Catfish is a delicious and versatile fish that can be grilled, baked, fried, or even smoked, but when it comes to grilling catfish, there are a few things you need to know to make sure it turns out perfectly.

Grilling catfish is an excellent way to bring out the natural flavors of this delicious freshwater fish. Whether you’re a seasoned grilling enthusiast or a novice looking to impress, STYLEAFRIQUE™•com has provided you with a step-by-step guide on how to make the best whole catfish grill. From selecting the freshest fish to adding mouthwatering seasonings, STYLEAFRIQUE™•com will cover all the essential aspects to ensure a delightful culinary experience. So, fire up your grill and let’s get started!

1. Choosing the Perfect Catfish

Fresh Catfish
Fresh Catfish. Photo Credit:

To create the best grilled catfish, start with selecting the freshest fish available. Look for whole catfish with clear eyes, bright red gills, and shiny, tight skin. Ensure that the fish smells clean and has a firm texture when touched. Opt for fish weighing around 1 to 2 pounds, as they are ideal for grilling and provide a balance between flavor and tenderness.

2. Preparing the Catfish

Preparing the Catfish
Preparing the Catfish. Photo Credit:

Once you have your catfish, follow these steps to prepare it for the grill:

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a. Gutting and cleaning: Rinse the fish thoroughly under cold water, removing any remaining scales and entrails. Pat dry with paper towels.

b. Scaling: If you prefer to keep the skin on, scale the fish using a scaling tool or a knife. This step is optional, but scaling helps achieve crispy skin while grilling.

c. Seasoning: In a blender, combine oil, orange juice, chili flakes, dried thyme, garlic, and salt, scallions, onions and peppers and blend. Fry the mixture on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Coat the catfish generously with the mixture, ensuring both the exterior and the cavity are adequately coated. Allow it to marinade for about 30 minutes.

3. Preparing the Grill

Grilling whole catfish requires proper heat management and a clean cooking surface. Follow these steps to prepare your grill:

a. Preheating: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 190°C to 205°C (375°F to 400°F). This temperature range ensures a nice sear and even cooking.

b. Oil the grill grates: To prevent the catfish from sticking, lightly oil the grill grates with a high smoke-point oil like vegetable or canola oil. Use a folded paper towel dipped in oil and hold it with tongs to grease the grates thoroughly.

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4. Grilling the Catfish

Grilling the Catfish
Grilling the Catfish. Photo Credit:

Grilling catfish requires attention and careful handling to achieve a perfectly cooked and flavorful result. Transfer the catfish onto a foil, add any veggies of your choice and place it on the preheated grill grates. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side or until nice and tender, depending on the thickness of the fish. Generously brush the fish with the marinade or pepper mix while grilling. Avoid excessive flipping to prevent the fish from falling apart.

5. Serving and Enjoying

Grilled Catfish with a side of ripe plantain
Grilled Catfish with a side of ripe plantain. Photo Credit:

Once your catfish is cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and savor the flavors:

a. Let it rest: Allow the grilled catfish to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps redistribute the juices and ensures a moist and tender texture.

b. Presentation: Serve the catfish whole on a platter or individual plates, garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. Accompany it with lemon wedges for a citrusy touch and a dipping sauce of your choice.

c. Side dishes: Grilled catfish pairs well with various sides such as rice, coleslaw, chips, fried yam/plantain, or a fresh green salad.