From America's Test Kitchen Season 12: Time to Grill
In theory, the blazing-hot fire of a grill is perfect for cooking scallops with an extra-crisp crust and moist interior, but in practice they’re usually rubbery and overcooked by the time they develop a good sear, and they inevitably stick to the grate. For great grilled scallops, we needed to figure out how to build the biggest fire possible. The solution was a disposable aluminum pan—it allowed us to corral the coals in just the center of the grill for a tall, even, super-hot fire that gave us scallops with impressive char and juicy centers. Drying the scallops with kitchen towels before cooking helped ensure browning, and threading them on double metal skewers made them easy to flip all at once. To combat the problem of sticking, we lightly coated the scallops with a mixture of flour, cornstarch, oil, and sugar. With this simple coating, our scallops were crisp-crusted, moist and tender within, and released without hesitation.
A blazing-hot fire can render scallops beautifully crisp on the outside and juicy within—or cement them to the grates like carbonized hockey pucks.Watch the Video
Double-skewering the scallops makes flipping easier. To skewer, thread four to six scallops onto one skewer and then place a second skewer through the scallops parallel to and about ¼ inch from the first. You will need a deep (at least 2¾ inches) disposable 13 by 9-inch aluminum roasting pan. The technique used in step 2, which works well with metal grill grates, is not advisable for ceramic grill grates, as it has the potential to damage the grates.