How to Grill Seafood
Memorial Day Seafood Grilling Guide
The unofficial start of Summer, Memorial Day! A day of remembrance and celebration in honor of those who have served our great country. Celebrations where family and friends gather in the great outdoors paying tribute to our troops, enjoying the changing of the season and the sweet summer smells of grilling.
I love cooking outdoors. There’s something primal about it that get’s my cheffy blood pumping (and stomach growling)… food and fire… I’m a total grilling geek, there’s usually a BBQ moment while standing over my grill, tong and spatula in hand, where I beat my chest and trumpet ‘she has made and harnessed FIRE’ (queue eye roll from the husband).
Seafood, for certain, is my favorite to grill-and nothing is off limits. Everything from crabs to shrimp to lobster to fish, all succumb to my fiery grill will. And to kick off the grilling season, I have mapped out the best tricks, tips and tools to make your seafood grilling successful.
I wanted to provide you with my must have grill tool arsenal. I get so frustrated with the ‘made for grilling’ tools. Their purpose is plain, to keep you from getting grilled yourself, but I find them bulky and difficult. So none of the items on this list call for any of those…ick.
- Grill brush: a good wire bristled brush is a must have to clean stuck on grill gunk. Clean your grill regularly with your brush to keep food from sticking.
- Cast Iron: ( cast iron EVERYTHING! I love using my cast iron pans, griddles, cornbread molds, you name it.
- Tongs: A no brainer here but they need to be good stainless steel tongs-no plastic or wood.
- Spatula: This style of spatula is my favorite for the grill. It’s thin while remaining sturdy and perfect for flipping seafood, especially fish on the grill.
- High Heat Oven Mits: A must must have, high heat oven mits will protect those hands and arms from any fire flare ups and high temperature grilling. They’re easily found online or at kitchen supply stores.
- Basting Brush: You don’t need a super expensive brush for basting, I grill so much that every other season I’m getting a new one. Once you’ve noticed a bristle or two coming loose it’s time to get a new one. The silicon ones work well too, just make sure they’re designed for high heat.
- Other Tools: I would be remised if I didn’t mention a few other pieces I use with frequency. I bought some metal skewers a few years back-I kebab a bit- and love that I wasn’t throwing out all these bamboo skewers every time I grilled. I also have a few oven safe pots, that are not cast iron, for making sauces on the grill or keeping more delicate items warm while grilling-just remember no plastic or non-stick coating for these guys.
Crabs on the Grill
Yes! Grilled crabs are delicious!!! Here are just a few ways that I enjoy crabs on the grill.
The best method is to use Cameron’s already cooked Premium Large Male Crabs. I simply remove the top shell and clean out the inside (removing the lungs and ‘mustard’), give them a quick rinse under cool water and pat dry with a paper towel. I’ll either baste with my butter baste recipe (below) or sprinkle with more Old Bay seasoning (or deploy both the butter baste and seasoning) before placing them on a preheated grill (about medium heat). I grill just long enough to reheat and impart some smoky grilled flavor, about 5-6 minutes.
Save some of the top shells from grilling the whole crabs to grill crab cakes! I created this technique after finding some inspiration from my ma’s deviled crab recipe. Give the top shells a good rinsing, making sure they’re good and clean, and pat dry with a paper towel. Stuff crab cake mix into the shell cavity and baste stuffing with a little butter baste. Place shell side down on a preheated grill (medium heat is perfect) and cook for 6-10 minutes or until crabs cake stuffing is thoroughly cooked.
Lobster on the Grill
Grilled lobster is the best! It is my favorite method for cooking lobster and grilling imparts such good flavor.
Cameron’s steamed lobsters are the best for this technique because all you’re doing is essentially reheating and serving. Using a heavy duty knife split the lobster in half, length-wise. Brush generously with the butter baste and grill (medium heat) for 5-6 minutes or until hot. You can also do this with just lobster tails as well. With the lobster tails be sure to thaw them completely before splitting, basting and grilling and since these are raw cook for 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
Grilled lobster rolls anyone? Thaw lobster meat, skewer and baste with butter baste. Grill skewers for 3-4 minutes (medium high heat) or until hot and grill marks have formed.
Fish on the Grill
Grilling fish can be a challenge, the stickage seems to be most grillers downfall. The key here is to clean and grease your grill properly. I give my grill a thorough scrub with the grill brush and brush grates with vegetable oil (using a clean basting brush) before heating up the grill. Also, the type of fish you use will make grilling easier (and tastier). Look for hearty thick fillets like salmon, swordfish, tuna and mahi for grilling bliss. Flakier fish tend to break up while grilling and should be avoided unless you’re going to cook them on your cast iron griddle (then game on!). Brush fish with butter baste and grill for 6-8 minutes (flipping halfway through) or until thoroughly cooked.
Shrimp and Shellfish on the Grill
Shrimp are great on the grill. Grill in shell (with a generous sprinkling of Old Bay) for a fun peel and eat situation or peel and baste (butter baste of course) for delicious kebabs, salad toppers or as the surf to your turf. I ALWAYS skewer my shrimp, I’ve lost too many shrimp to the great grate divide that I’ve added this step to my prep every time. You can also use a perforated pan or steamer basket (one that you don’t care much about) but skewering is my preferred method.
Grill shrimp for 4-5 minutes (flipping halfway through) or until thoroughly cooked (medium heat is perfect).
Grilled scallops are sooooo good and Cameron’s sea scallops are thick, juicy and perfect for grilling. I like to season and baste my scallops for grilling. Grill scallops for 5-6 minutes (flipping halfway through) or until thoroughly cooked (medium high heat).
Buy Seafood Online - and cook good food at home on the grill!
All of the seafood listed in these grilling tips are available at our online store. As we say, ‘from shore to door, 3 days fresher than the grocery store’-all of our seafood is delivered right to your door when you schedule it, guaranteed! That’s convenience you need, especially for meal prepping and planning.
About the author
Patterson Watkins is a professional chef with over 17 years of experience. With a robust career in restaurants, contract dining and catering (including 4 Summer Olympic posts preparing food for the athletes!) Patterson joined the Cameron's Seafood team at the end of 2018 to concoct some delicious recipes with our premium seafood items as the centerpiece.