Grilling Trout Is Quick and Easy

A Fish Meant for the Fire

Barbecued trout with lemons and limes on a wooden board
Foodcollection / Getty Images

Trout is a perfect fish for the grill whether you want to cook up fillets or the whole fish. When buying trout, you want to get a fish that is just the right size for the plate, about 6 to 8 inches long. This is true whether you are getting a whole fish or just the fillet. When it comes to trout fillets, it is good to get them a little bigger because they hold together better.

Keep it Together

It isn't too difficult to keep a piece of delicate fish like a trout fillet together while you are grilling.

The first secret is to make sure your grilling surface is clean. Foods stick to the dirty parts, not the hot metal. Clean the grate and apply some oil to it before you heat it up.

You can get yourself a grilling basket or fish basket to hold the fish together while you cook it. These work well and help you get a handle on your fish, literally.

The Right Tool for the Job

What you really need is a sizable spatula that is very thin. To keep the trout together, you need to keep it well supported, so you need a spatula large enough to pick up the whole fillet. The spatula should only touch the fish twice, once to flip it and another time to lift it off the grill. No poking, jostling, or playing around. This is what gets you in trouble. The other secret is that trout should be grilled hot and fast. Get your grill as hot as it will go. Flip the fillet when the surface facing you changes color and then take it off the grill when the color change has reached to the center of the meat.

The great advantage of grilling a whole trout is that you don’t have to worry too much about it falling apart and you can stuff the fish with all kinds of flavors. Pack a whole trout with lemon and lime slices, whole sprigs of rosemary, and cloves of garlic or anything else you like. Once the fish is cooked, the skin comes off easily and you can quickly pull the bones right out of the fish.

Trout has a great flavor; grilled, it is so good you really don't need to add anything to it. You can grill a fillet in about 8 minutes or less and a whole fish should take a little more than 12 minutes.