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 or smoker. 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.
Table of contents
How To Grill Fish On A Pit Boss
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.
What You Need for Grilled Halibut
Ground Black Pepper
How to Grill Halibut on a Pellet Grill
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.
Step 1: Preheat The Grill
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.
Step 2: Season The Fish
Mix the seasoning ingredients in a bowl. Coat each piece of fish with the seasoning mix.
Step 3: Cook The Fish
Place on the grill. Close the grill lid to let the fish absorb the smoky flavors. Cook for around around 5-6 minutes, but monitor the internal temperature for a more accurate indication and ensure you reach 145°F
Step 4: Serve The Fish
Remove from the grill and serve immediately with fresh vegetables or salads, and fresh bread.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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 and can have a steak like texture if cooked well. If you like are looking for fish that tastes like steak see some of the options here.
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.
Fish goes well with fresh, zesty flavors, fresh 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.
Bake the fish over indirect heat. Set a temperature setting of between 350℉ and 425℉.
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.
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.
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
- cedar plank
- 4 inch thick Halibut Steaks
- ¾ cup Butter
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1½ tsp Onion powder
- 1⅔ tsp Dried parsley
- ¾ tsp Dried dill
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Ground black pepper
- 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.
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).
I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.
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 recipes with you!
You can read more about me on our About Us page.
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