How to Cook Fish on a Flat Top Grill

The occasional flaring up of the grill can ruin even the best seafood. Besides, cooking on grates tend to dry out the juices and therefore ruin fish flavor. That’s why you need the top flat top grills when cooking fish.

Why Cook Fish On a Flat Top Grill?

Just like it’s advantageous cooking bacon on a flat top grill[how to cook bacon on a flat top grill], fish is no exception. Here are reasons why a top flat grill is ideal for cooking fish;

Locks Juice

When you prepare fish on grates, the direct heating, and occasional flare-ups dry up the fish juices. On the other hand, a flat top grill cooks the fish properly and maintain its juices. In the end, it produces a tender and flavorful fish.

Consistent Heating

A flat-top grill supports consistent heating. That ensures the entire fish receives adequate heat throughout the cooking time. It hence minimizes or rules out the chances of producing undercooked, overcooked, or severely charred fish.

Improved Crispy Flavor

When you cook fish on the top flat grill, it produces a unique flavor. The even heat results in the seared crust outer layer on the fish.

Faster Cooking

The large flat cooking surface is ideal for fish that cooks faster in about 10 minutes. You can spread out many slices of fish on the even cooking surface.

Easy to Season

While cooking on the flat top grill, the fish easily soaks up in the cooking oil and other condiments.

How to Prepare Fish Before Cooking on a Flat Top Grill?

Before you begin cooking fish, you need to prepare it first by following the below steps:

Spread out a newspaper on top of a cutting board. That makes cleaning the board later easy.

Use a long and thin knife when removing scales from the fish. Lay the fish on the board and make quick but short strokes from the tail towards the head.

Angle the knife blade. Ensure you are wearing a pair of gloves on your hands.

Make a cut on the fish from the gills to the stomach and open up the belly to remove the entrails.

Take the fish to the sink and rinse it thoroughly. Pat dry and set it ready for cooking.

What’s the Right Temperature to Cook Fish On a Flat Top Grill?

Temperature is a crucial factor when cooking every kind of food. So fish requires you set the heat level to about 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Cook Fish On a Flat Top Grill?

Season the Fish

After cleaning and cutting it into slices, spread your season on both sides of the fish. However, ensure you don’t overdo it, such as to become over thick or the season drowning the fish flavor.

Note that lean fish requires just gentle seasoning. On the other hand, when seasoning fatty fish, do not mix honey and mint or soy sauce with paprika. Just use one type of season.

Preheat the Flat Top Grill

Similar to when you are cooking salmon on a flat top grill[ how to cook salmon on a flat top grill], preheat it over a medium-low heat setting for about 10 minutes.

After that, grease the entire flat cooking surface with olive oil. In case you don’t prefer the taste of olive oil, try the canola oil for a neutral taste.

Load the Fish to the Flat Cooking Surface

Empty, the fish to the flat top grill and arrange the slices correctly; do not overcrowd the cooking surface. Note that when you place the fish on the preheated grill, the fish begins to contract.

Heat For 4 to 5 Minutes

Cook the fish for 4 to 5 minutes on one side. The precise cooking time depends on how fatty, lean, or thick the piece of fish is.

Alternatively, you can keep a check on them till they develop a golden brown color. As a rule of thumb, for every inch thick of fish, cook it for 10 minutes.

Flip Over Once

When one side is ready, use a spatula to flip it over the fish. Take care not to tear the fish, especially the thin pieces.

How Do You Know the Fish is Ready On a Flat Top Grill?

There are several ways to test and know that the fish is ready;

Using a Thermometer

The first method for testing the doneness of fish is to use a meat thermometer. Thus insert a meat thermometer to deep into the thickest part of the fish.

When the fish is ready, its internal temperature should read approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit.


Also, you can keep a check on the fish to notice the color change. When the fish is cooked thoroughly, it turns golden brown on the outside but white on the inside.

You can make a small cut and take note of the texture, outside and inside color. When it’s done, the fish should flake easily.

Knife Test

Alternatively, you can use your knife to test whether the fish is done or not. Poke and hold the knife for about 5 seconds into the thickest section of the fish.

Remove the knife and observe the temperature by placing the blade on your lower lips. If it feels warm, the fish is ready. But if it is cold, it means it’s not yet ready.

How Do You Prevent Fish From Sticking On The Flat Top Grill?

If you don’t take caution, fish can stick on the flat top grill as you cook. Luckily you can easily prevent that by greasing both the cooking surface and fish with vegetable oil. But if you wish to marinate the fish, then oil after the dressing.


Cooking fish on a flat top grill requires you to exercise caution. However, when you follow the tips and steps provided before, the result is rewarding and worth the investment.

It isn’t just your skills that matter; the cooking equipment matters too. Match pro cooking tips with a top-quality flat top grill, and you won’t believe the resulting fish flavor!