These Grilled Cod Fillets have a delicious, smoky flavor! They'll be ready in less than 20 minutes. Don't miss this simple BBQ cod recipe and all of my tips!
For cod's sake, I'm back with another awesome cod recipe! This easy, grilled cod features a firm, crusty exterior, a tender, flaky interior, and a delicious, smoky flavor.
Generously seasoned and drizzled with melted butter and a squeeze of lemon, it's perfection on a plate! And, it's less than 200 calories per serving, so it's healthy too.
Cod: Use fresh cod fillets or thaw frozen cod and dry it thoroughly first. Thick cod loins work really well because they're sturdy enough to be flipped on the grill. You also could cook thin cod pieces without flipping them.
And keep in mind, you can grill any sturdy white fish, such as haddock, pollock, halibut or orange roughy.
Seasoning: I love using a combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to season the cod for grilling, just like I do when broiling cod. It's delicious rubbed all over the oiled fish and helps form a nice crust when cooked at high heat.
Oil for the Grill: It's important to generously oil the grill grates or grid to prevent the fish from sticking. I always brush on canola oil, which has a high smoke point and won't burn. You also could use avocado oil or vegetable oil.
Olive Oil for the Fish: I use delicious olive oil to coat the fish before applying the spice rub. Olive oil has a lower smoke point, but I've never had issues when using it in this recipe.
Butter: I always use salted butter, but feel free to use unsalted if you prefer. We're melting just a couple of tablespoons of it to spoon over all the grilled cod fish before serving it with a squeeze of lemon.
How to grill cod
See the card at the end of this post for the full recipe, but here's an overview.
- Remove any bones and cut the cod fillets into serving-size pieces. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Brush olive oil on both sides of the fish and rub the seasoning all over the front and back of the cod.
- Grill the cod at 400 degrees F on a well-oiled grill rack (or topper) with the lid closed.
- Flip thick pieces after four minutes and cook them for another four minutes with the lid closed. Leave the thin pieces alone and cook them for a total of six minutes.
- Don't flip any thin pieces of cod while grilling, or they'll break. Just cook them for six minutes total.
- If you grill cod directly on the grates, don't try to flip any thicker pieces when they're sticking, or they'll fall apart. Let them cook a little longer until an outer crust develops and they flip over easily.
- I recommend cooking fish on a grill topper (affiliate link) with holes (see the photos above) so you don't have to worry about pieces falling between the grates. Or, you could grill the cod in foil. (See the FAQ section.)
What to serve with grilled cod
Frequently asked questions
Cooked cod's internal temperature should reach 130 degrees F for a moist result.
If you want the grilled cod fillets more well done, the maximum internal temperature should be 145 degrees F. But that will give you fish that's bordering on tough.
I haven't tried it, but you should be able to grill frozen cod if you dry it well first. You'll need to cook it longer than fresh or thawed cod. The fish is done when it easily flakes with a fork.
If you don't have a grill topper with holes, you may want to grill cod wrapped in foil, so you don't have to worry about the fish sticking and breaking apart.
Place each piece of oiled, seasoned cod onto its own sheet of heavy aluminum foil. Fold the foil around the cod to enclose it. Grill the foil packets for five minutes per side, or until done.
More cod recipes to make
- Beer-Battered Cod
- Italian Baccalà
- Parmesan-Crusted Cod
- Crispy Baked Cod
- Buttered Crumb Cod
- Cod with Tomatoes
If you try this simple Grilled Cod recipe, please leave a comment and a rating!
Grilled Cod Fillets
- canola oil for greasing the grill topper pan /grates (can use avocado oil or vegetable oil)
- 2 pounds cod fillets (or make 1 pound with half the recipe)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ¼ teaspoons paprika (if using smoked paprika, use 1 teaspoon)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- juice from ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- At least 15 minutes before cooking, preheat a gas grill. (Allow 20-30 minutes to preheat a charcoal grill.) If you have a grill topper pan with holes (see notes) place it on the racks first. Close the grill and heat it on medium-high to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly rinse the cod and feel for any bones to remove. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut any large pieces into serving portions. Wash your hands well.
- Add the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and salt to a tiny bowl and stir to blend. Drizzle a little olive oil on each piece of fish, using one tablespoon of oil total. Brush the oil all over the fish, front and back. Sprinkle some of the blended seasoning on each piece of fish, using it all. Rub the seasoning all over the top of each piece of cod. Wash your hands well.
- When the grill has reached 400 degrees, generously brush canola oil on the grill topper pan (or grates) to prevent the fish from sticking. Place the seasoned cod on the grill. Close the lid and cook thick pieces of fish for four minutes per side, carefully flipping them over with a large, metal spatula. (Don't flip them yet if the fish is sticking. Wait a little longer.) Cook any thin pieces of cod fillets for six minutes total without flipping them, so they won't break.
- The cod is done when you can easily flake it with a fork. (See notes.) Transfer the cod to a platter and cover it with foil until you're ready to serve it.
- Melt two tablespoons of butter in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, lightly covered with wax paper. Try 20 seconds at a time on high until it's ready. (Or melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat.) To serve, spoon melted butter on each piece of cod and squeeze the juice from half of a lemon over all the fish.
- Store leftover grilled cod in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Fish: You can substitute any sturdy white fish, such as haddock or orange roughy.
- Internal Temperature: Cooked cod's internal temperature should be 130 degrees F for a moist result. If you want the grilled cod fillets more well done, the maximum internal temperature should be 145 degrees F.
- Grill pan: I recommend cooking fish on a grill topper (affiliate link) with holes (see the photos in the article) so you don't have to worry about pieces falling between the grates.
- Grilling Cod in Foil: Place each piece of oiled, seasoned cod onto its own sheet of heavy aluminum foil. Fold the foil around the cod to enclose it. Grill the foil packets for five minutes per side or until done.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)