Blackened Fish on the Grill

Blackened Fish on the Grill Recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 16 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 6 fillets
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
584 Calories
48g Fat
1g Carbs
38g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 584
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 48g 61%
Saturated Fat 29g 145%
Cholesterol 271mg 90%
Sodium 187mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 884mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The traditional way to blacken fish is in a heavy cast-iron skillet over high heat. The advantage of cooking it outdoors on the grill is that you won't fill the kitchen with smoke. That makes this simple Cajun barbecue recipe great for outdoor entertaining and camping.

Many types of fish work well for this blackened fish recipe. It needs to be a firm fish; otherwise, it will fall apart under the intense heat. Bass, catfish, cod, pollock, snapper, and tilapia are just a few good choices for blackening fish. The fish fillets are dredged in melted butter, then covered in a Cajun blackening seasoning before placed in the skillet on a hot grill and cooked in more butter.

While you might be able to find it at some stores, the blackening blend is easy and inexpensive to make at home. The dry rub uses common ingredients like paprika, oregano, thyme, pepper, garlic, and salt. For that signature Cajun spice, you'll also need a good amount of cayenne pepper. It uses more cayenne than a typical Cajun seasoning, which is key to getting that blackened look and taste on the fish.

Serve this flavorful fish dish with your favorite barbecue sides. It's excellent alongside classics like potato salad and grilled corn on the cob and equally tasty with garden-fresh recipes like grilled eggplant or zucchini.


  • 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, melted, divided

  • 6 firm fish fillets (about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick)

  • 3 tablespoons Cajun blackening spices

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Blackened Fish on the Grill Recipe ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Preheat the grill with a heavy cast-iron skillet or griddle on the grill. Get it good and hot, about 15 to 30 minutes.

    preheat pan
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  3. Reserve 12 tablespoons of melted butter for serving and pour the rest into a shallow dish.

    melt butter
    The Spruce
  4. Dip each fillet into butter.

    Dip each fillet into butter.
    The Spruce 
  5. Sprinkle Cajun blackening spices on both sides.

    Sprinkle Cajun blackening spice
    The Spruce
  6. Place into the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottom is almost black but not burned.

    Place into the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
    The Spruce
  7. Carefully flip so fillets do not break.

    flip so fillets
    The Spruce
  8. Pour about a teaspoon of ​butter on the cooked side and continue cooking about 2 to 3 minutes or until the fillet is finished (internal temperature of 150 F).

    continue cooking
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  9. Remove fish from pan and place onto a large platter or individual plates.

    Remove fish from pan
    The Spruce
  10. Serve immediately with 2 tablespoons of butter for dipping. Enjoy.

    Blackened fish on a plate with butter

    The Spruce


  • It's best to cook about two fillets at a time. Wipe the skillet clean between each batch of fillets and keep the temperature nice and hot.