Do you like to grill? Do you enjoy going out on the boat? Would you like to do both at the same time? Well then, you might want to look into getting a grill made especially for a boat.
I don’t think trying to use your Big Green Egg on a Pathfinder is a good idea. I suggest that you go to your local marine supply store and look at the grills made for boats. Usually these grills are found clamped on the railings of sailboats, but you can buy an attachment that will make it compatible with a rod holder so you can use it on almost any boat that has a gunnel and rod holders.
These grills aren’t cheap, but the convenience is worth the investment if you want to safely cook on your boat. I had one on my sailboat and used it whenever I got the chance. I wanted to keep it when I sold the boat, but the new owners didn’t let that happen.
The one I had was a Magma, made of high-quality stainless steel and fueled by propane. It got hot quick and was pretty good on fuel. I could easily make dinner for four right on the boat. More than four required a second round of grilling. Remember that everything on a sailboat is usually a lot smaller, including the galley.
So what are you going to cook on your grill? I suggest the easier the better. With everything that can go wrong on a boat while at sea, complicated recipes are probably not advisable. Keeping it simple is the way to go.
I used to cook whatever I caught that was edible while trolling a bait behind my sailboat when I lived down in the Keys years ago. I suggest you do the same; just make sure that you aren’t breaking the law by harvesting fish illegally. (See sidebar.)
I also suggest that you bring some fresh pink shrimp with you just in case you don’t catch anything. I would just toss them with some Everglades seasoning and grill them next to your catch. Remember that shrimp cook really fast, so about one minute per side on a grill with high heat should get them cooked just right.
I like to see just a faint line of translucence in the middle of the shrimp that lets me know that I need to get them off the grill because they will continue to cook for a bit after I get them off the grill. Like I always say, if you think they are done, you probably over cooked them.
An easy side dish to go with your grilled fresh fish or shrimp: Season and foil-wrap half ears of corn. Get them going before you start the fish or shrimp, so you can stack them up on the grill to make room for your other goodies.
Now that I think about it, I wonder why I don’t have one of these grills still. I do spend a lot of time on the water or in the field. I’m sure I could fashion a way to clamp that grill to the back of my truck and maybe make a nice lunch while fossil hunting or skeet shooting, plus using it on the boat. Oh, wait — I just remembered why I don’t have one of these grills: I’m too poor.
Chef Tim Spain is a Florida native and has years of experience cooking professionally, both in restaurants and in private settings. He offers private catering and personal culinary classes. For more info, visit ChefTimSpain.com or call 406-580-1994.