How To Cook Sheepshead (The Simple & Delicious Way)


Do you want to learn how to cook sheepshead in a way that’s quick, easy, requires little cleanup, and tastes delicious?

If you’re not hungry now, I guarantee you will be after watching this video…

I’ll show you:

  • How to prepare sheepshead filets to maximize freshness and flavor (without the fishy taste)
  • What not to do when cooking sheepshead
  • How to grill sheepshead filets to perfection
  • How to tell when they’re done (so you don’t burn and dry them out)

Let’s dive in!

How To Cook Sheepshead [VIDEO]

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Before we get into the actual preparing and cooking of sheepshead, let’s talk about the materials you’ll need.

Since this is cooking sheepshead the simple way, the materials list is just seven items:

  • Sheepshead filets
  • Butter knife
  • Metal spatula
  • Seasonings (I like Chef Paul’s Seafood Magic)
  • Olive oil
  • Glass pan (for prepping the filets in)
  • Plate (for taking the filets off of the grill)

Note: A Traeger wood pellet grill was used for this video.

Now before you start cooking the filets, it’s important to prepare them properly.

It’s bad for fish meat to be hot and in freshwater, so after I filet a fish and before I start cooking them, I soak the filets in water with salt and ice.

The last thing to do before you start seasoning them up is to cut out the bloodline.

This will remove the fishy taste and also some bones in sheepshead.

How To Cook Sheepshead Step By Step

how to cook sheepshead on the grill

Now that the bloodline is removed, you’re ready to start cooking.

Step 1. Heat up the grill to 350-400 degrees

Step 2. Dry the filets

Step 3. Cover them with olive oil in the pan

Step 4. Season the upside of the filets

Step 5. Put the filets on the grill seasoned side down and season the other side

Step 6. Flip them after 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are

Step 7. Take them off the grill and eat! You’ll know that they’re done if a butter knife slides through them without any resistance.


best way to cook sheepshead

Sheepshead are so delicious and I hope you get to try out this way of cooking them soon.

Have any questions about how to grill sheepshead?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you want to learn how to catch them, check out these resources:

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Tad Thomas
3 years ago

Another great video Luke you always do a good job simple concise and to the point!! I will try your tip about soaking in saltwater… It makes good sense

Roger Bonifield
4 years ago

Great video Luke. I have got to do more grilling or broiling. I’ve always been into breading and oil in a skillet, but then, you are right, that leaves a mess to deal with and you really don’t taste the actual fish. Also, you mentioned there is a video on how to clean Sheepshead, but I couldn’t find it. I am new here and haven’t caught one yet, but have heard they can be a bear to clean, and take a toll on your knife.

Robert Janger
4 years ago

Nice video Luke! Great job on the fish. What’s on those potatoes? They look good too!

Michael Webster
4 years ago

Where did you buy the grill and how does it work?

4 years ago

I haven’t tried cooking sheepshead but a guide said to boil the meat it has the texture of lobster

1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I haven’t heard of boiling sheepshead, but it is good fried. My husband would filet them, he caught them in inland water by Captiva Island, FL. He told me they had a double rib cage. He had a sink on the dock on a canal and the birds would be waiting for them to come in & clean them. Sometimes they would try to snatch them from them. Sadly Ian just pretty much wiped that area out.

4 years ago

now that looked good

Igor Umansky
4 years ago

Great job Chef Luke

David Stoots
4 years ago

Looks yummy! Nice clean fillets…maybe a video showing how you dress the Sheepshead (and Triple Tail!)?

Jason Stewart
4 years ago

Luke, great video. I really enjoy this type of video…and for the record: I think your videos are all very well done, whether fishing or cooking. Nice job

Scott Rispaud
4 years ago

Taste Buds are craving fish now! Got to find a little time today to put some fish on the plate. I learned years ago, bleeding a fish makes all the difference in the world. For those that don’t subscribe to that notion, catch two of the same species, bleed one off and leave the other one alone. Look at the color difference in the meat when filled, the bled fish will be much lighter…and tastier. The blood line in particular will be far lighter as well. Love the vid Luke!

Some seasoned zucchini spears on the grill would have been a great add on. Olive oil and seasoning 2-3 minutes per side. DON’T over cook. You can throw them on the grill while plating the fish and potatoes. BON APETITE!


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