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How to Cook Triggerfish on the Grill or in the Oven

I'm an avid fisher who loves to teach others how to turn their catch into a delicious meal.

Triggerfish is rarely served, but it's truly delicious. Learn how to cook it right.

Triggerfish is rarely served, but it's truly delicious. Learn how to cook it right.

Introduction to Trigger Fish

Cooking and serving triggerfish is pretty easy to do. It is a wonderfully delicious fish and is easy to make. I don't recall ever seeing this fish served in a restaurant, but it easily could be passed off as a delicacy in a fine restaurant.

This article will cover cooking the fish on the gas grill or in the oven. Either way, the technique is more or less the same.

The first step, of course, is to catch yourself a triggerfish. I have only fished for them in the New Jersey Bay and have had pretty good luck catching them. They put up a good fight and are a pretty cool looking fish once you land one.

In the Oven

Triggerfish is easy to make in the oven or on the barbecue. I only know how to do it one way and that is in foil.

You won't get a lot of meat off of a triggerfish. Maybe two small fillets about the size of your palm or a bit bigger. Small, but worth every morsel.


  • First heat the oven up to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Take a piece of aluminum foil and put the fillet on it.
  • Then add your choice of oil or butter and some garlic or even just some pepper. Capers are delicious with this fish. It has great flavor on its own so don't overwhelm it with a lot of ingredients.

That said, there are a million simple combinations that you can use. Feel free to substitute or add these ingredients:

  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Hot sauce
  • Paprika
  • Capers
  • White wine

Close the foil over the trigger fish and place in the oven. Let it cook for about 5 minutes (depends on the size of the fillet you put in there but try five minutes). Then check inside the foil, being careful not to burn yourself, and check the fish with a fork. If it is cooked it will flake up with the white flesh cooked through. If it is not flaky then it is not finished; try again in a couple more minutes.

On a Gas Grill in Foil

Follow the same steps as you'd bake in the oven. Use your favorite ingredients and wrap up in tin foil. Put on medium flame and check periodically for white flakiness then remove.

Virtually as easy as cooking in the oven.

Chef Tip

One way to make this triggerfish more fun to eat, especially if you don't have enough fillets for everyone, is to cut the fillets so they are only a few inches long. Put each mini-fillet on its own foil. Use a different ingredients on each one. It is a fun way to experiment with this fish. Put thyme, butter and paprika on one, garlic and oil on another, hot sauce on some, etc. Break it up and see what works for you.

Pretty Neat Fish Right?

You've got to admit, this is a cool looking fish. Better tasting than it looks but pretty cool to look at all the same.

Triggerfish Poll

Video: Triggerfish Catching

Where Have You Been Catching Triggerfish?

Fran Wiselady on November 17, 2018:

I catch my triggerfish at Joe Patti's Fish market in Pensacola. We usually fry it and it's very good that way. Today we are going to try another method - maybe baking.

Ray on April 26, 2018:

Great, not only to catch but to eat.

Jamie on July 23, 2017:

It is my favorite fish. It is served in restaurants on the coast in NC.

tabbymilf on July 02, 2017:

freakin incredible... oak island nc fresh caught are the bomb

Mickey Hale on October 25, 2016:

Gulf Shores Ala - 30 miles out in the gulf over a man made reef.

Mike Nervik on September 16, 2016:

Gonzaga Bay Baja California Norte load up every time...simple bottom rig using small 3/4" squares of frozen squid.....perfect fish for fish tacos!!! YUMMY

Karen on March 28, 2016:

Offshore near a drilling rig, Port Aransas, Tx

Mike on September 14, 2015:

Gonzaga Bay...Baja MX in the Sea of Cortez...tastes like lobster great for fish tacos...or grill it with skin of....yummy!!

anonymous on December 09, 2014:

Outer Banks NC, about 30 miles offshore in 200 feet of water. What a fight, especially with multiple fish on the line. Also caught Wahoo, and red snapper. If you've never been, OBX is the place to go.

anonymous on June 04, 2013:

We caught 103 triggerfish in the gulf stream June1.within about a time span. Left out of morehead city .nc

Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on May 05, 2013:

We haven't caught or eaten Triggerfish before, but my husband and I love seafood. We'll have to give this a try!

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin on April 15, 2013:

Haven't had this type of fish before. Interesting.

TurtleDog70 (author) on March 26, 2013:

Thanks Mini100 you are welcome!

anonymous on March 26, 2013:

I never heard of a Trigger Fish before :) Were I live (upstate New York) we catch trout, blue gill, pickerel, bass, and perch, to name a few. Interesting lens, thanks for sharing!

anonymous on October 23, 2012:

Atlantic off of cocoa

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