How to broil fish

broiling fish  When BROILING FISH you are using a dry heat method of cooking which uses direct heat, usually from above. Fillets or steaks at least ½ inch thick and less than 1 ½ inches are best suited for broiling. Fatty or oilier fish work best for broiling, however lean ones can be used if they are basted often while cooking. Salmon, halibut, swordfish, tuna and mahi mahi are some of the best types to use for broiling. The following cooking times for broiling fish are approximate.  All ovens are different so make sure to check the fish often because at this high heat it can burn quickly.


Adjust the broiler rack according to the thickness of the steak or fillet.  Have the fish about 2 inches from the heat for every ½ inch of thickness.

If the fish is                                place it
½ inch thick                                      2 inches from the heat
¾ inch thick                                      3 inches from the heat
1 inch thick                                        4 inches from the heat
1 ½ inches thick                               6 inches from the heat
Preheat the broiler and the broiler pan for 10 minutes on high heat.
Spread olive oil or cooking oil on the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil.
Pat dry with a paper towel.
Coat both sides of the fish with oil or butter and place it on aluminum foil. You can season the top  with your favorite seasonings however plain salt and pepper will work fine.
If the fillets have skin on them make a few slits in the skin with a sharp knife. It helps to prevent the fillet from curling.
Place the foil and fish on the broiler pan and return to the preheated broiler.


¼ inch thick         2 ½ minutes
½ inch thick         5 minutes
¾ inch thick         7 ½ minutes
1 inch thick           10 minutes
1 ½ inches thick   15 minutes
Turn the fish over with a wide spatula about half way through cooking and baste with butter or oil.
Very thin fillets probably won’t need to be turned.
The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Whenever possible use a meat  thermometer.  Fish is done at 145 degrees.
If you need information on shellfish check out
For information on other fish and how to cook them go to

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