This Grilled Tuna Steak Recipe is easy and delicious! The savory lime and soy based dipping sauce is mouthwatering and full of flavor. Learn how to grill tuna steaks in less than 10 minutes with a fun dipping sauce using any type of grill.
Best Tuna for Grilling
Thick cut, Yellowfin or Ahi, Tuna is the best for grilling. Specifically look for thicker cut steaks that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick. This allows a quick sear on both sides while leaving a nice pink center.
Try to buy them fresh. The frozen tuna steaks in the freezer section of your grocer will be thinner, and when thawed look more an ashen gray from the freeze drying process.
Here is a great visual resource on the various species of tuna.
Do I Need to Marinade?
No. Tuna is very lean, so instead of marinade use a fun dipping sauce to add flavor at the end.
Our favorite tuna dipping sauce includes:
- Freshly Squeezed Lime
- Freshly Ground Ginger
What is Best Seasoning for Tuna?
We use an equal mix of kosher salt and coarse black pepper. Simply coat the tuna with extra virgin olive oil and the salt and pepper seasoning.
How To Grill Tuna Steaks
- Make the dipping sauce and set aside. Once the grill is ready the steaks cook fast and they are best warm. So having the sauce done first allows you to eat the grilled tuna steak warm.
- Prep Grill: Set up the grill for direct grilling with lump charcoal and target 550 – 600 degrees Fahrenheit. If using a gas grill use the burners on high for the same target temperature.
- Season Meat: Oil and season the tuna.
- Grill the Tuna Steaks: Start by placing them over the direct heat. After a few minutes, the sear will occur and the tuna steak will easily release from the grill grates and be ready to flip. Use good tongs to flip or a fish spatula. If the tuna is not easily releasing, let it continue cooking another 30 seconds.
- Flip: And continue cooking just another couple minutes. Remove at your desired temperature. We like ours with a little pink in the middle, or 125 — 130 degrees F using an instant read thermometer like a Thermoworks MK4 Thermapen.
- Remove, and slice immediately and dip into the soy ginger dipping sauce. Serve the slices warm as an appetizer, or plate it with the sauce for each guest.
How Long To Grill Tuna Steaks
Tuna cooks fast. With a 1 1/2 inch steak it should take 3 minutes per side at 550 degrees F over direct heat.
Temperature Ranges for Grilled Tuna Steak
- Rare: 120 – 130 degrees F
- Medium Rare: 130 – 140 degrees F
- Medium: 140 – 150 degrees F (145 is the USDA recommended temperature)
- Well: over 150 and we don’t typically cook our tuna that high
Grilled Tuna Steak Recipe
Grilled Tuna Steak
- 4 6 ounce ahi tuna steaks
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons local honey
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/8 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
- Prepare grill for two zone or direct/indirect grilling. Target the temperature at 450 – 500 degrees over direct heat. Target between 500 and 600 degrees over direct heat.
- Pat dry the tuna with a paper towel.
- Combine the salt and pepper in a small dish and season the tuna steaks.
- Place the seasoned tuna steaks over direct heat and grill for approximately 3 minutes. Flip to the other side and cook an additional 3 minutes.
- Remove from the grill. Slice the tuna into pencil thin slices and serve with the dipping sauce. Tuna is best served warm.
- In a medium size bowl combine all ingredients and whisk to incorporate. Place in 4 small dipping dishes if serving as a main course or one dish if doing for an appetizer.
- Optional – Sprinkle some sesame seeds into the dipping sauce.
Other Grilled Fish Recipes
- Easy Grilled Fish Tacos
- Grilled Salmon
- Seafood Seasoning for the Grill
- Grilled Shrimp with Garlic Wine Butter Sauce
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