Thanks to Kingsford for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

It’s that time of year where the holidays are upon us and more people are entertaining, and tailgating is at its peak.  While many may not think of grilling when the weather cools, there’s no reason for us not to! Some may think that grilling is done strictly in the warmer months but that’s not true!  It is especially great in the fall when gathering for a sporting event, specifically football. 

Tailgating is pretty common, especially here in the South where football is a way of life!  I love to grill, there’s something about that distinct flavor that charcoal gives the food. Why should we only enjoy that in the spring or summer?

Grilled Lemon Butter Cod

My love for grilling started many years ago; let’s just say more than a decade ago.

I’ve always loved the taste of grilled food but wasn’t that great at grilling.  Let’s just say I burned everything. I made it a point to learn how to conquer the grill, specifically a charcoal grill, and now I typically grill more than my husband does. He usually takes the reins whenever we are entertaining but on a daily basis, I’m the master of the grill! 

I never worry about making the perfect grill marks or making sure every piece looks photo-ready because grilling is imperfect. It’s unpredictable and can be messy – but so worth it.  

With the right tools and charcoal, anyone can master the grill. 

These are the tools that I find are important to be successful at grilling – a wire brush to clean the grill, tools that are long enough so you don’t burn yourself when turning the food and good charcoal.  

Kingsford Charcoal is my choice of charcoal; it’s the brand that I’ve used for years and trust. 

Some of my favorite foods to grill are ribs, steaks, chicken, and fish.  When it comes to grilling fish, I keep it simple and not overwhelm the fish with seasoning so that I can enjoy the flavor of the fish and the smoky flavor from the charcoal grill.  

Today in partnership with Kingsford I’m sharing a grilled cod recipe.  What I love about this recipe is how simple and approachable it is, no fancy ingredients, just a few humble herbs, butter, and lemon is all that’s needed to create something spectacular.  

I know that grilling can be challenging, and grilled fish is somewhat intimidating so I will share a few tips on how to execute this dish as well as how to successfully cook fish on a grill. 

How to prepare the grill for grilling cod

When it comes to grilling fish it all starts with preparing the grill. The first step is to make sure the coals are nice and hot.  Because fish filets don’t have a long cook time, it is best to cook it over direct high heat. Make sure the grill temperature is around 400 degrees. 

Cod is a delicate fish and can be a bit challenging to grill.  It is key to grease the grill just before grilling and also that the fish is greased as well.  I marinate the fish in some sort of fat– I like to add a bit of olive oil to the marinade even when using butter. Another way to cook cod on the grill is to cook it in a foil pouch.  

I like doing it this way because the juices and marinade are caught in the foil packet which creates a moist flavorful dish. This is also the easiest way of grilling cod, there’s no risk of the fish sticking to the grill or losing any peaky pieces that fall through the grills. 

How to season grilled cod

Whenever I’m cooking fish, I like to use a simple marinade or seasoning mix.  Fish has a delicate flavor and can be easily overpowered with seasoning. I typically like a mix of fresh herbs, garlic and some sort of pepper.  For the cod, I’m going to season it with salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and a little olive oil. I will top it with melted butter, parsley, lemon juice and scallion, which makes the fish moist and adds a ton of flavor.

What different types of cod can be grilled?

When cooking any type of fish, I prefer to use wild-caught.  It typically has more flavor, better texture and all-around better for you.  I like to buy from my local fish market to get the freshest possible, but frozen cod works just as well.  Be sure to defrost the cod fully and drain all excess liquid before marinating. If the fish has too much liquid there’s a great chance that it will stick to the grill.


 How long does it take to fully cook and how do you know it’s ready?

Cod does not take long to grill.  When grilled over high heat, fillets take about 6-8 minutes.  You can tell when fish is cooked by gently poking it with a fork.  If the fish flakes, then it’s ready.

 What are some creative ways to repurpose/enjoy leftovers? 

All have been faced with leftovers, whether it’s because we overestimated how much we need for dinner or maybe there’s a bit left over from a party. Fish tacos are a great use of leftover cod, serve it up with homemade salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce, sour cream and cilantro for a quick dinner that’s sure to be a hit.  Fish kedgeree is another great use for leftover cod. Kedgeree is a dish my mom made for us whenever we had leftover fried fish and I absolutely love it. It’s a dish that’s made up of leftover rice, fish, and spices such as curry and green onion, which are all fried up together to make a new and tasty dish. Traditionally it is served with a hard-boiled egg, but you can serve it without and it’s just as good.




  • 2 lbs. cod fillets
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ stick softened butter
  • 2 scallions finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  • Rinse cod under cool water.  If using frozen cod, be sure to defrost completely and drain excess liquid.
  • Add salt, black pepper and lemon juice to the fish and mix to combine.  Let sit for half an hour.
  • While the cod is marinating, light the Kingsford charcoal
  • Mix softened butter with scallion, parsley and lemon zest.
  • When the grill reaches a temperature of 400 degrees, then it’s time to grill.
  • If grilling in the foil packets, place fish in the foil and spread herbed butter on top of fish, then foil the foil to seal.  Place directly on the grill and let cook for 8-minutes. Do not turn the foil packages or it will leak.
  • If grilling directly on grill, pat fish filet to remove excess moisture and rub both sides of the fish in olive oil.  Grease grill just before placing the fish on the grill over direct heat and grill for about 6 minutes before flipping.  You will know when it’s time to turn the fish when it easily releases from the grill. Spread butter on top after turning the fish and let cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the butter melts and the fish is done.
Author: Jehan Powell