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Bluegill fish is low in fat and saturated fat, high in potassium and an excellent source of protein, with each 4-ounce serving containing 22 grams of protein, or almost 40 percent of the daily protein requirement for men and 48 percent of the recommended intake for women. Valued by freshwater anglers for its firm, mild flesh, bluegill is commonly battered or breaded, then pan-fried. Grilling bluegill is a healthier, lower-fat choice, however. With the right method, you can grill either whole or filleted bluegill.
Grilling Whole Bluegill
Make three angled slices, each approximately 1 1/2 inches apart, on each side of the fish, using a sharp knife. Cut all the way to the fish's spine with each cut.
Rub the outside of the entire fish with vegetable or olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high, then allow the heat to decrease to medium. Use a wire brush to thoroughly clean the grate, then brush it with oil.
Place the bluegill on the grill. Leave it to cook, undisturbed, for approximately three to four minutes. Use a spatula coated with oil to lift the fish to determine if it is sticking to the grill.
Turn the fish gently to the other side with the oiled spatula when the skin is no longer sticking to the grill. Allow the fish to grill for another three to four minutes. Serve.
Grilling Bluegill Fillets
Coat a large square of heavy-duty aluminum foil lightly with oil. Put the fish fillets into the center of the foil.
Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium. Put the foil with the bluegill onto the grill.
Put the cover of the grill in place. Cook the fillets for approximately eight minutes. Use a fork to check that the fish flakes easily and that the center of the fillet is opaque before serving.
- FreshWater Fishing: Bluegill Recipes - Delicious Fresh Fish Dishes
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Fish, Perch, Mixed Species, Cooked, Dry Heat
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- Field & Stream: Fish Recipe - Grill a Whole Fish. Perfectly. Every Time.
- Bon Appetit: How to Grill a Whole Fish, Step by Step
- Foodsafety.gov: Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
- American Heart Association: Fish 101
- University of Missouri Extension: Bluegill Sunfish Production in Missouri
- Field & Stream: Red, White and Bluegill
- dave willman/iStock/Getty Images