[Photographs: Joshua Bousel. Video: Natalie Holt]

A perfectly grilled piece of seafood can be a glorious thing—light and fresh, with a delicious simplicity. This basic halibut recipe incorporates all our best tips for getting grilled fish fillets right.

Serious Eats


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  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time:15 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes
  • Ingredients

    • 4 thick-cut fillets halibut or other hearty fish, about 1/3 pound (150g) each
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
    • Kosher salt, to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 2 lemons, halved, for serving
    • Type of fire: direct
    • Grill heat: medium-high


    1. 1.

      Carefully pat fillets dry with paper towels. Brush fillets liberally with oil and season with salt and pepper.

    2. 2.

      Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate. Place fish on grill and cook until bottoms of fillets begin to turn opaque and a spatula can be slid under fish with little resistance, about 5 minutes. Flip fish and cook until it can be flaked with a fork and is opaque almost all the way through, or until it registers between 130 and 135°F (54 and 57°C) on an instant-read thermometer inserted in middle of fillet, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer fish to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, then serve with lemon halves.

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