Sea Scallops on the Grill

Sea scallops cooked on the grill are a next-level treat.  Scallops are mollusks or bi-valves, meaning they live in a shell, though most scallops available at fish stores and counters are removed from the shells.  There are smaller bay scallops, which are seasonal, from the East coast, petite and very sweet, and there are larger sea scallops, which are what is called for here.

Grilled Scallops

How to Choose Scallops

As with all fish and seafood, you must take care to buy the freshest items available.  Scallops should be plump and moist looking (but not wet!), and smell of briny sea air.  Ideally shellfish should be purchased on the day you plan to cook it.  

If you are buying scallops in the shell, the shell should be closed, or just opened by the fishmonger at the time of purchase.  Most sea scallops will be about 1 to 1 ½-inches in diameter.  Typically the larger the scallop, the more expensive they are.

Make sure to ask for “dry” sea scallops, not wet, which have been preserved in a brine.  Wet scallops are usually not as fresh, and also don’t sear up so nicely because of their higher water content.  If that’s what you end up with, make sure to pat them dry very well before cooking them.

Grilled Scallops

How to Skewer Scallops for Grilling

Pat the scallops dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels.  In a medium bowl gently toss the scallops with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Thread the scallops onto skewers.  The best way to do this is to insert two skewers through the scallops in parallel fashion, keeping them close enough together that they both go through the center of the scallops without tearing it.  

Grilled Scallops

Once the first scallop is skewered this way, the others just have to be carefully slid onto the parallel skewers in similar fashion.  Keep a tiny bit of space between the scallops.

Grilled Scallops

How Long to Grill Scallops

Scallops need to be cooked until they are barely cooked through, which will take about 2 minutes per side on the grill for sea scallops, a minute or so longer on each side if they are especially large.

Grilled Scallops: Sweet briny sea scallops cooked on the grill are a luxurious summer treat.

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How to Grill Scallops

If you are using wooden skewers place them in a container with water to cover for 30 minutes.  Preheat the grill to medium high. 

Thread the scallops onto skewers for grilling (see above for step-by-step instructions).

Carefully oil the grill rack.   Grill the scallops over medium high heat until they turn opaque and are just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes in all, turning the scallops halfway during cooking.  

Grilled Scallops

Serve the scallops either on the skewers, or remove them and serve them on a serving platter or on individual plates.

What to Serve with Grilled Scallops:

Grilled Scallops

Other Grilled Seafood Recipes:

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Grilled Scallops

Sweet briny sea scallops cooked on the grill are a luxurious summer treat.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Skewer soaking time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  • If you are using wooden skewers place them in a container with water to cover for 30 minutes. Preheat the grill to medium high.
  • Pat the scallops dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels.
  • In a medium bowl gently toss the scallops with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Thread the scallops onto skewers. The best way to do this is to insert two skewers through the scallops in parallel fashion, keeping them close enough together that they both go through the center of the scallops without tearing it. Once the first scallop is skewered this way, the others just have to be carefully slid onto the parallel skewers in similar fashion. Keep a tiny bit of space between the scallops.
  • Carefully oil the grill rack. Grill the scallops over medium high heat until they turn opague and are just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes in all, turning the scallops halfway during cooking.
  • Serve the scallops either on the skewers, or remove them and serve them on a serving platter or on individual plates

Nutrition Information

Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 667mg | Potassium: 349mg | Vitamin A: 5IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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