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How to Grill Ahi Tuna Steaks

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There is definitely some fear out there about grilling fish… will it flake apart? Will it stick the grates? How do I know when it’s done? As our guide will show you, grilling fish isn’t actually hard, but it truly doesn’t get any easier than grilling ahi tuna steaks. Ahi tuna – the kind we sell at Omaha Steaks is yellowfin tuna, which is one of two species of ahi – is a high-quality, sought-after fish that chefs and eaters love for its pink color, smooth texture, and divinely mild flavor. Ahi tuna is usually cut into steaks, which aren’t flaky and hold together wonderfully on the grill. Here’s how to grill tuna perfectly every time.

Searing Tuna vs. Cooking Through

Yellowfin or ahi tuna offers the best flavor and texture when it’s barely medium-rare – meaning the outside of the tuna steak is seared and the inside is still raw. It’s one of the most common and beloved fish used in sushi, and in that presentation it isn’t cooked at all. That being said, raw or rare fish isn’t for everyone, and you’re still going to have great flavor from your yellowfin tuna if you cook them to medium. Just don’t go too far – overdone tuna is quite dry.

The high heat of a gas or charcoal grill is the perfect place to sear tuna – you’re going to quickly get the outside of the steak cooked, and then it’s up to you just how much more to cook it.

How to Grill Tuna Steaks

Searing tuna steaks on the grill is so easy. Thaw tuna steaks completely and follow these instructions and cooking times to cook tuna on the grill to medium-rare or medium.

Medium-Rare Doneness

  • Preheat gas grill to high or build a hot bed of coals in a charcoal grill.
  • Brush tuna steaks with melted butter or olive oil, season with salt or our Seafood Rub with Citrus & Herb.
  • Brush some oil on your grill grates to help prevent sticking.
  • Place tuna steaks directly on the grill grates and cook for only 60-90 seconds on each side, or until the outside changes color to opaque.
  • Remove tuna steaks from the grill and serve.

Medium Doneness

  • Preheat gas grill to high or build a hot bed of coals in a charcoal grill.
  • Brush tuna steaks with melted butter or olive oil, season with salt or our Seafood Rub with Citrus & Herb.
  • Brush some oil on your grill grates to help prevent sticking.
  • Place tuna steaks directly on the grill grates and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the outside changes color to opaque.
  • Remove tuna steaks from the grill and serve.

Serving Grilled Tuna Steaks

Seared tuna is delicious and so, so versatile. Consider these ideas for seared tuna steaks, and don’t be afraid to get creative!

  • Sprinkle tuna steaks with toasted sesame seeds or drizzle with sweet-sticky soy sauce
  • Use delicious sweet fruit and a little spice to make fresh mango salsa
  • Serve sliced tuna steaks with a quick chimichurri or herb sauce
  • Place slices of grilled ahi tuna over a salad with a zesty Asian vinaigrette for a quick tuna salad
  • Whip up this ahi tuna sushi salad bowl with miso glazed tuna
  • Serve with soy sauce and a hot chili paste for dipping
  • Try making this totally unique Apricot Mango Wasabi Sauce

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness.

How to Grill Ahi Tuna Steaks

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