One of the most popular ways to eat fish is grilled, baked, or fried. However, before you decide that this is what you will do with your next catch, you should know how long it takes for the fish to cook via these methods. If you are going to prepare it yourself, you should know how long each step takes so that you can accurately gauge when it will be ready. This article will tell you exactly how long it takes to bake, grill, and fry fish so that you can accurately judge when they are cooked.
If you have ever baked a fish, you know that it takes a while for the fish to bake through. This is because the moisture from the fish itself helps to make the flesh tender. If you add a bit of butter and a dash of water to the recipe, you will give the fish more flavor and make it more tender. To calculate how long it takes to bake a fish, you need to know the size of the fish and whether you are using a baking dish or a fish tray. Here are some useful tips for measuring baking times:
- For small fish, like sardines, boil them in salted water for five minutes before baking. This will help make them more moist and, therefore, easier to chew through. They should be just a tad bit underdone; you should be able to see some nice grill marks on them.
- For large fish, like salmon, place them on a baking dish and pat them dry with a paper towel. This will help keep the moisture in the fish when baked and make the meat tender. Don’t overcook large fish because they become dry and chewy. Cut off a small piece to test for doneness and ensure that your guests are not waiting too long for their favorite fish to be ready.
- The temperature of the oven or the grill will greatly influence the cooking time of your fish. Thawing frozen fish in the fridge can take a while so keep this in mind when calculating how long it takes to bake. If you are using a convection oven, the time is usually shorter than if you are using a regular oven. The thawing process takes some time, but you can make it easier by placing the frozen fish in a bowl filled with cold water. This will help distribute the ice crystals in the fish and make it easier for the body to defrost. Make sure you don’t leave the fish in the water for too long or else the meat can become mushy. Fifteen to 20 minutes should be sufficient for a complete defrosting. Plan on at least half an hour just to bake a 4-6 oz. fish, depending on its thickness. The key to tender, flaky fish is to undercook it just a bit. You should be able to see some grill marks on the fish but it should still be somewhat firm in the center. This way, you are certain that it is cooked through and won’t become unappetizingly dry or tough. Remember, the less you cook it, the more flavor it will retain.
- Adding herbs and spices to the fish before baking or grilling can greatly increase the taste of your fish. Some of the classic combinations are lemon, garlic, and parsley or basil and garlic. Feel free to experiment with these herbs and spices to come up with your own flavors to enhance the taste of your fish.
- A crisp, refreshing drink can help to make any meal more enjoyable. Whether you feel like you need a tall glass of lemonade during the day or you just want to drink a cold one after coming back from a tough day at work, having a drink waiting for you in the fridge is always a good idea. If you don’t have a bottle available, you can always bring a can of club soda or ginger ale with you. This will fizzy drink will make you feel refreshed and help to cut through the fats in your fish. Some people prefer freshly made mojitos over frozen ones, so you could always prepare them as needed using fresh lime juice and fruit. This way, you can guarantee that each one will be freshly made and perfectly preserved.
When you grill a fish, the outcome is largely dependent on the thickness of the fish and the grill you use. Thicker fish will take longer to cook since the heat is harder to reach. You should use a meat thermometer to check for doneness and ensure that the flesh is cooked through evenly. Make sure you don’t pull back the grill leaves while the fish is grilling otherwise the juices will escape.
There are several tips that can help you make the most of your grill experience. First off, make sure that the fish is completely dry before placing it on the grill. Once the fish is completely dry, it will be easier for the heat to reach all parts of the fish and make it cook more evenly. Just a few moments under the grill should be sufficient to cook a thick fish like salmon or halibut. Some fish, like sardines, are easier to overcook so make sure you are careful not to grill them for too long. Thin fish like trout and whitefish are easily cooked using this method and will be fully opaque when ready.
The thickness of the fish influences the cooking time greatly. The smaller the fish, the shorter the cooking time. However, make sure you are careful not to burn yourself since thicker fish are harder to grab when cooking and the flames are more intense. This is where the use of a guard grill comes in handy. The plastic shield that the grill sits on top of helps to regulate the heat and stop the food from being accidentally heated up too much. It can also keep the smaller items like shrimp, corn, or vegetables separate from your main course so that you don’t end up with some overcooked items and some undercooked ones. This can really ruin the meal so make sure you are careful not to touch the food while it is grilling.