Thu 02 Nov

The Ultimate Guide to Barbecuing Seafood

We know almost every Aussie is a bonafide grill-master already, and you definitely don't need our advice... However, cooking seafood on the barbecue is a little different to cooking sausages, so we might just be able to teach you something new.

Here are our top tips for barbecuing seafood like a pro... 

Psst. Want to dive deeper? Jump into Sydney Seafood School's Seafood BBQ or BBQ Master cooking classes. They're super fun, and you'll leave with a whole bunch of new skills, just in time for Christmas!


The Basics 

Barbecuing, the oldest form of cookery, traditionally refers to cooking food over an open fire, hot coals or hot embers, although in modern terms it can also refer to cooking food on a flat or ridged char-grill heated by electricity.  

Here are our top tips on how to do it perfectly, every time: 

  • Ensure that the food is well oiled before placing it on the BBQ, to avoid sticking. Oiling the food rather than the BBQ also helps to minimise excess smoke. 

  • Fish can be barbecued whole, in fillet, steak or cutlet form. Large whole fish should be slashed through the thickest part of the flesh to the bone 3-4 times on both sides, to allow for even heat penetration. 

  • Turn seafood as little as possible to minimise the risk of damaging the delicate flesh. Cook one side, then turn and cook the other side (or with kebabs or thick steaks, place each of the 4 sides in contact with the grill once only, cooking each side before moving on to the next). 

  • If you are cooking fillets with their skin on, cook skin-side down first. 

  • Consider wrapping fish to protect it from drying out: banana leaves or aluminum foil lined with baking paper are good for this. 

  • Marinating seafood before cooking adds flavour and helps to keep it moist. Because of the delicate nature of its flesh, most seafood requires only a short time in the marinade (maximum 30 minutes), otherwise it may start to break down. 


The Best Species to Barbecue 

It’s no secret barbecuing is the ultimate Aussie cooking method, but do you know what species are the best to grill?  

  • Firm fish like Kingfish, Tuna, Swordfish, Mackerel, Mullet, Marlin, and Atlantic Salmon.  

  • Any crustacean (including prawns) - make sure they are green (uncooked), as pre-cooked crustaceans will toughen up if reheated too forcefully.  

  • More delicate fish (like Flounder or Whiting), wrapped in foil, baking paper or banana leaves to keep it moist and protected.  

  • Squid and octopus (best cooked very quickly over a very high heat). 


Need some recipes to test our your new skills on? Click here.  

Happy barbecuing!