grillmaster, but they are easily overcome. The good news is that fish absorbs marinades and salt better, so you can fla- vor it more easily—30 to 60 minutes of dry or wet brining im- proves its flavor and moisture significantly. The bad news is that it cooks quickly, is delicate, and can fall apart unless you handle it carefully. Fish loves the grill so much that it sometimes just won’t let go. I have several strategies.
Oil the fish. Oil the food and not the grill. Use oil with a high smoke point like corn oil or even refined olive oil.
Use mayo. After seasoning the fish, coat the fish with mayo, which is about one third oil. Coating fish with oil works, but mayo works better.
Use a fish basket.
Most of these gadg-
ets (as in the photo
above) resemble two
skinny tennis rack-
ets, hinged at the
top. You oil the fish,
lock it between the
two sides, and put
the basket on the
grill. Flipping is a
cinch. Because the handles of the rackets are long, they might keep you from closing the lid of the grill. And, yes, sometimes the fish sticks to the basket, but usually, if you oil it well, it will re- lease. Weber has a handle-free design that has spring-loaded cross-members. It looks like an army cot, and, although I was never fond of my army cot, I like this a lot.
Use a grill topper. All kinds of grill toppers, baskets, perforated pans, mesh trays, and wire mats allow the flames to lick the fish.
Start on foil. Our science advisor, Dr. Greg Blonder starts stick- prone foods like fish and ground chicken burgers on oiled alu- minum foil. Then, after the fish surface dries out a bit and firms up, he transfers it to the grates.
Cook on a griddle. A cast iron, stainless, or stainless griddle or even frying pan works great, and you can throw wood or dried herbs on the fire to
get a whisp of smoke.
Citrus slices. Our
lead writer Clint
Cantwell likes to lay
down a bed of citrus
slices when grilling
delicate fillets like
catfish (see the
photo above). Sliced
lemons are a natural
with fish, but depending on your seasonings, sliced oranges or limes could work. When it's done, remove the fish and citrus si- multaneously.
GrateGrates. GrillGratesTM (pictured above) include a special spat- ula with "fingers" that go into the troughs between the rails, and with them, you can easily lift fish. They come free with an order of two of GrillGrates panels. They even make a Gratetool that has
two heads hinged together like tongs so you can really clamp down on it.
Marietta’s Fish Rub
Marietta Sims was my sous chef for several years, and she perfected this herb blend for fish. I use it on a wide variety of fish, and it works wonder- fully. Notice there's no salt. To dry brine, sprinkle on about 1/4 teaspoon salt per pound of fish 30
to 60 minutes before cooking. Then add the rub, mayo, or oil just before grilling.
Makes. A bit less than 1/2 cup Takes. 5 minutes
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried chervil
1 tablespoon freshly ground green peppercorns (see Notes)
1 tablespoon dried lemon zest (see Notes) 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Notes. If you can’t find green peppercorns, substitute black. The taste is significantly different, but it works. Do try to find green ones. Some stores sell dried lemon zest, but it is easy to make. Just scrape off the thin colored layer of the lemon, leaving behind the bitter white pith. Lay it in a bowl or plate for a day or so and it should dry out nicely.
Crush all the ingredients with a mortar and pestle or in a bowl with a wooden spoon so they are about the same size but not powdered. Mix.
Smoking & Planking Fish
Smoked fish is a tasty topic for another day, but if you want more, try these links:
Schmancy Hot Smoked Salmon. recipes/seafood-recipes/schmancy-hot-smoked-salmon-recipe
Close Proximity Smoked. Fish
I am not a fan of planking fish. Read why here. https://amazin- science/mythbusting-planking
Meathead is the barbecue whisperer who founded, by far the world's most popular outdoor cook-
ing website. He is the author of "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling," a New York Times Best Seller that was also named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living magazine. This article was excerpted and modified from his book. More on his book here: For 3,000+ free pages of great barbecue and grilling info, visit Amaz- and take a free 30 day trial membership in the Pit- master Club.
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