Broiling fish is a simple, fast method of preparing fish and by following a few basic guidelines you can be guaranteed some delicious results. Broiling is also a good alternative to grilling, and nearly any recipe for grilled fish can be adapted for the broiler.
10 Tips for Making Perfect Broiled Fish
Many types of fish are suitable for broiling and if you follow these few simple guidelines you’re sure to get delicious results.
- Always preheat the broiler for 7 to 10 minutes prior to adding the fish
- Broil fish in the bottom half of a broiler pan that has been lined with aluminum foil and lightly oiled
- Always oil both sides of a fish fillet, even if you are planning to baste with butter
- When broiling whole fish, be sure the total weight doesn’t exceed 2 pounds
- The skin on a whole fish should be pricked with a skewer to prevent it from curling and blistering
- If broiling skin-on fillets, slash the skin a few times to prevent shrinkage and broil skin side up
- The distance from the heat source is determined by the thickness of the fish, allow 2-inches distance from the heat for each 1/2-inch of thickness
- Thicker fish fillets should be moved further from the heat to prevent over-cooking on the surface before the center is cooked completely
- A general rule of thumb for broiling times is as follows, allow 2 minutes per side for each 1/2-inch of fish thickness
- Good fish choices for broiling include: salmon, halibut, sole, swordfish, mahi and trout
Tip: Don’t try to achieve the golden brown exterior you’ll find on broiled fish from a restaurant by cooking it longer than the times recommended above. Home broilers simply don’t get as hot as their commercial counterparts and you’ll end up overcooking your fish.
Butter-Basted Broiled Halibut Fillets Recipe (pictured above):
Step 1. Preheat the broiler, line a broiler pan with foil and coat it with nonstick spray.
Step 2. Remove the skin from the halibut if necessary and cut it into serving-sized pieces.
Step 3. Rub some extra-virgin olive oil into both sides of the fillets, season with salt and pepper and top each piece with a pat of butter.
Step 5. Place the halibut under the broiler, about 4 inches from the heat and broil for 4 minutes.
Step 6. Carefully turn the fish over and baste with some of the butter and broil for an additional 4 minutes.
Step 7. Serve immediately.