If you are in the mood for something lighter and want to take a break from heavy barbecue dishes, what you need to do is to start grilling fish. However, not all types are made for the intensity of the grill. More delicate types such as cod, flounder and tilapia are best cooked indoors as they will likely just break apart and fall through the grates when cooked in open flame. On the other hand, firmer and more hearty types of fish cook best when grilled, so be sure to know which ones taste best with a smoky flavor!

Here are some of the best types of fish for grilling:


Tuna just might be the most versatile of all fish that sometimes it is referred to as the "steak of the seafood world". With a distinct flavor, it has a thick and hearty flesh that can fare well on intense heat. Marinate or simply sprinkle with salt and pepper, brush with olive oil then cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side or until flaky. A perfectly-cooked tuna will have a raw center and lightly browned on the outside. It will be dry and tough when overcooked.


Salmon is a favorite in most households whether it is cooked indoors or outdoors. Its thick meat is heavy enough to fulfill any appetite but also light enough because it is low in calories. The strong flavor of salmon is made even better with a smoky flavor, so cut it up into 1-inch thick fillets, sprinkle with a seasoning of your choice, and cook on the grill over high heat skin side down. Grill for 4 minutes per side or to desired doneness.


The red snapper is a mild and hearty white fish popular among grillers because of its flavorful meat. It is best cooked on the grill whole - just make slits on each side of the snapper, brush with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook it over high heat for at least 6 minutes until golden brown. Flip once then cook for another 6-8 minutes until cooked through.

Mahi Mahi

Also called the dolphin fish, mahi mahi is a good choice for grilling because of its firm meat and delicate flavor. Slice it into fillets, marinate or sprinkle with salt and pepper then place rounded-side down on the grill. Cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes or until distinct grill marks appear.


The swordfish is yet another popular choice for barbecues with some experts saying that it may possibly be the best type of fish for grilling. The swordfish is firm, meaty and has a mild flavor which makes for a great grilled dish whether seasoned simply or slathered with a strong-flavored marinade. When seasoned, brush the swordfish with olive oil then cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned.

What are you waiting for? Take out your grill and make delicious barbecue dishes with these hearty fish!

Adrian T. Cheng is a food blogger and a BBQ expert. Through years of grilling experience, reviewing various top quality grill accessories and trying delicious and unique recipes, he is sharing his knowledge with everyone through his blog. For more grilling secrets, tips, recipes and more, head over to Adrian's page.

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