Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: April 6, 2022

When cooking fish, it can often feel like a daunting task to capture the freshness of the meat while ensuring it is safely and perfectly grilled.

Fortunately, our team of grilling experts has some insight into one of the most popular fish dishes: grilled cod.

Grilling the perfect cod begins with preparation, namely: buying quality fish, understanding the different species of cod, and preparing your grill for cooking.

Only once preparation stages for grilling have been fulfilled should you continue to grill the fish at controlled temperatures.

Although fish, and particularly cod, can be a tricky dish to prepare, our team of experts has devised simple tips and tricks that you can use at home to ensure you cook that perfect grilled cod every time!

Quick Summary

  • The quality and type of cod grilled affect the flavor of the dish and the method of preparation.
  • Cod should be carefully handled, stored, and prepared before grilling.
  • Grills need to be pre-heated, thoroughly cleaned, and coated with oil prior to grilling cod. This ensures the fish doesn’t stick during cooking and is safely cooked without the risk of dirt or debris.

What Types Of Cod Are There?

Raw cod fish with lemon slices

The type of cod you buy will affect the flavor of your final dish and the method of preparation. The three most popular types of cod are as follows [1]:

  1. Pacific Cod: is a lean, mild fish found in the North Pacific Ocean. Pacific Cod has a more savory taste and firmer texture than other types of cod. It is best cooked pan-fried, deep-fried, grilled, baked, and roasted.
  2. Ling Cod: is found exclusively off the west coast of North America. Ling cod has a slightly sweet and mild taste that compliments various methods of cooking.3. 
  3. Alaskan Cod: is found in the North Atlantic. It has a slightly sweet taste, with a firm but flaky texture. While Alaskan cod is suitable for various methods of cooking, it is not advisable for grilling and should be avoided for the purposes of this article.

How To Prepare Cod For Grilling?

All fish, including cod, must be properly prepared before grilling as per FDA guidelines [2]:

  1. Cod must be chilled before cooking to prevent foodborne illnesses.
  2. Fish should be allowed to thaw and marinate in the refrigerator
  3. All utensils must be washed before and after handling fish with hot, soapy water
  4. Cod should preferably be cooked within 2 days of purchase
  5. As much moisture as possible should be extracted from cod before grilling, this is best achieved by lightly patting the fish with a paper towel.

How To Prepare Your Grill For Grilling Cod?

A new gas grill on the side

“Treat your grill like a cast-iron pan; you want it smoking hot, clean, and well-seasoned” [3]

The following are simple tips to allow you safely and efficiently grill cod:

  • Pre-heat your grill to a medium-high heat of approximately 400-450F. This helps to prevent sticking of the cod and loosen any dirt or debris to make cleaning the grill easier,
  • When cleaning the grill, the grates must be thoroughly scrubbed with a wire brush to remove any dirt, debris, ash, and bits of food,
  • Use a piece of folded paper towel dipped in oil to wipe the grates until they’re glossy; this coating further helps the fish from not sticking to the grill.

Grilled Cod Recipe

Raw Cod fish with lemon slices on top of cutting board

Now that you know the importance of cod selection, fish preparation, and grill preparation, you are ready to try this super simple, but delicious grilled cod recipe at home [4].

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Additional Time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes
  • Servings: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions.
  • 2 fillet cods cut in half (8-ounce fillets for a serving size of 4-ounces each)

Grilling Tips/Alternatives

Freshly cooked and grilled Cod fish close up image

Grilling Cod with the Skin On

grilling cod with the skin on increases the chance of sticking while cooking but adds an extra layer of flavor and texture if cooked correctly.

To mitigate sticking, make sure to sear the flesh side first and use a spatula with a side-to-side motion to carefully spate the skin and flesh from each other when the cod is cooked.

Adding a Smoky Flavour

to add a smoky flavor to grilled cod, soaked wood chips can be added to the charcoal to add a smoky flavor and texture to the cooking process.

The same can be achieved with an electric or gas grill, provided it has a smoker box accessory.

Conclusion

As can be seen above, with a bit of preparation and making sure you follow the correct steps, delicious cod can be easily and safely prepared for yourself at home without too much difficulty!


References:

  1. https://www.livestrong.com/article/13764363-cod-cooking-methods-complete-guide/
  2. https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/grilling/how-to-grill-fish
  3. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/222202/grilled-cod/
  4. https://www.weber.com/US/en/blog/tips-techniques/fish-on-the-grillits-easier-than-you-think/weber-31082.html

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