A Guide to Grilling Seafood

Seafood and sear were made for each other. Cook it the right way with these grilling tips.

Grilled seafood can be the centerpiece of any gathering, but you need to follow some important ground rules before roasting up your briny fare. Food safety is important when it comes to cooking seafood. Under-cooked seafood can cause food poisoning so we recommend you always check your seafood’s temperature with a thermometer. A thermometer will also help prevent over-cooking your sea-meats. Something like shrimp can easily become rubbery when exposed to too much heat for too long.

Follow this internal temperature guide to check for doneness:

  • Ahi (yellowfin) Tuna – 115°F (46°C)
  • Shrimp – 120°F (49°C)
  • Salmon – 125°F (52°C)
  • Scallops – 130°F (54°C) (meat should be opaque)
  • White Fish – 140°F (60°C)  (meat should separate or flake easily)  
  • Lobster – 140°F (60°C) (meat should be opaque)
  • Clams / Oysters / Mussels – Until the shells open

Grill seafood over MEDIUM-LOW or LOW heat. The more delicate the meat, the lower the heat. Cedar grilling planks can be an incredible asset when roasting fish because the charred wood gives the food amazing flavor. Having a plank also means the fish can’t get stuck on the cooking grates. If you’re going to grill seafood directly on the cooking grates, make sure you oil the grates and the fish thoroughly to prevent sticking.

Fish Steaks

Some firm-fleshed fish steaks like swordfish, tuna, salmon and halibut can be grilled directly on the grates. Just be sure to oil the grill well before placing the fish on it.

To cook a fillet of salmon, place the skin side down on a hot grill for 2 minutes at MEDIUM heat. Slip the spatula between the skin and the flesh. Flip onto a well-oiled grill in the 10 o’clock position for 1.5 minutes. Flip and turn the steak into a two o’clock position on a well-oiled grill, cook for 1.5 minutes.

Item Heat Time Special Instruction
Shrimp MEDIUM 4-6 min. Use a grill topper or wok, cook until pink or opaque. Do not overcook.
Mussels MEDIUM 5-6 min. Scrub well and discard any uncooked, open mussels. After cooking, discard any closed mussels.
Scallops MEDIUM 4-6 min. Turn once halfway through, a golden sear is best.
Lobster MEDIUM 8-10 min. Grill shell side down, brush with butter and lemon juice. Cook until opaque and separating from the shell.

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