How to Grill Catfish Made Simple

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 24, 2021

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Catfish fillet is a popular source of low-calorie protein. Grilling catfish helps to achieve two things.

It makes the fillet tastier and you are also able to reduce the amount of fat in the final dish. Lean catfish could be the centerpiece of a healthy diet.

The fish can be served along with brown rice or any other healthy grain you can think of. But I prefer a grilled blackened catfish plain or alongside some tasty homemade salsa full of raw tomatoes.


Well, here are a few steps you can follow how to grill catfish :

How to Fillet a Catfish


First thing you got to do, they got a sturdy head, and a robust skeleton so gets a decent hold of them with the glove, and you need to discover where the flesh starts and the head stops just behind the head.

Here start to cut and follow the spine of the fish once past the ribcage push the blade the whole distance through.

Press down the weight on the spine out to the tail take that filet off strip back the meat and let the knife work around the ribs then grab on to the tail make your cut down pressure with the knife all the way up to the end, that is you’re left with a nice fillet.

Do the same on the opposite side.

See it clear this video how to clean catfish:

**Note: you need to remove the skin from the fish, a lot of people, will use a pair of pliers to pull that skin off if your knife is excellent and sharp you won’t have a problem again

How to Season Catfish


Start by rinsing the catfish fillet with lots of water. Use some dry paper to pat the fillet until it’s dry.
Season the fish with some salt and pepper.

Do not put too much though. If you are watching your sodium intake you can get rid of the salt altogether. Marinate the fish too with your favorite coat of marinade. This will help infuse certain specific flavors into it.

How to prepare Catfish for Grilling

Preheat your charcoal or gas grill to medium heat. The internal temperature of the grill needs to reach between 370 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the fish rest in room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Brush the surface of your grill using olive oil. This will prevent the fish from sticking on the metal once grilling starts.

How to Grill Catfish


Place the catfish gently on the grill. Close the lid and let the fish cook for three to four minutes per side.

You can now use an internal meat thermometer to check if the catfish is fully cooked or not.

The internal temperature should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature is reached, remove the fish from the grill and let it cool.

It is advisable to make a homemade marinade using small amounts of olive oil, garlic, spices, and citrus juice. This will help you cut back on the fat and calories that sometimes come with the marinade.

You may also place the catfish fillet on a whole wheat bun in case you want to make some healthy sandwich.

Also read: how to cook calamari steak


What Temperature Should I Grill Catfish?

An internal meat thermometer should help in determining whether the catfish is fully cooked. The fish should be removed from the grill when its internal temperature hits 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Catfish on the Grill
Times 10 min approx.
Heat icon fire
Temp. 145°F

How Do You Grill Frozen Fish?

You will need to safely thaw the frozen fish first before you start grilling. Just place the fish in the refrigerator overnight and let it thaw out gradually. This will help to preserve the texture and the flavor of the fish. In case you want to do it faster than normal, place the fish in a resealable plastic bag and dip it into cold water for about an hour.

Can You Cook Catfish with the Skin On?

Yes, you can fry catfish fillet with the skin on. However, the skin tends to shrink a bit as it curls under the heat. You can prevent this by cooking under slow heat. This will also ensure that the fish cooks evenly.

How Do You Fry Catfish on a Gas Grill?

You will need a gas grill with at least two burners to get this done. It’s also possible to fry the fish on a campfire or a charcoal grill. However, controlling the oil temperature is very important and as such, using a gas grill is highly recommended. Start by putting a frying pot over the burner and turn the heat to high. Pour the oil into the pot and once hot, add the fish. Let it cook for a few minutes until it’s ready.

Also read: How to Cook Steak on Pellet Grill

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.