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Fishbox Guide | Barbecuing seafood

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 : 2:12 PM

A Fishbox guide on barbecuing seafood 

Firing up the BBQ when the sun comes out is a fantastic way to bring new flavours to your favourite seafood. Cooking on gas or charcoal can transform your fish and seafood and help you create tastes you simply cannot achieve on the hob or in a conventional oven. Despite this many people are still a little scared of barbecuing seafood.

Barbecuing seafood is not as tricky as you think, you don’t need extra tools or gadgets for your BBQ. Seafood is more delicate than meat, this means that barbecuing fish is often faster. With a few simple tips and hints, you’ll be a BBQ aficionado in no time. So here are some of the basics!

Choose your fish carefully!

It’s the same as selecting the cut of meat. Different species and cuts of fish require different cooking times, levels of heat and cooking methods. First, find a BBQ recipe for a specific type of fish like our Monkfish Kebabs and follow it exactly.

For example, Monkfish Kebabs: Brush the monkfish with a little oil and place on the BBQ, cook for approx. 2 minutes on either side. Grilling your seafood on wooden skewers or directly over an open flame is usually recommended for fish with an oily or firm raw texture.

If you are cooking fillets, start by placing skin side down. Only turning the fillet over when the skin is crispy a golden. Skinless fillets are typically best grilled in foil, on a wooden plank or in a grilling basket.

Whichever method you choose though, each of these will reduce the risk of your fish disintegrating on the BBQ while cooking and will help to hold the fillets together.

Get well oiled

We cannot recommend this enough; fish skin is very delicate and can stick to the grill a lot easier than meat. Doing this ensures that you can lift your fish off the BBQ without losing half of your fish in the process. Wipe down your rack with well-oiled kitchen paper, use some tongs to hold the paper if need be. It is also good practice to coat both sides of the fillet or whole fish in oil, this includes if you are putting it in foil.

Make sure your BBQ is very hot before placing any fish on it to cook.

The best oils to use are ones with a high smoke point, like some of our local CULLISSE Highland Rapeseed Oil which is made in Easter Ross, surrounded by the beautiful coastlines of the Moray, Cromarty and Dornoch Firths. 

Timing is critical  

Most fish cook faster than meat, make sure you follow the recipe cooking time as closely as possible. If you don’t have a recipe then set one piece of fish aside to use as a test, make sure that inside the biggest part of the fillet is opaque and piping hot in the middle before pulling it off the BBQ.

Additionally, it’s also very important not to flip fish too quickly once you’ve started cooking. If you turn the fillets early, the skin is much more likely to stick to the rack because it hasn’t had enough cooking time. Follow the timing guide in your recipe to make sure you don’t flip too early resulting in unevenly cooked fish, or too late, causing the fish to burn.


when it comes to the BBQ shellfish are just as delicate as fish, and timing is again key with these tasty morsels. Keep your eyes peeled and you should end up with delicious smoky shellfish every time.

When grilling langoustines marinade them in olive oil, lemon and garlic overnight, drain them and then add them straight on the hot BBQ. They will only need around 3-4 minutes.

Lobster is the King of Crustaceans and should be precooked in boiling salted water then left to cool. Cut your lobster in half and pop in on the hot BBQ for 30 seconds – 1 minute just to flavour. You can finish with a squeeze of fresh lime and coriander.

Crab claws can be barbecued to add a smoky flavour in the same way as lobster, pre-cook and allow to cool before grilling for 30 seconds - 1 minute.

All seafood can be barbecued easily, and the flavours of barbecuing fish and seafood are undeniable. The next time you want to impress your friends and family with your BBQ skills, be sure to add some of our seafood to your menu.

A good selection of sauces and relishes go perfectly with your barbecued fish. Why not try some of Roxy’s tartare sauce, Roxy has been making her tartare sauce in Tain since 2003. Or, Dillicious mustard sauce from Viv in Sheildaig makes a great addition to any BBQ. You can add some of these and a selection of other tasty extras to your next box here.

If you ever have any questions, please get in touch as we love to talk fish.

Visit our recipe page to discover more tasty seafood dishes.

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