This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Fire up your smoker and make a Grilled Tuna Steak in less than 15 minutes! Ahi tuna steak has a buttery texture, delicate flavor, and is remarkably moist. Quickly seared with a seafood seasoning crust and topped with a creamy herbed butter, this tender steak is one that you won’t want to miss.
A bit creamy, incredibly tender, yet full of flavor and moist… Don’t let summer slip by without trying this incredibly easy grilled tuna steak recipe!
This grilled fish is juicy and meaty, not flaky. You could argue that it tastes similar to grilled beef, but with a buttery texture and somewhat “fishy” undertones.
Opting for tuna rather than beef or chicken is an excellent change of pace, both for your palette and for your health. As a protein, it contains fewer calories but an incredible amount of omega-3 fatty acids that are important for a healthy body and mind.
Grilled tuna steaks are great when paired with rice and vegetables. Something bright and citrusy, like Cilantro Lime Rice, would be perfect! But you could always bring out all of your grilling favorites: Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad, and Roasted Vegetables are three fantastic options that come to mind.
Tips and Tricks for Grilling Tuna
- Don’t Overcook! Grilled tuna steak is all about quick, hot grilling and not a lot of fuss. Grilling for 3 minutes on each side, like the recipe instructs, will get you a rare to medium-rare center. Do not cook for longer than 6 minutes per side, or your steaks will turn tough, chewy, and entirely unappetizing.
- Choose the Right Wood Chips. If smoking, settle on a wood chip that complements the flavor of the fish. I use pecan chips, which add a bit of sweetness that goes well with both the fish and the herbed butter!
- Serving Suggestions: Speaking of the compound herbed butter, I love serving grilled tuna steak with some steaming white rice that’s been tossed in it. Cilantro Lime Rice is another great choice, or some Spicy Cilantro Lime Slaw. This dish would also be great with something sweet, like some Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Ahi Tuna Steak – I use a cut that is 1/2“ thick. When buying fresh, not frozen, keep an eye out of a firm cut of fish that isn’t dull in color. This fish goes bad rather quickly, so it’s important to recognize when it’s turned: it will have an off, sour smell and become slimy to the touch. I always buy it the day I am eating it. 🙂
- Seafood Seasoning – This very versatile Homemade Seafood Seasoning blend is perfect for seasoning fish as well as adding a dash of flavor to soups and salads. It has a bit of heat, is rather herbal, and is just salty enough that no added salt is necessary.
- Herb Butter – The Herb Compound Butter that I recommend using for this recipe is a simple soft butter mixed with garlic, parsley, chives, thyme, and a pinch of salt. You could even melt the butter and add these seasonings afterward!
HOW TO MAKE GRILLED TUNA STEAK
1. Wash the Fish. Rinse the ahi tuna steak under cool, running water. Gently pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Coat with Butter and Seasonings. Melt the compound butter in a microwave safe bowl. Spoon the melted butter over the fish and brush it all over the surface. Once coated, sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides so that the whole steak is seasoned.
3. Sear the Steaks. Lay the steaks on your preheated grill and sear on a high heat for 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side, grilling for a total of 6 minutes.
4. Let Rest & Serve. Let the fish rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. While resting, toss steamed rice in with the leftover herbal butter and plate alongside the grilled tuna steak. I like to let a tab of the herb compound butter melt on each steak at serving, too!
How long does tuna take to grill?
It depends on your desired doneness. At minimum, it takes just a couple of minutes to grill. This is how long it generally takes to get the fish to its safe internal temperature of 110°F.
When I make this grilled tuna steak, I sear for 3 minutes on each side for a medium-rare center. You can adjust to your desired doneness, but remember that these steaks should actually be somewhat raw in the center.
How long is grilled tuna good in the fridge?
You can keep the cooked fish in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Raw tuna, however, only keeps for a couple of days at most, so freeze the fish if you don’t plan on grilling in the next day or so.
What is the best way to reheat ahi tuna steak?
Reheating is tricky, as you don’t want to overcook the fish. The best way is to just throw your leftover grilled tuna back onto the grill at high heat and flip until warmed through the center. No matter what, it won’t be as rare.
Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak
- Rinse with cool water and dry the tuna with a paper towel.
- Brush the ahi tuna slices in 2 tablespoons of melted compound butter and then coat with spice mixture on both sides.
- Grill on high for 3 minutes each side.
- Serve with rice that has been gently tossed with the remaining compound butter and steamed broccoli or other vegetable of choice.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.