Stop Fish From Sticking To The Grill For Good With One Ingredient

If you like seafood, then it's hard to beat a perfectly cooked fish fillet right off the grill. You can eat it on its own, or use it as the base of a fish sandwich or fish taco bowls. But unlike other types of animal protein, fish are generally very delicate; if it sticks to those grill grates, as it often does, trying to scrape it off could mean ruining the fillet. If you're looking for an easy fix to get beautiful fish without the scraping hassle, then look no further than lemons.


Citrus fruits like lemons are commonly paired with fish because their punchy sour-sweetness elevates seafood's flavors whether mild or briny. So, using the fruit during cooking (as opposed to just spritzing some lemon juice over the top after it's done) will enhance the taste that much more. To avoid your fillets sticking, just cook your catch over a bed of thin lemon or citrus slices. You'll be able to remove it from the grill with ease, and it will have plenty of extra flavor. The only downside is that it won't get those typical char marks you might be looking for, but it's worth it for the ease and peace of mind.

Lemons are the perfect ingredient for grilling fish

Due to their bright, acidic flavor, lemons are ideal for boosting any type of grilled seafood, whether you've got freshwater rainbow trout, king salmon, or a nice hunk of tuna or swordfish. Other types of citrus will work for this trick, too, such as oranges or limes, so you can use whatever you have at home. Preheat the grill as you normally would, then place evenly sliced citrus along the grill grates to prevent the fish from making contact with the grill. As the fish cooks, the heat will also char those citrus slices, infusing a ton of flavor into the fish. Then, the fish will slide right off the citrus. The fruit slices won't stick to the grill grates, either, making for easy cleanup.


The underside of the lemons will be nice and charred, especially if they've come into contact with any marinade you may have used. So, if you're serving a large fish fillet or something like an entire side of salmon as a table centerpiece, add the citrus slices to the perimeter of the dish, then lay the fish over top for a colorful presentation.

Use the citrus as the base flavor for your fish dish

This easy grilling hack helps the fish cook perfectly while staying intact, but you should keep in mind that the citrus infusion will cause the fish to have a different flavor than if it were just seasoned and cooked on its own. To highlight the taste of the fruit, make sure that any sauce or marinade you use complements that acidic element, or you could be left with an underwhelming dish. You can even pair different fruits to heighten the experience, like brining the fillets in a yuzu marinade before grilling over clementine slices.


You can serve the fish with cocktail or tartar sauce, both of which pair well with lemons, but if you make a homemade sauce, infuse a little of the juice from whatever citrus fruit you're using. If you've got limes, for example, you might try making a cilantro-lime vinaigrette to dress it. Or, if you're making fish tacos and cooking with orange slices, make a sauce with a little fresh orange juice and the genius addition of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to drizzle over the tacos. When you grill your fillets over citrus slices, you can focus on flavor instead of fretting about any potential sticking mishaps.