Seafood is super quick to cook on the BBQ and a great way to enjoy tasty fish dishes with family and friends. It is versatile, easy and quick and there is very little chance of making people ill due to undercooking. Most seafood dishes on the BBQ take just minutes to cook and there is less chance of cross-contamination as people generally cook fish separately. Below are some top tips on how to cook fish on your BBQ.

Hot, hot , hot

Get your BBQ really hot! This will ensure your seafood cooks quickly and retains its natural juices and flavour. And make sure you brush it with a little oil to avoid things sticking!

Whole or fillet

There’s nothing tastier than barbecued whole fish or fillets – delicious and healthy!

Fork and flake

When fish is cooked the meat will flake easily with a fork and will appear opaque all the way through. If any part of the meat is still glossy and partially translucent then it's not done.


Marinade your fish for about 15-20 mins in the fridge before cooking with oils, lemon, herbs or spices to infuse your fish with some extra flavour.

Avoid sugary marinades or glazes, especially with thick fillets or whole fish, as the sugars can burn and turn bitter before the fish is fully cooked. You could also BBQ your fish on a bed of herbs - simply lay the herbs on, fish on top and cook as normal.

Turn once

Only turn your fish once as turning it back and forth will break it apart (and use a wide spatula). If you’re cooking a whole fish a grilling basket is a great tool to use. You can also get grilling trays which is useful for cooking flaky fish and fillets.

For small shellfish such as shrimp or scallops use metal or water-soaked wooden skewers or cook them in a grill basket. And you even get wood planks to use on your BBQ.


To grill shellfish in the shell, such as oysters, mussels and clams, place them directly on the hottest part of the grill. They're done when the shell opens. Discard those that don't open after about 5 minutes.

Lemon and butter

Add some fresh lemon juice and melted butter while you’re barbequing your fish - brush them on as you cook to add flavour and help keep the fish moist (remember butter does burn so keep an eye on it!).

Cooking time

A good rule of thumb is to cook your fish for 10 mins total per inch of thickness (measured at the thickest point.) So if you have a half inch thick fillet, grill it for 3 minutes on one side, then 2 mins on the other.

Evenly cut

Try and get a fish steak or fillet that is evenly cut to avoid thinner parts becoming dry before the thick is cooked. If you do have a steak/fillet that is uneven you can cut it, putting the thick half on to cook first and then, when it's about half cooked, put the thin half on.

Flat skewers

Flat skewers will stop the ingredients twisting round when you turn them, so that everything cooks evenly. Another great practical tip is to start and finish seafood kebabs with something firm, such as a piece of onion, to help hold the other ingredients in place.

Mackerel is great on the barbie

Throw a whole mackerel (or two) on the barbie – it’s chunky, succulent and great value for money. And don’t just stick to summer – what’s stopping you bringing back a taste of summer in the autumn? Mackerel is in season right up until the end of September so, if you get a nice day, fire up the barbecue then as well.