Rodney Scott’s Honey-Butter Fish

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FYI, your grill is not just for steak and chops. Why not try your hand at this honey-butter fish, courtesy of James Beard award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott and his new cookbook, Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day? It’s smoky, sweet and easier to make than it looks.

“Most of the time fish is grilled or sautéed quickly over high heat,” Scott writes. “But if you cook a fish on a hot barbecue grill, it doesn’t have a chance to pick up all the smoke flavor. So I came up with this recipe to take advantage of the smoke and to also play with the yin and yang of the salty rib rub and the sweet honey butter.”

Reprinted with permission from Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie. Copyright © 2021 by Rodney Scott’s BBQ, LLC, a South Carolina limited liability company. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Jerrelle Guy. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw


Honey Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup honey

Rib Rub

½ cup kosher salt

¼ cup MSG

¼ cup freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup paprika

¼ cup chili powder

¼ cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Six 6-ounce skinless fish fillets, such as trout, catfish, red snapper or branzino

2 tablespoons rib rub

6 tablespoons honey butter


1. Make the Honey Butter: In a medium bowl, beat the butter and honey together with a whisk until well combined.

2. Make the Rib Rub: In a medium bowl, mix all of the rib rub ingredients; transfer to an airtight container.

3. Make the Fish: Heat the grill to between 225°F and 250°F.

4. Season the fish fillets with the rib rub. Cut pieces of aluminum foil big enough to fit each of your fish fillets lengthwise, then fold the foil into a sling so that it will nestle the fish and keep the melted butter from running into the coals. Place the empty foil slings on the grill (just the foil, you’ll add the fish in a minute). Add ½ tablespoon of honey butter to each piece of foil. As the butter starts to melt, nestle each fish fillet on each piece of foil. Leave the foil open to allow maximum smoke flavor to get to the fish.

5. Close the grill and cook until the fish loses its translucent appearance and flakes easily when a fork is gently inserted, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot, with additional honey butter on the side.

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