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How to Grill Fruit and Seafood

Last week we outlined five grilling must-haves. Now, let’s tackle two tasty grilling options that cause many a flame-cooked foodie to tremble: seafood and fruit.

Grilling both enhances their flavor and adds an undeniable wow-factor, but technique is important. Here are a few tips to keep your grill session swimming and your results, well, fruitful.


  • Take extra care not to overcook seafood and fish. Remove from the grill as soon as it's done; it will continue to cook once it has been removed from the fire.
  • Select lighter-tasting seasonings and marinades that don’t mask delicate flavors.

Fish, specifically:

  • Choose a neutral-flavored oil such as canola to help keep fish moist.
  • Once you put fish on the grill, don't touch it for at least three minutes. A crust needs to form on the outside, which will allow the fish to naturally pull away from the grates.
  • Thin pieces of fish can be wrapped in cornhusks, banana leaves, grape leaves or foil.
  • Fish is naturally tender and should not sit in an acid-based marinade (like lemon juice) for longer than 20 minutes, or it will start to "cook" the fish, turning it mushy.

Shrimp on the barbie!:

  • Choose jumbo varieties, which are easier to handle and less prone to falling through the grill grates.
  • Shrimp should be marinated (with or without the shells) or brushed lightly with oil.
  • Cook shrimp until it turns pink, about 5-7 minutes. Turn it halfway through cooking.
  • When done, shrimp should be pink and the flesh should turn opaque white.
  • An oiled grill basket or skewers work well to keep shrimp from slipping between the grates.
  • Grilled shrimp works especially well over noodles!


  • Use a light brushing of canola oil to help prevent sticking. Foil packets work, too.
  • Ideal grilling fruits are firm and barely ripe. Watermelon, pineapple, apples, peaches and pears can all take the heat. Soak them in liquor or drizzle with honey before grilling for an added burst of flavor.
  • Cook all fruits directly over moderately hot coals or use the indirect heat method. Rotate them or move them to a cooler part of the grill during cooking as necessary to ensure that the outside isn't cooking too quickly.
  • Try grilled fruit on salads or burgers, or as a caramelly-sweet summertime dessert.

For more tips and recipe ideas, see our complete Guide to Grilling.

Tell us: how do you turn out super seafood and fruit from the grill?

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famousperson says …

Using a simple brine on fish like salmon for 30 minutes to an hour eliminates the need for additional oil. Fish stays incredibly moist, tender, flaky, and flavorful-- a quart (or 2?) of h2o, 1/4 c sugar, 1/4 c salt (I think that's right :). I just put the filleted fish in a gallon freezer bag and add the sugar and salt, and water to the top.

Carol says …

Thanks for your great articles, however, I have an issue with the promotion of canola oil. Most canola oils are GMO and other studies have shown that canola and most vegetable oils are not healthy when heated to high temps such as those on grills. I would encourage people to use coconut oil or ghee instead. Thanks for accepting comments and suggestions.

Adele says …

Carol - When I lived in the UK, canola oil, which we knew as rape seed oil, was considered one of the healthiest oils to use in food preparation...there certainly weren't any instances of it being a GMO. That being said, now that I live in the USA I have heard conflicting views on its health properties here...perhaps it is processed differently in this country. (?)

Toby Cooper-Evans says …

this morning 6/1/14..I saw a recipe from wholes foods with salmons and I think pie crust with a cream filling , I did not see a recipe and could not locate on line..can you please forward this info to me. Thank you..did not know wholes food had such a wonderful website with great info

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TOBY - Can you clarify where you saw the photo? I can help try to track it down, otherwise, you can search for tons of recipes on our site at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes.