We’ve got a partnership with the recipe, equipment, and product-testing gurus at America’s Test Kitchen. They’ll be sharing some of their time-tested recipes and technical expertise with us weekly. Today’s topic? How to grill a whole fish while keeping it intact — plus a foolproof recipe.
Put an impressive twist on your next outdoor party with grilled whole fish — the dish couldn’t be easier to prepare and cook, and its simple presentation is a crowd-stunner. Our recipe and technique works for all types of whole fish, including snapper, bass, trout, mackerel, pompano, and bluefish.
Use a sharp knife to make shallow diagonal slashes every 2 inches along both sides of the fish, beginning just behind the dorsal fin. This helps to ensure even cooking and also allows the cook to check the flesh for doneness.
When the fish is ready to be turned, slide one metal spatula under the belly, being careful not to tear the skin. Place another spatula just under the backbone of the fish. Lift up the spatula under the backbone to flip the fish, using the opposite spatula to ease the other side of the fish onto the grill.