These are the various ways to cook your fish, and should always be moist after it is cooked. You can tell whether whole fish is done cooking by inserting a skewer into the backbone section. If there is no resistance, then it is cooked. Fillets are finished cooking when the thickest part of the meat starts flaking with a little poke.
With all the following methods it is advised to cook the fish at least 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
Whole fish are more suitable to be baked than fillets. Butter a plate generously and place the fish on top. Brush either oil or butter on top. If you want a little more flavor, sliced vegetables or a combination of herbs, bread crumbs and butter all make really dishes. Look up the prescribed time to cook the fish and set the oven to bake at 475 degrees F.
Another method to bake fish is to wrap it in foil that has been oiled. Add either sauce or seasonings to give flavour and bake at 450 degrees. Do not wrap the foil too tight. You want the steam to be able to circulate. Make sure the edges are closed off good so that the steam does not escape.
Smoking Fish (Personal Favorite)
There is no better way to eat fish than out of the smoker. It has a mouth-watering taste, and very moist fish. It is used mainly for whole fish, but you can also smoke fillets. Smoking involves putting wood chips or other flavored smoking chips into a fish smoker, and cooking it on lower heat for a longer amount of time.
Sauteing & Frying
Small fish work the best when frying or sauteing. This is the way to fry your fish. Coat the fish with a beaten egg, and add bread crumbs or flour to the entire piece. Make sure the oil is hot before putting the fish in. Sauteing requires equal parts of butter and oil heated together over low heat. Brown both sides of the fish.
Grilling & Broiling
Any fish over 6 inches is good for grilling or broiling. When cooking over a grill, use a fish basket to keep whole pieces from flaking and falling apart. Use oil or butter to baste while cooking.
Firm fish are best cooked in simmering liquid or otherwise known as poached. The best species to poach include red snapper, bass, salmon, and trout. Use a poaching pan to cook whole fish. Keep the fins on. If you wrap the fish in a cheesecloth it is easier to remove from the pan. Place the fish in the liquid and heat it up. Once it starts simmering, begin timing.