Grilled scallops are a wonderful, quick, and easy way to enjoy this slightly sweet and delicate seafood delight. These scallops are seasoned simply with a mix of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, grilled to a juicy perfection, and finished with some garlic and herb melted butter.
Because of their price tag, many people find scallops intimidating and too scary to cook at home. I’m here to reassure you that there is absolutely nothing to be scared of and they are actually super easy to cook.
Scallops have a slightly sweet and mild flavor with a delicate texture. They are incredibly versatile to cook and great when seared, baked, grilled, or smoked. (Yeap, smoked! More on that later.)
Scallops also go with many flavors and that’s why we see them served in buttery sauces, wine sauce, cream sauces, served with cheeses, vegetables, pastas, and so much more. But like most other seafood, the most natural ingredients that compliment their sweet and tender flesh is butter, garlic, herbs, and a simple salt and pepper seasoning. We just want to let the natural flavors shine because if you spend good money on good scallops, you want to taste them!
So fire up your grill and let’s get some scallops going for dinner!
TIPS AND TRICKS TO REMEMBER
- Grill scallops on wooden skewers because you do not want to lose any of these precious morsels to the grill.
- Make sure to soak the wooden skewers for 30-60 minutes before grilling to prevent them from catching on fire.
- Remember to oil the meat, not the grill! Rub scallops in some oil and then season and skewer.
- Scallops cook fast so, depending on size, they will only need 2-3 minutes per side.
- Don’t grill with butter! Butter burns fast so you will want to brush scallops with melted butter mixture after grilling.
Ingredients For Grilled Scallops
Scallops…let’s talk how to choose scallops:
You want to use sea scallops and make sure they are “dry” not “wet.” The most important recommendation that I can make when it comes to buying scallops is to make sure you get “dry” scallops. Dry scallops have not been soaked in any chemical solution, they will have the best natural taste, no excess liquid, and grill beautifully.
“Sea scallops” are the big scallops and sometimes they are called “jumbo.” These big boys can be as big as 2 inches in diameter and as small as 1 inch. They are perfect for searing and grilling.
Seasoning – all you need is simple salt, black pepper, and a little garlic powder.
Oil – you will need to use oil that stands up to high temperatures, also known as high smoke point oil. Use vegetable, canola, or avocado oil.
Butter – use unsalted butter to finish the grilled scallops.
Garlic – get fresh garlic cloves and press them into butter for the best fresh flavor.
Herbs – use fresh herbs for the best flavor.
Skewers – use wooden skewers and make sure to soak them first.
How To Grill Scallops
NOTE: you will need to use grill gloves or metal tongs to flip the scallop skewers and take them off the grill!
About 30-60 minutes before cooking, submerge the wooden skewers in water and let them soak.
Prepare the grill, preheat it to high temperature, and make sure to clean the grill grate before adding food on it. No need for two temperature zones because you will be cooking over high heat and not for a long time.
Pat scallops dry with a paper towel and rub them all in some oil. Season scallops all over with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and skewer them 4-5 per skewer.
Grill scallops over direct heat for about 2 minutes per side. (Depending on the size and distance from the fire/charcoal, it may take a few seconds more or less.)
You can prepare the finishing butter right on the grill if you have a small, grill-safe sauce pot. Or you can melt butter in a microwave and then stir in pressed garlic and minced herbs.
Once scallops are done, take them off the grill, brush them liberally with butter mixture, and serve!
What To Serve With Scallops
Grilled scallops are wonderful alongside grilled vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, green beans, or potatoes. Just remember to start vegetables first because they will take longer to cook.
You can also serve these scallops over a nice salad dressed with a citrusy or a fruity vinaigrette.
And for a heartier option, pasta is always the perfect pairing with scallops.
- 1 lb "dry" sea scallops
- 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- black pepper
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp minced parsley
- salt if needed
- About 30-60 minutes before cooking, submerge the wooden skewers fully in water and let them soak.
- Prepare the grill for grilling at high temperature, and make sure to clean the grill grate before adding food on it.
- Pat scallops dry with a paper towel and rub them all in some oil.
- Season them all over with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and skewer them 4-5 per skewer.
- NOTE: you may need to use grill gloves or metal tongs to flip the scallop skewers and take them off the grill!
- Grill scallops over direct heat for about 2 minutes per side. (Depending on the size and distance from the fire/charcoal, it may take a few seconds more or less.)
- You can prepare the finishing butter right on the grill if you have a small, grill-safe sauce pot. Or you can melt butter in a microwave and then stir in pressed garlic and minced herbs.
- Once scallops are done, simply take them off the grill, plate them, and brush them liberally with butter mixture and serve!
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