Gary, here's a quick scoop:
Blackening is the process of cooking fish by coating in spice and cooking at extremely high heat. The process actually creates a barrier between the food and the heat, allowing blackening, not burning, to occur.
To blacken properly, a cast iron skillet or grill plate is heated over very high temperature until just short of a white spot, or ash appearing (the pan should be dry). The fish to be grilled should be at room temperature. Coat fish with spices just before cooking. Place the fish onto the pan, cooking for 1-2 minutes on each side. Blackening adds a distinctive flavor to fish while creating a savoury, moisture-retaining barrier around the outside. This should produce a warm, smoky grilled flavor and succulent texture. The high heat required by blackening means that you will need a skillet or pan made of cast iron, there is really no substitute. If using a thick peice of fish (such as salmon) you may want to blacken both sides, then finish in the oven to prevent burning.
This is a very enjoyable way to eat fish (squeeze some fresh lemon on top just before eating). Any fish will do, catfish is the "classic" fish for blackening. Hope this is usefull...
Gary, You can purchase "Blackening Seasoning" at a grocery store. Usually it's cooked in a skillet <cast iron> but you can use whatever. If I remember correctly you rinse the fish off in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel <don't put that towel in your back pocket and leave it there so it winds up in the laundry hamper for a week, kinda upsets the wife> get you skillet ready I add a mixture of olive oil and butter, Get the pan very hot. Coat the fish with the seasoning and fry it like you would any other fish.
Personally, I use about 2 tablespoons of canola or peanut oil in my skillet, get it to the point of my oil catching on fire(a lot of folks will put a kitchen match in the skillet and when it lights the skillet's ready) and put my fish in. Cook for about 3-4 minutes and flip. Cook about 3-4 minutes and flip again. When you start lifting the fish and seems like it's going to fall apart, it's done 8)
As far as I know you can do any fish this way. I've done shark steaks, Talapia, Crappie, Catfish and Redfish (which is the classic one).
That is an outdoor high pressure turkey fryer burner and stand. Here is a picture of it from the manufacturer.
As far as cooking it on your grill, I never tried that. If you can get your skillet hot enough, I guess it would be fine. Just follow SmokeMack's advice and get the skillet as hot as you can without it starting to produce ash in the skillet and then put your seasoned fish in. Lots of folks use dust masks when they blacken fish as the spices burn and will cause you to have major sneezing fits and runny nose's and eyes. :cry: