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Top Five Choices for Great Grilled Seafood

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Grilling fish, and other seafood, imparts a delicious smoky flavor, as well as an attractive set of caramelized grill marks. It's also the perfect way to avoid the odors that linger long after when it's cooked indoors. Unfortunately, most seafood doesn't fare well on the grill's hot grates.

The high water content means it's very difficult to sear, and as the fish cooks, it ends up tearing and falling apart. The best way to avoid these problems is to choose seafood that can take the high-heat, and still hold together. Here are the top five choices when it comes to easy, delicious, and disaster-free grilling.

1. Salmon

Photo © Flickr user VirtualErn
Salmon steaks work so well on the grill for several reasons. They still have part of the fish's backbone attached, which helps hold everything together as the fish cooks. Salmon steaks also still have the skin on, which really helps maintain a moist texture. For the best results, grilled salmon steaks should be at least an inch thick.

2. Halibut

Photo © Flickr user irina
Halibut is available in boneless fillets, and cut into steaks, similar to salmon. It can be used in much the same way as salmon, and has a fairly study texture that works well on the grill. Halibut has a nice mild flavor that picks up the flavors of a glaze or sauce easily. If using boneless fillets, be sure to allow 3-4 minutes for the first side to sear, before trying to flip. This is the most delicate of the seafood on this list, but if handled properly, makes a great grilled dish.

3. Ahi Tuna

Photo © Flickr user VirtualErn
Of all the grilled fish choices, Ahi tuna is the closest to a piece of grilled meat. It has a beautiful ruby color that looks like steak, and its meaty texture is perfect for the high-heat of the grill. Ahi, also known as Yellowfin tuna, is usually grilled to a medium-rare to take full advantage these attributes - once cooked past medium, it can become very dry, so keep that in mind when using this delicious fish.

4. Swordfish

Photo © Flickr user mccun934
Swordfish is a very popular grilled fish, since it's meaty texture not only make it easy to handle on a grill, but also works well with so many marinades and sauce. If using frozen swordfish steaks, be sure to thaw slowly in the fridge, and pat the fish dry with paper towels before brushing with oil and grilling.

5. Shrimp

Photo © Flickr user mccun934
Shrimp and prawns may be the easiest seafood of all to grill. They have a firm texture, so you never have to worry about handling them gently on the grill. You can skewer them, which makes turning them a snap, or if they are large enough, just throw them right on the grill individually. Grilled shrimp are also great for larger gatherings since they cook in just a few minutes. Most grill experts suggest using the deveined shrimp that still has the shell attached, which adds a lot of flavor as it cooks.
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