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Old 06-03-2019, 10:51 AM   #1
nilsonov
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Why are my groupers and snappers cooking into rubber??

I can't figure out what the hell I'm doing...for years whenever i visit the carribian, most, not all, of the snapper and grouper i catch and cook turns into a rubbery shoe sole. Tried baking, grilling, and pan frying; tried filleting and whole; Tried thick cuts, thin cuts; Tried undercooking, tried overcooking; tried baking covered in foil to keep moisture in, and baking without foil.

In all of the above options, 80% of the time the meat comes out like rubber. On the bigger fish (~20" mangrove), the skin is unedible. WTF gives?! Online search says I'm overcooking, but i tried undercooking, with insides clearly raw, and got same results.

I never have this problem with cold water fish (bass, tog, sheepies, fluke, grey trigger, blues, even friggin stargazers etc).

desperate for help...tierd of turning prized fish into fish salad. thanks
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:24 PM   #2
agbiv
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Re: Why are my groupers and snappers cooking into rubber??

1. Soak fillets (yes remove the skin) in icey salt water bath for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.
2. When baking use an oven temp. of 450'F and bake for 10 minutes for every 1" of thickness.

I live in Texas and have to do this for any warm/ hot water fish whether fresh or marine. Large Mouth Bass turn out excellent in 100' F weather using this. I catch hybrid Red Drum from a local power plant lake that is ALWAYS hot. Even when I want to cook them on the half-shell they get an ice bath.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:55 PM   #3
CatDiver
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Re: Why are my groupers and snappers cooking into rubber??

Probably overcooking. You can cook them all the ways you mentioned. Hardest to screw up is fried fish in the fryer. Second hardest to screw up is in a hot cast iron pan in butter, flip once, and pull it sooner than you think. If it's fresh, and you're cooking it hot enough, it's almost impossible to under cook it. I skin all mine first when I clean them but I think that's just a personal preference and shouldn't impact whether the fish is overcooked.
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:16 PM   #4
Marco
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Re: Why are my groupers and snappers cooking into rubber??

It could also be the "rigor mortis". I like to let the fish rest in the fridge for al least a day before eating it so they loose the tension in their muscles.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:03 PM   #5
popgun pete
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Re: Why are my groupers and snappers cooking into rubber??

It is good to ice down the fish as soon as possible after capture and let the meat rest.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:13 PM   #6
Behslayer
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Re: Why are my groupers and snappers cooking into rubber??

Get Cast Iron Skillet. Use some oil and some butter. Maybe you are cooking too long.. not overcooking but on too low a heat.

Some fish lend themselves to being prepared differently. But a Hot Cast Iron Skillet with Oil or Oil and Butter is good with everything.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:35 PM   #7
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Re: Why are my groupers and snappers cooking into rubber??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Behslayer View Post
Get Cast Iron Skillet. Use some oil and some butter. Maybe you are cooking too long.. not overcooking but on too low a heat.

Some fish lend themselves to being prepared differently. But a Hot Cast Iron Skillet with Oil or Oil and Butter is good with everything.
I agree...too low a heat for too long ruins fish.
I let the grill get to 500 degrees ( all burners on high) season the filet, spray it down with olive oil, throw it on the grill for 2.5 minutes on each side ( 5 minutes TOTAL!) take it off...
DONE
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:04 PM   #8
popgun pete
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Re: Why are my groupers and snappers cooking into rubber??

Yes, fish need to be cooked fast and hot, cooking oil needs to below smoking, but only just and a high temperature vegetable based oil, not olive oil.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:26 PM   #9
agbiv
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Re: Why are my groupers and snappers cooking into rubber??

Correct on the oil. I prefer grape seed oil OR Extra Light Olive Oil. ELOO does not have the suspended solids like EVOO (which has a greenish cast to it)--which causes scorching at lower temps. ELOO will have a light golden color. An easy way to tell if the oil is at a good temp is to drop a few pieces of fresh cracked pepper in and if it sizzles, it's ready. If it sinks, not hot enough. An electric cook top is the most difficult to regulate the heat. Slowly increase the heat until desired temp reached. If too hot...remove pan for 30 seconds as element is turned down. Good eats!
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