Solutions for Everyday Kitchen Mistakes

You can learn from your mistakes, but it may result in ugly cakes, calorie overloads, and even singed arm hair (ouch!).  Learn from our cooking, nutrition, grilling, and baking mistakes instead!

The Most Common Cooking Mistakes

Learn how to avoid these common mistakes for success every time.

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How to Avoid Fish Sticking to the Grill
Photo: Johnny Autry

45. Your Fish Sticks to the Grill

Grilled fish makes for a delicious, healthy summertime meal, but many backyard chefs give the seafood counter a wide berth for fear of disastrous results: fillets that cling to the grill rack and break into little pieces when you try to flip them. A grimy grill, insufficient heat, and the wrong fish are all often to blame.

The solution: Stickage prevention is a process, and it starts at the store. Skip delicate, flaky fish like tilapia, cod, or flounder, and go with firmer-fleshed fish, such as salmon, tuna, or swordfish. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels before grill time.

Now prep the grill. Set the rack over a hot fire for five minutes to burn away lingering debris, then scrub thoroughly with a grill brush. Carefully lift the rack and coat with cooking spray. Don't spray into the fire; if you can't remove the rack, swab it with oil using wadded paper towels held with tongs. But don't use the tongs for the fish: A spatula is less likely to tear the fillets. Let the fillets cook undisturbed for a few minutes. When they're ready to flip, they'll release cleanly.

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