When cooking a whole fish, ensure that you score the fish, cutting several diagonal cuts into each side. This will cook the fish quicker and ensure the heat spreads evenly.
Fish should ideally be defrosted before cooking. This can be done in the refrigerator, placing the fish inside a plastic bag or other type of wrapping, so that the water and fish juices do not spill onto other foods in the fridge and contaminate them. It is usually enough to defrost the fish overnight and then cook the fish the following day or as soon as possible.
When grilling oily fish, sometimes it is a good idea to marinate them for 1 - 2 hours before cooking. With oily fish it is not necessary to baste during cooking, as these types of fish cook in their own fat.
Leaner types of fish can be grilled, but need basting several times during cooking or they should be grilled in a small amount of liquid, such as wine or stock, to keep them moist and prevent them from drying out.
Fish can also be grilled over charcoal in a barbeque, although to prevent overpowering, use a strong flavoured fish.
It is essential that the grill is always preheated for about ten minutes before placing the fish under it. Fish cooks very quickly and loses flavour and quality if left for a long time under the grill.
To save on washing up, use aluminium foil to line the grill pan or to place on top of the rack. Foil will speed up the cooking process also, as the heat will reflect from the surface. Always line the pan with foil before preheating the grill and place the rack under the grill whilst preheating.
If you chose not to use foil, once the grill has preheated, remove the pan and lightly brush it with oil.
Remember that thin fillets of white fish
will probably only need to be cooked on one side, whilst thicker steaks and cutlets must be turned over during cooking.
Cooking time for fish varies according to the thickness and size of the fish.
Thin fillets of white fish will only need around 5 minutes cooking time and thicker steaks or cutlets require 4 - 7 minutes cooking on each side.