How to Grill Fish in Foil

Grilling Salmon Fillet in FoilGrilling fish can be tough since it’s much more delicate than chicken or steak. It can fall apart as it cooks or gets stuck to the grate. The uneven heat of a grill can also make parts of it tough and dry while other parts are just barely cooked. Grilling fish in foil is the best solution. It keeps the fish intact, locks in moisture and helps the heat distribute evenly. It also allows you to add in herbs and aromatics to perfectly season your grilled fish fillets.

Choosing Fish to Grill

If you are placing fish directly onto the grill, it’s best to stick with hearty fish like salmon or tuna. When you grill fish in foil, you can cook any type of fish that you like from flounder or cod to snapper or Mahi-Mahi.


Preparing Fish for the Grill

  1. Pat the fillets down with a paper towel to remove any water on the outside. This will help the fish to brown perfectly.
  2. Tear off 10” by 10” sheets of aluminum foil (they should be 5 – 6 inches longer the fillet when it is on it). Lightly grease the dull side of each foil sheet with oil or butter. The shiny side of the foil should be facing down.
  3. Place one fillet in the center of each greased sheet of foil. If the fish has skin on one side, that side should be facing down.
  4. Turn up the edges of the foil to create a bowl-like shape.
  5. Squeeze a quarter of a lemon or half of a lime over the fillet. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then add any herbs or aromatics that you would like such as garlic, rosemary, paprika or dill. You can also toss in vegetables like onions, bell pepper, and carrots.
  6. Bend the foil over the fish and fold each edge so that it becomes a pouch. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the top to release steam as it cooks.
  7. Place the foil packets on the grill. Grill over medium-high for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on the size of the fillet) on a gas or charcoal grill.
  8. Remove the foil packets from the grill with either a long-handled metal spatula or long-handled grilling tongs.

Grilled Fish with Lemon Recipe

If you’re looking for a recipe to make smoked fish over a wood fire, we recommend this grilled lemon fish recipe from LiveStrong.com.


4 fish fillets, thick-cut

4 lemons, sliced in half

4 Tablespoons butter

Dried dill weed

Coarse sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper


Small bowl

2 handfuls of dry cherry wood chips

Natural lump charcoal

2 – 3 sheets of newspaper

Long-handled grilling spatula or tongs

Long-handled lighter


  1. Fish on the grillPlace the cherry wood chips into the small bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the wood chips and let soak.
  2. Open the grill, remove the cooking grate and open the grill’s vents.
  3. Fill the bottom of the grill with natural lump coal. It has a better flavor than briquettes and lights faster.
  4. Place the sheets of newspaper either in the lower chamber of the charcoal starter or on top of the charcoal. Light the newspaper and wait for all the coals to ignite (about 20 minutes).
  5. Once the coals are glowing, drain the water from the wood chips. Throw the wood chips on top of the coals.
  6. Put the grate back onto the grill over the charcoal.
  7. Place the fish fillet packets (prepared according to the instructions above) onto the grate.
  8. Close the grill lid. Cook for 10 – 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  9. Remove the foil packets from the grill with either a long-handled metal spatula or long-handled grilling tongs.

Let us know in the comments if you have any grilling tips or favorite recipes! If you’re looking for a trustworthy fish market that offers the best seafood in Connecticut, stop by City Fish Market!

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