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This whole grilled snapper recipe will be the highlight of your next cookout. Your friends and family will be so impressed, they’ll ask you for the recipe. Cooking a whole snapper may look intimidating, but it’s actually incredibly easy. Just follow our simple step baby step directions to cook a grilled whole red snapper.
Please everyone at your next family meal with our easy whole grilled snapper recipe! Red snapper is the perfect fish to serve, even to picky eaters. Grilled red snapper gives you all of your favorite things about fish without that overpowering fishy taste and smell.
This versatile seafood dish can be customized to whatever your palate is craving. Simply season with your favorite herbs and spices, throw your snapper on the grill, and you’ve got yourself an easy gourmet meal!
How to grill snapper – Whole Grilled Snapper Recipe
Our grilled red snapper recipe is super easy and will satisfy just about anyone you want to serve it to! To grill red snapper, you will want to first preheat your grill to a medium to high heat. While your grill is preheating, you will begin to prepare your fish!
Next, score a few lines in the flesh of your skinned whole red snapper using a sharp knife. Then, season your snapper with a bit of salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil- nothing too fancy needed here!
After the fish has been seasoned, place the fish directly on the grill with olive oil and seasoning on both sides. Be sure to keep some extra olive oil and a basting brush near the grill in case your snapper starts to stick!
After that, cook your whole red snapper for about 20 minutes, flipping once, until your fish is white and flaky. Lift from the grill using a thin metal spatula, and serve!
Notes: Our red snapper was 3# and took longer to cook than if we had cooked 2 smaller red snappers. Be sure not to over cook your snapper. Use a meat thermometer and remove the fish from the grill once it reaches an internal temperature of 145F.
How to cook snapper on the grill
When cooking red snapper on the grill, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. Be sure to keep the hood of the grill down when cooking to ensure the fish is cooked evenly. Cooking with indirect heat is also a common way to cook whole snapper, as this helps with proportionate heating as well.
When grilling with indirect heat on a charcoal grill, you will want to bank the coals to one side of the grill and cook on the side without the coals. When grilling with indirect heat on a gas grill, just turn off half of the burners on the grill and cook on the side with the burners off. By grilling with indirect heat, you will find that your grilled snapper recipe is cooked nice and evenly!
What temperature do you grill snapper?
When grilling most fish (including snapper), you want the temperature of your grill to be at a medium to high heat. You should preheat your grill to about 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the recipe. To ensure that your grilled red snapper is safe to eat, cook it until it is 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and the flesh of the fish is pearly white and no longer translucent.
Does red snapper need to be scaled?
When you buy red snapper at the fish market, they will ask you if you want it descaled before you take it home- we recommend you say yes! And don’t worry- vendors must have the organs removed from the fish and “clean” it before they can sell it to you. But yes, you will want your whole red snapper to be scaled before you prepare it for cooking!
Does red snapper have bones?
Yes, when you buy your whole red snapper from the market, it will have small bones near the surface of the flesh under the skin. You will be able to easily feel the bones by running your fingers over the flesh.
Simply pick out the bones with a tweezers before scoring and seasoning your snapper. Nobody wants to end up crunching fish bones between their teeth while trying to enjoy their meal!
Do you flip fish on the grill?
Typically, yes, you flip your fish when grilling. BUT be sure that you do not flip your fish more than once on the grill. Flippin your fish more than once increases the chances that your meal will fall apart before you even get it to your plate.
You don’t want to miss out on half of your meal, and you definitely don’t want to have to clean charred flakes of fish off your grill. Not to mention a less than desirable presentation.
How can you tell if red snapper is bad?
There are many signs to tell you if fish has gone bad. To tell if your red snapper is bad, look for a strong foul fishy smell, slimy texture, and dull color. Also make sure the scales of your fish (if still on) are firm and not flaking off easily. Any of these signs may indicate that your snapper is no longer good to eat, and you should select a fresher one to grill up!
Can you eat red snapper skin?
Yes, you can eat red snapper with the skin on. When it comes to red snapper, eating the fish with or without the skin is really about preference. Some people like grilled red snapper with the skin on because it creates a flavorful brown crust, and many of the wonderful nutrients in the fish are packed into the skin! Others may not like the texture of the skin and will choose to enjoy their grilled snapper recipe skinless.
Other Easy Meals to Impress Guests
- lemon garlic rosemary cast iron chicken thighs
- easy beef barbacoa recipe
- alice springs chicken recipe – outback copycat
- cast iron pork chops – bone in pork chops
- grilled flank steak with chimichurri sauce
- baked pork tenderloin
- oven baked chicken breasts