Can You Grill Shellfish?
Are you tired of barbecuing hotdogs and hamburgers? Throw some shellfish on the grill this summer! Lobster, shrimp, and even oysters taste amazingly grilled!
Shellfish cook quickly on the grill. It gives it a mouthwateringly sweet and smoky flavor. Follow these tips to grill shrimp, lobster, clams, oysters, and mussels to perfection.
#1: Leave the Shell On
Grill shellfish in the shell. The shell traps in the meat’s juices, giving it a delicious flavor and preventing it from drying out.
Lobster: If you buy fresh lobster, it’s more humane to kill it before grilling it. Fine Cooking has a helpful video tutorial you can follow. You can also ask your fishmonger if they will do this for you. If you pick up frozen lobster, be sure to thaw it under cold water and then pat it dry with a paper towel. Then use kitchen shears or a large knife to split the bodies and tails in half and remove the gills.
Shrimp: Jumbo shrimp are best for grilling. Before putting them on the grill, using a pairing knife to cut down the middle and devein the shrimp. Then rinse under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
Clams, Oysters & Mussels: Run cold water over clams, oysters, or mussels and use a stiff brush to clean off any grit in the shells. Throw away any shells that are broken or won’t open when gently squeezed. (Be sure to buy extra since, on average, 2 to 3 out of every dozen will need to be discarded). Pull off any beards you see on the mussels. Then pat them dry.
#2: Prep for the Grill
Grease the grate and preheat the grill to a high temperature. While the grill heats up, follow these simple steps to prep the meat.
Lobster & Shrimp: Brush lobster and shrimp with melted butter or olive oil and dust with salt and pepper before placing them on the grill. Lay them on the grill with the cut side down until the flesh is lightly charred (about two minutes for shrimp and around 5 minutes for lobster), then flip over and brush with more butter or oil. Cook shrimp for another 2 minutes and lobster for 5 more minutes.
Clams, Oysters & Mussels: You don’t need to add anything to clams, oysters, or mussels. Just lay them on the grill with the flattest side down and cook with the grill closed until the shells pop open.
#3: Keep Your Eyes on the Grill
Shellfish cook in just 4 to 10 minutes on a grill (depending on the size and type). Be sure to keep your eyes on them and have tongs ready! The high temperature can dry out shellfish quickly if you aren’t paying attention.
#4: Get Dip In!
Spice up your shellfish with a delicious dipping sauce. Classic Garlic Butter and Epicurious’ Old Bay Dipping Sauce and Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce are three of our favorites.
City Fish Market boasts a large selection of New England’s finest shellfish from Maine lobsters and fresh jumbo shrimp to Quahogs (hard-shell clams) and Blue Point oysters. Stop on by our seafood counter to pick up shellfish for your next barbecue!