Five Awesome Hacks for Grilling the Ultimate Seafood


Five Awesome Hacks for Grilling the Ultimate Seafood

Grilling and seafood go together like peanut butter and jelly. The hardest part about grilling great seafood, is well, finding great fresh seafood to grill. Lucky for you we know a place that is seafood lover's paradise. Where you ask? Topsail Island, NC of course! With miles of pristine beaches, amazing vacation homes and of course, loads of local seafood sources, this is the ultimate beach vacation for the grill master and beach lover alike. This week we have five easy things you can do to get the most out of your grill. 

Tips for buying fresh seafood

Great food comes from great ingredients and perhaps nothing is more important than finding really fresh local seafood. Topsail Island is a great place for the seafood lover in all of us, but there are a few tips that can make your shopping experience a little easier. The two most common things to grill, especially for the beginner, are shrimp and whole fish like halibut, tune or snapper. Here are a few tips for shopping the local fish markets.

Shrimp- Avoiding dry dull shrimp is all about locking in the moisture. To do this, buy fresh whole shrimp with the head still attached. If those are not available, by frozen shrimp with the shell still intact. The shell, like the head, helps the shrimp retain its moisture. A little biology; shrimp rot quickly, so really fresh or frozen is the only way to go. If it looks old, then it is old.

Fish- Grilling a whole fish is one of the best and tastiest ways to enjoy a great catch. When shopping for a whole fish, look for clear bright eyes and clean metallic looking skin. Skin which has a dull color is a bad sign. Fish should never smell, well fishy! Fresh fish smells almost briny or like clean water. Inspect the gills as well. They should be bright red, if they look like a brick color, this is a sign the fish is not really fresh. 

Prep your grill

Few things can make or break your grilling experience more than your grill set up. With a few careful steps and a little planning you'll have your grill dialed in and ready to go in no time. Seafood is easy to grill, but a good setup on the grill can make the difference between calling out for pizza and enjoying perfectly grilled Topsail Island shrimp. Here are a few steps you should take to make the most of your grill. 

  • Start by making sure you have a clean grate. Use a strong wire brush to loosen and remove old grit, food, or carbon build up. 
  • After using the wire brush, take a wet cloth and wipe the grates to ensure there are no parts of the brush on the grill. Paper-towels also work fine. 
  • Set the heat on high and let the grate get really hot for at least 15 minutes. This will burn off any old oil, sauces, food particles and carbon build up. Reach in the cooler and grab your favorite beverage...this is critical, we're grilling after all. 
  • Set up the temperatures on the grill. Designate a cool area on the grill. If using charcoal, place coals in a pile on only one side of the grill.
  • Using a pair of tongs, soak a paper-towel in oil and then apply the oil to grate of the grill.

Use a grilling plank and fish basket

Try grilling fish on a plank- Grilling planks are inexpensive and add a nice smokey flavor to fish. This method is perhaps the simplest. Soak the plank for a couple hours prior to grilling. Place the fish on the plank and let it cook to completion, no flipping required. When using a plank be sure to turn down the heat a bit. Also, be prepared for slightly longer cooking times when using a plank. 

Buy a fish basket- This secret weapon instantly turns a novice into a pro. These baskets clamp the fish between two grates. This allows easy flipping and even cooking without the fear of the fish sticking to the grill. Be sure to spray the grate with cooking spray prior to placing the fish in the basket. 

Skewers make life easy 

Get some skewers (disposable wood ones are fine), and be sure to soak them in water for 20 minutes before using them. Skewers are especially great for grilling scallops and shrimp. Why flip each shrimp or scallop when you can flip them all at one time on skewers? A skewer of shrimp or scallops make for a great appetizer. This is perhaps the easiest way to grill shrimp during your Topsail Island beach vacation. 

Add some flavor

There are all sorts of ways to season seafood. One common way is to use a lemon. A grilled lemon is a great way to add a dash of flavor to your fish or shrimp. However, for all you steak and burger guys out there, there are a few things to consider. Seafood does not absorb flavors and marinades like beef. Unlike steak or chicken, it is best to marinade fish after cooking. Fish are a gentler type of protein, and if you marinade the fish prior to cooking it has a tendency to fall apart.

Are you ready to fire up the grill and enjoy some of that famous local Topsail Island seafood? Of course you are! Now is the perfect time to book that summer 2020 beach vacation home. Give us a call today at 800-497-5463 to speak with one of our knowledgeable reservationists or click the button below to see all our current homes. 

Five Awesome Hacks for Grilling the Ultimate Seafood

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