Whole BBQ Roasted Gilt Head Bream

A stunning but simple outdoor cook for a wood fired oven or BBQ fans which provides complimentary herb flavours to the whole roasted fish, real summer treat.

We have cooked the bream on a tray inside a wood fired oven here however, the recipe can be cooked in the same way using any bbq with a lid to create an oven type environment for the fish. Preheat the wood fired oven to 250-300°c or your bbq to 200-250°c using your favourite wood or charcoal respectively.
    1. Lightly cover the base of you tray with olive oil and a salt.
    2. Dry the skin of the fish with kitchen roll and make a couple of deep slashes on one side.
    3. Place the fennel tops/slices inside the cavity of the fish and the bay and rosemary into the slashes in the flesh. Place the fish into your tray with the herbs pointing up.
    4. Place the tray in your wood fired oven with the thickest part of the fish towards the heat source. In the case of the bbq place it centrally above the coals and close the lid.
    5. Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes then lift the lid to check. The fish will cook through fairly quickly and the skin should be starting crisp up nicely. The bottom of the fish will sizzle.
    6. Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer to gauge the cooking speed. Depending on your preference you are looking for an internal temperature between 55-62°c in the thickest part of the fish down to the bones.
    7. Close the lid of the bbq and cook for a further 3, maybe 4, minutes.
    8. Once cooked to the desired temperature. Remove the tray from the bbq and using a fish slice transfer the fish to a large warm serving plate, rest covered in foil for 5 minutes. Note, the fish will release from the bones easily once cooked.
    9. The bream was served with wood roasted fennel, spring onions, asparagus and an orzo pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and diced cucumber.

Author: Bill Gardner AKA "BBQ Bill"


  • Author: Bill Gardner AKA "BBQ Bill"
  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Serves: 4


  • 4 whole gilt head bream, scaled, gutted, trimmed and cleaned

  • 4 sprigs of rosemary

  • 4 whole bay leaves

  • 4 Fennel tops or fennel bulb slices

  • Extra virgin olive oil for cooking

  • Salt and pepper for seasoning