Is Grilling Scallops Worth It?

How often do you enjoy scallops? This perennially popular seafood is actually found not only in the oceans but also in the brackish — ie, both fresh and saltwater — waters of bays, as in the case of scallops harvested from the eastern coastline of the United States (via Pangea Shellfish Company). According to MasterClass, bay scallops are both smaller and sweeter than sea scallops, but both varieties of bivalves are delicious when prepared in a variety of ways ranging from the classic seared scallop to a bright scallop ceviche.

In spite of their deliciousness and wide availability, scallops are not usually that popular of a choice among American diners, failing to break into the top ten of most consumed seafoods which frequently includes other species including shrimp, tuna, salmon, and tilapia (via the WorldAtlas). Could that be because folks think scallops might be difficult to cook? If you've hesitated to purchase fresh scallops, you'll want to read on, because it turns out that grilling them is one of the quickest and easiest ways to enjoy this seafood.

Grab some scallops the next time you plan a cookout

While many of us likely picture a perfectly seared scallop when we think about how to enjoy this tasty seafood option, there are so many more ways to prepare the bivalve, among them broiled in the oven (via Eating Well) and diced into a refreshing, raw ceviche (via Food Network). And if you love grilling other seafood items such as swordfish, tuna steaks, and barramundi, it's time to add scallops to your list of seafood items to char.

According to Better Homes & Gardens, the direct heat and quick cooking time of grilled scallops helps keep the bivalves tender and juicy, as well as lending a smoky flavor that's especially pronounced if you opt for grilling over charcoal. The outlet suggests using sea scallops, whose larger size and meatier texture are better suited to the grill, and threading them onto skewers so they won't fall through the grates. After brushing the scallops with melted butter and seasoning them with salt, pepper, and paprika, the seafood is ready for the grill, where it will only take five to eight minutes to cook through. To test for doneness, Better Homes & Gardens suggests cutting into a scallop: When it's just cooked but no longer opaque in the center, it's ready to eat.