How To Grill Fish On Pit Boss (In 5 Simple Steps)

Often when I grill, I tend to stick to red meat and poultry.

But if I want to wow my guests at a cookout, I throw some fish on the grill.

Being lighter in flavor, fish takes on always tastes better on the grill!

But grilling fish as a barbecue beginner can be daunting.

This article will guide you through the process of using indirect heat to cook your fish to perfection on a pellet grill.

How To Grill Fish On A Pit Boss

The most important thing is to choose a fish with a bit of substance, that won’t flake and fall apart on the grill.

Fish like salmon fillets, tuna steak, tilapia, mahi-mahi are ideal.

The Pit Boss gives a few cooking options. You can grill, smoke, braise, roast, bake, and sear over low or high temperatures.

There’s a cooking method for every fish, and we’ll go through those here.

Choosing Your Fish

When choosing your fish, think about how you’d like to prepare and serve it.

You may prefer to use a whole fish, or buy pre-filleted pieces. Pre-filleted fish comes cleaned and deboned, reducing your prep time.

There’s a wide range of fish available, if you are unsure ask your fishmonger for advice.

Whole Fish

As the name suggests, a whole fish is the complete fish – head, tail, and scales intact. Most are sold gutted and cleaned.

While it’s easier to prepare and smoke, it will mean eating around skin and bones. 

Fish Steaks

Fish steaks refer to cuts that are made perpendicular to the spine. The skin and vertebrae bones remain intact.

They are usually taken from larger fish like tuna, cod, salmon, or swordfish.  

Butterfly Fillets

Butterfly fillets are a whole fish split down the center, with the head and rib cage removed.

The two fillets remain attached to the skin and form a butterfly shape when folded out. 

Loins

Loins are a thick cut of fish, taken above the spine. They are particularly good for grilling, crumbing, and smoking.

You can treat a fish loin like a piece of beef – seasoning, and cooking similarly. 

Fillets

Fish fillets are sliced from either side of the spine and most of the bones are removed in the process.

They can be sourced skin on or skin off. The skin-on is preferred for grilling as it holds the flesh together.

Best Fish For Grilling

It’s best to stick to large, hearty fish fillets when grilling.

Flaky, delicate fish such as flounder or sole will tend to fall apart on the grill grates, filling your grill with fish flakes.

Fillets like Tuna, Snapper, Salmon, Swordfish, or Mahi Mahi work well on the grill.

Best Fish For Smoking

If a strong smoky flavor is what you’re chasing look for a fillet with high-fat content. This will absorb the smoke flavors better.

Try smoking fish like Mahi-Mahi, Rockfish, Mackerel, Halibut, or Sturgeon. All work well for absorbing the smoke flavor.

You can also try other seafood like clams, mussels, crab, shrimp, and oysters. The smoking process will take these to the next level tasty.

Preparing The Fish

Store-bought fish needs very little preparation.

Rinse off the fish in cool water to remove any leftover material.  Pat dry with a paper towel. If using fillets, check for any obvious bones. Remove with tweezers.

Let the fillets come to room temperature, as they will cook more evenly. Season as desired.

Seasoning Ideas

Fish goes well with fresh, zesty flavors, resh herbs and citrus flavors.

Try herbs like parsley, tarragon, dill, ginger, and chives for a flavor injection.

All the Ways to Grill

A Pit Boss wood pellet grill is very versatile when it comes to grilling a piece of fish. 

Baking

Bake the fish over indirect heat. Set a temperature setting of between 350℉ and 425℉.

Smoking

Set the wood pellet grill to smoke mode at a temperature of 225℉.  Smoke for 2-3 hours.

Stick to lighter flavored wood pellet chips, as stronger flavors tend to overpower the delicate flavors of the fish.

Grilling

If you want to try using a cedar plank, place it directly on the pellet grill plate, at 300℉ to 350℉.  

Regardless of how you cook, the internal temperature should reach 145℉ at the center. Probe with a meat probe to check.

Grilled Halibut Pellet Grill Recipe

For this recipe, we are using fresh halibut fillets. Halibut works well on a smoker as it holds together well. The higher natural omega-3 fat content absorbs the smoke flavors well.

Ingredients

4 inch-thick halibut steaks

¾ cup butter softened

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ tsp onion powder

1 ½ tsp dried parsley

¾ tsp dried dill

¼ tsp white sugar

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

Method

  • Preheat the grill to medium heat of 350℉ for 3-7 minutes.
  • Brush the grill with olive oil, to help prevent sticking.  Fish tends to stick during the cooking process, more than any other cuts of meat.
  • Mix the seasoning ingredients in a bowl.
  • Coat each piece of fish with the seasoning mix.
  • Place on the wood pellet grill.
  • Close the grill lid to let the fish absorb the smoky flavors.
  • Cooking time is around 5-6 minutes, but monitor the internal temperature for a more accurate indication (145℉).
  • Remove from the grill and serve immediately with fresh vegetables or salads, and fresh bread.

Creating delicious fish dishes on the grill is a very simple process. An impressive-looking dish can be as easy as throwing a light seasoning on and sticking on the pellet grill.

Try serving up some beautiful smoked salmon to the delight of your guests. Restaurant quality flavors with the least amount of fuss!

Pitboss Grilled Fish

For this recipe, we are using fresh halibut fillets. Halibut works well on a smoker as it holds together well. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, main, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, grill, lunch, seafood
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 228kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 12

Equipment

  • Grill
  • cedar plank

Ingredients

  • 4 inch thick Halibut Steaks
  • ¾ cup Butter
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • tsp Onion powder
  • 1⅔ tsp Dried parsley
  • ¾ tsp Dried dill
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the grill to medium heat of 350℉ for 3-7 minutes.
  • Brush the grill with olive oil, to help prevent sticking.  Fish tends to stick during the cooking process, more than any other cuts of meat.
  • Mix the seasoning ingredients in a bowl.
  • Coat each piece of fish with the seasoning mix.
  • Place on the wood pellet grill.
  • Cooking time is around 5-6 minutes, but monitor the internal temperature for a more accurate indication (145℉).
  • Remove from the grill and serve immediately with fresh vegetables or salads, and fresh bread.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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