A live fire can lend delicate scallops an appealing smoke flavor—and turn them into miniature hockey pucks. Could we come up with a sure-fire grilling technique?
Grilling delicate scallops is a tricky proposition; the smokiness can amplify their intense sweetness and briny flavor, but it’s easy to char them into burnt disks.
We wanted to make grilling scallops a fail-safe process.
Our first challenge was to choose among the three available varieties of scallops: sea, bay, and calico. We ultimately liked the larger-sized sea scallops—their size allowed them to spend enough time on the grill to caramelize and soak up the smoke. We also found it was important to select scallops that were sticky and dry; those sitting in liquid at the store were squishy and lacked a clean, saline flavor after grilling. We learned that scallops should be cooked medium-rare; when grilled any longer, they dry out and toughen. A medium-hot fire proved the best approach. Brushing them with a little butter before grilling made the scallops taste even sweeter and allowed them to brown and crisp beautifully.list of recipes