HOW TO GRILL THE PERFECT FISH STEAK
Steaks cut from firm, meaty fish like salmon, swordfish, tuna, and halibut are amazing when properly grilled. Because they’re typically cross-cut and sliced perpendicular to the backbone like beef T-bones—these meatier fish steaks tend to be sturdier and less prone to sticking to your grill great than more fragile fillets, like tilapia or cod.
You can cook fish steaks directly on a hot, clean, well-oiled grill grate; on a plancha or griddle preheated on the grill grate; on a cedar or alder plank; or for easiest turning, in a well-oiled stainless steel fish basket. If the incomparable flavor of wood smoke is a goal–and we hope it is–cook the fish steaks over a wood fire or a fire (charcoal or gas) enhanced with hardwood chips or chunks.
Here 8 steps that will ensure you're getting perfectly grilled fish steaks every time:
1. Start with the freshest possible fish.
Extra points if you caught it yourself, but store-bought works just as well! For best results, buy steaks that are at least 1 1/4 inches thick: They tend to stay moist over the high, dry heat of the grill.
2. Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat it to high.
3. When ready to cook, brush the fish steaks with olive oil and season.
When ready to cook, thoroughly dry your steaks, then brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil, melted butter, or even mayo— you read that right—mayo. We know it doesn't sound all that appetizing, but mayonnaise has been proven to keep your fish from sticking, seal in the moisture, and better yet, it doesn't leave any lingering flavor! After you brush the steaks with your coating of choice, season generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper or use a mix of herbs or Schultz's Gourmet Original Seasoning & Rub. You can also marinate the steaks for up to an hour before grilling, if desired. But be warned, leaving your fish to marinate for more than an hour and any citric acid in the marinade can begin to “cook” the fish (think ceviche), affecting its texture.
4. Prep your grill.
If cooking directly on the grill grate, brush or scrape it clean once it is screaming hot and oil it well. Do this even if you’re cooking the steaks on a plancha, plank, or in a fish basket. If working over a charcoal fire, add hardwood chunks or wood chips (soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained) to the coals. If working on a gas grill, place one or two hardwood chunks directly over the burner under the grill grate or place the chips in your grill’s smoker box.
5. Arrange the fish steaks on the hot grate and grill on one side.
Arrange the fish steaks on the hot grate, all facing the same direction. Grill on one side for 3 to 4 minutes for steaks that are about 1 1/4 inches thick; adjust the time for thinner or thicker steaks. If desired, rotate the steaks 90 degrees after 2 minutes using a thin-bladed spatula to create an attractive crosshatch of grill marks.
6. Carefully turn the steaks over and grill the other side.
Carefully turn the steaks over—again, using a thin-bladed spatula—and cook the second side the same way. (Tongs have a tendency to tear the fish when you turn the steaks.)
7. Cook until 145 degrees in the center.
While sushi-grade ahi tuna can be served on the rare side, swordfish, salmon, and halibut should be cooked to 145 degrees in the center. The fish should flake easily when pressed with a fork. You can also insert a metal skewer through the side toward the center of the steak. Leave it for a few seconds, then touch it to your lip; it should be quite warm.
8. Serve the fish steaks with fresh citrus or any Schultz's Gourmet Cooking Sauce!
Serve fish steaks with fresh lemon or lime halves (preferably grilled), or pair them with Schultz's lemon garlic or green chili lime cooking sauces. But, if you're in the mood for a little extra smoky heat with your fish we recommend our smoky chipotle cooking sauce!
Source: Barbecue Bible