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Fish Grilling Tips

1. Never buy prewrapped fish. Buy from a reliable fishmonger and ask to smell the fish, which should have no odor except of the sea. The flesh should be firm and should not leave a dent when touched.

2. Buy fish the day you are planning to cook it.

3. Ask the fishmonger to keep the fish in one chunk, then slice it into steaks when you get home.

4. If buying from the loin, ask for the center cut. The tail end will be sinewy, and the head end is too wide to make neat portions.

5. The center loin cut is easy to grill as the flesh is cut against the grain and cannot flake. Steaks are easy as well, because the bone holds them together and adds flavor. Fillets are the hardest to grill because they tend to flake, unless they're from a fish with a high fat content, such as salmon.

6. Fish should not be marinated in anything acidic, such as citrus juice or wine, or it will cook, becoming like seviche. Sweet sauces, like barbecue, teriyaki, or fruit-based glazes, should be applied when the fish is almost cooked; otherwise, they can burn and stick.

7. Use regular kitchen utensils, not those two-foot-long barbecue tongs and spatulas, which are unwieldy.

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