How to Broil Fish

Three Methods:Preheat the BroilerPrepare the FishCook the Fish

Learning how to broil fish provides cooks with a heart-healthy way to enjoy tender, flaky fish.

Method 1
Preheat the Broiler

In gas ovens, the broiler may be located either at the top of the oven or in a separate compartment of the oven. In electric ovens, the broiler is most often located at the top of the oven.

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    Place your oven rack about 4 inches (10 cm) from your broiler.
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    Place a heavy metal baking pan on the rack. You can also use the broiler pan that came with your oven.
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    Turn on the broiler. Some recipes will specify whether you should use the “high” or “low” setting. Fish needs to cook quickly under high heat, so use the “high” setting unless otherwise instructed.

Method 2
Prepare the Fish

Placing the fish on foil and then broiling it on a pan that is already hot ensures even cooking on both sides without the need to flip the fish mid-way through the process.

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    Rub the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. To save calories, you may spray the foil with cooking spray instead. You can either use your hand or a pastry brush to rub the oil onto the foil.
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    Place your fish on the piece of foil. If the fish has skin, the skin side should be in contact with the foil and the flesh side should be facing up.
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    Season the fish. Use 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper as a good basic seasoning. You may also add a squirt of fresh lemon juice for additional flavor.

Method 3
Cook the Fish

Check the fish at least every two minutes to ensure that it does not overcook.

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    Put on a pair of oven mitts, open your oven door and pull out both your rack and the hot pan. You should pull the rack out enough so that you can easily place the fish on the pan but not so much that you remove the rack.
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    Slide the foil and fish on top of the hot pan. You may want to curl up the edges of the foil so that any juices don’t pour out onto the cooking pan and burn; this will also save you cleanup time.
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    Close the oven door immediately.
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    Broil the fish. Expect to cook the fish for about 5 to 7 minutes for every inch of thickness. However, check the fish often to prevent burning.
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    Remove the baking pan and the fish from the oven and place the fish (while still on the foil) on either your counter or your range top. Let it sit and rest for about a minute before loosening it from the foil.
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    Remove the fish from the foil using a spatula. You’ll need to use the widest spatula that you own to ensure that the fish does not fall apart when you remove it from the pan. If you used fish with the skin on one side, you may find that you can separate the flesh from the skin easily with the spatula at this point.
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    Plate the fish and serve.
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  • To make fish tacos with whitefish, rub the fish with vegetable oil and mild chili powder before you broil it. While the fish is broiling, chop up 2 cucumbers, 1/2 cup (45 grams) cilantro, and 1 hot chili pepper of your choice. Mix the vegetables and cilantro together and add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice to it. When the fish has cooled, flake it into small pieces. Serve the fish in corn tortillas with the vegetable and cilantro topping.
  • Before broiling your fish, mix 1 pound (0.5 kilograms) of sliced tomatoes with 2 tablespoons each of capers and diced red onion. Add a 1/2 teaspoon olive oil to the tomato, caper and onion mixture, and then spread the mixture on top of and around the fish. Then, broil the fish.


  • Avoid pouring sauces, oil or marinade over your fish while you are broiling it because the ingredients will burn easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Thick metal baking pan or broiler pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Pastry brush
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon (optional)
  • Oven mitts
  • Wide spatula

Article Info

Categories: Basic Cooking Skills