Fish and Seafood

Below you will find proper grilling times for fish and seafood. These are general fish and seafood grilling times, always use a grilling thermometer to ensure fish and seafood reaches the proper temperature.

To find the proper fish and seafood grilling time on the chart below, find the type of fish/seafood you are grilling in the first column and follow the row to your right for various preparations. You will find the grilling times for the following types of fish and seafood: Whole Fish, Fish Steaks, Fish Fillets, Shellfish: Shrimp, Lobster, Crab and Clams.

Grilling Instructions: Grilling time is gauged by the heat of the fire, the width of the fish at its thickest part, and the distance of the grill from the heat source.

  • For most shellfish and steaks, use a medium-hot grill
  • The rule-of-thumb for steaks is 10 minutes per inch at four inches from the heat source
  • For peeled shrimp, scallops and calamari use a hot grill
  • Tuna steaks should be seared on a hot grill and finished on a medium grill
  • Whole fish should be cooked at a lower heat
  • All times in the guideline chart below reflect total cooking time

To test for doneness, cut into the center of the fish at its thickest part. If it is opaque throughout but still moist, it’s done. Another test is to press the flesh; if soft, it’s not done; if hard and firm, it’s overdone; if firm but springs back, it’s done. Shellfish should also be just opaque and will be dry if overcooked.

These grilling times are approximate, so you need to keep a close eye on the fish to keep it from overcooking. Because it doesn’t hold heat, fish needs to be served immediately, hot off the grill.


Whole Fish

Thickness Weight Time
1 to 1½ inches ½ to 1 lb. 12 minutes
2 to 2½ inches 3 to 5 lbs. 20 to 30 minutes
3 inches 5 to 7 lbs. 30 to 40 minutes

Filets and Steaks

Thickness Time
½ inch 4 to 6 minutes
¾ inch 6 to 8 minutes
1 inch 10 minutes



Type Thickness or Weight Time
Shrimp large 4 to 6 minutes
Lobster whole (1½ – 2 lbs.) 8 to 10 minutes
Lobstertail (10 ounces) 8 minutes
Crabwhole (2 lbs.) 10 minutes
Clams medium 6 to 8 minutes