How to Broil Seafood Like A Pro

broiled fish recipesBroiling is the fastest and easiest way to prepare restaurant quality seafood at home. During Connecticut’s cold winters, it is an excellent alternative to grilling.

The broiler in your oven is like an upside-down grill. Instead of cooking food from the bottom, it cooks it from that top at a high temperature that gives it a nice sear or crispy crust. Whether you’re broiling salmon or shrimp, you won’t need to leave it in the oven for more than 5 to 10 minutes due to the high temperatures. You can use this method as an alternative for any grilled seafood recipe.

Helping you get dinner on the table faster isn’t the only benefit of broiling seafood. Research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggestions that broiling and baking seafood allows you to reap more health benefits, such as reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, that you may not get from eating fried seafood.

Even though broiling is a simple cooking method, it is important to follow a few guidelines to ensure that your seafood turns out tender and flaky instead of tough and dry.

8 Tips for Broiling Seafood Like a Pro

  1. Move the top rack in your oven up to the highest position so that the pan will be 3 or 4 inches away from the broiler. Unless you are cooking fish steaks or fillets that are 1 ½ to 2 inches thick. Then the pan should be moved to the second rack down so that it can cook more evenly.
  2. Preheat the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes before putting the pan in the oven.
  3. Pat the fish or shellfish down with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before cooking. This will help your fish or shellfish to brown nicely.
  4. Even if you are planning to baste the seafood with butter during cooking, brush oil over both sides before placing it on a broiler pan that is covered with aluminum foil. Otherwise, the seafood will stick to the aluminum foil.
  5. If you are planning to broil a whole fish, prick the skin with a skewer or fork. This will prevent the fish from curling or blistering as it cooks.
  6. If you are broiling a fish fillet with skin on it, cut a few thin slashes into the skin so that it doesn’t shrink during cooking. Place the fish skin-side up on the pan.
  7. Baste the seafood with melted butter, wine or fish stock to prevent it from drying out.
  8. Check the seafood every 2 to 2 ½ minutes as it broils to prevent it from overcooking.

Best Seafood to Broil

Due to the high temperatures, some seafood is better for broiling than others. Here’s a list of the best types of seafood to broil.

Bluefish, Cod, Grouper, Haddock, Halibut, Kingfish, King Mackerel, Kona Kampachi, Large/Jumbo shrimp, Lobster tail, Mahi Mahi, Monkfish, Mullet, Perch, Pike, Pollock, Pompano, Rockfish, Roughy, Salmon, Sablefish, Sea Bass, Shark, Striped Bass, Swordfish, Trout, Tuna, and Walleye.

Broiled Fish with Citrus and Herbs

If you are looking for a delicious, healthy recipe, we recommend Whole Foods Market’s broiled fish with citrus and herb recipe.


3/4 cup orange juice or lemon juice

1/2 minced shallot

1/4 tsp dried tarragon

4–6 oz white fish fillet (like sole, tilapia or cod)

1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

3 chopped pitted Kalamata olives (optional)


  1. broiled fish and couscousMix together the citrus juice, minced shallot and tarragon in a small saucepan.
  2. Simmer over medium high until thickened (approximately 15–20 minutes) then cover and set aside.
  3. Preheat the broiler.
  4. Pat down the fish fillets with a paper towel. Then brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Lay the fish fillets down on a broiling pan after covering the pan with foil.
  6. Broil for 5 minutes or until the fish are opaque and flake when speared with a fork.
  7. Plate the fish fillets, spoon the sauce over it and top with olives. Then serve.

This recipe pairs well with a side of rice pilaf or cous cous and roasted peppers.

For the finest fresh seafood in Connecticut, stop by City Fish Market! The friendly seafood specialists at our fish counter will be happy to help you find the best fish fillets or shellfish to make for dinner.

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