Grilled flounder

How do you keep the skin on a whole grilled, scaled fish?  I cooked a whole flounder on the Big Green Egg, basted with a soy/black vinegar/ginger/rice wine vinagrette, and the end results were delicious, but the skin came right off of the fish and stuck to the grill. When I turned the fish, the same thing happened to the other side.  (Try to ignore the teriyaki ribeye in the foreground.)

The fish itself didn’t scorch or overcook; in fact, it was tender, succulent, and damn near perfect.  (I brushed one side with hoisin sauce just before I took it off the grill, and I roasted mushrooms, onions, and green peppers in an enameled cast-iron skillet alongside the fish to serve over rice).

According to various sources, I needed to oil the fish’s skin before cooking, or oil my grill surface thoroughly.

Or clean my grill surface; in my defense, I did wire-brush it rather vigorously before I began.

Or cook the fish on foil, or in a grill basket (not practical inside my Egg, and wouldn’t the skin just stick to the metal basket?).  Or lower the temperature.  Or raise the temperature.

In short, I can’t find any consensus on keeping the skin on a whole grilled, scaled fish.

Any suggestions?  I have another flounder tucked away in the freezer, just waiting for the solution.

4 thoughts on “Grilled flounder

  1. This probably doesn’t answer your question, but I have decided broiling fish is far superior to grilling fish. I’ve found that fish cooks too fast to take in much charcoal flavor anyway.

    • I don’t like fillets done over charcoal, but whole fish (or a side of fish still on the bone w/skin & scales attached) is another matter entirely. Especially over applewood…mmm.

  2. Grill your fish on soaked banana leaves. Use 3 leaves and your skin will remain intact and the banana leaves will impart a great smoky flavor. You can get these leaves fresh or frozen at most asian markets.

    • Now that’s a good thought….and I can find banana leaves in several backyards in my neighborhood, no need to go to the market.

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