The Secret to Grilling Tuna: Tips from Experts

Tuna is one of the rich seafood that is packed with flavor.

Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, these fishes are mild and buttery, and you will still enjoy the rich taste no matter how you choose to season it – blackening seasoning, garlic-herb marinade, or teriyaki.

how to grill tuna steaks

But first, you should have the right kitchen wares and utensils for grilling tuna.

When it comes to the secret to grilling tuna perfectly, the grill offers two methods;

  • Method #1: Use high heat to grill thinly cut tuna steak until it is properly done.
  • Method #2: Use very high heat to grill tuna in a quick manner, searing its outside.

If you don’t want the taste of raw fish, you may not opt for the second method because most part of the tuna would definitely taste raw.

However, the searing method is an Asian way of preparing tuna, which has also become widely sought after in the United States.

Grilling Tuna – What You Need to Know

The first step towards preparing tuna like a pro is to choose a good cut. In essence, you should go for deep red color tuna cut without dark patches.

Tuna is one of the most grill-friendly foods, and quite meaty. It doesn’t take a lot to come up with flavorful grilled tuna.

One of the things you should keep in mind is that tuna does not stay long on the grill before it starts to dry out – this is because of its tenderness. So, if you want to prevent dryness when grilling the fish, a simple and mild marinade will help.

You should marinate tuna for only a couple of minutes and start heating your grill while you do so. For a great marinade mixture for your tuna, you should consider combining the following ingredients;

  • Spice
  • Herbs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flavored vinegar or lemon juice (in small quantity)

Method #1: Fully Grilled Tuna

Earlier, two methods of grilling tuna were outlined and the first method is to grill tuna until it is thoroughly cooked.

So, if you purchase tuna cuts, about an inch thick, the grilling time would be around 8 minutes or 10 minutes and you only need to flip the fish one time.

As long as you have a good grill, heat will permeate the middle and cook through in 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t wait until the grill’s surface starts to burn or get crusty before taking out the tuna.

And, once tuna is out of the grill, you should serve it right away.

Method #2: Seared Tuna

The second method for cooking tuna with a grill is to sear the fish. In this case, you should purchase a very thick cut, preferably a 3-inch thick tuna cut.

The prep process for this tuna grill method is simple – brush the cut lightly with olive oil and add pepper and salt. Then, heat up your grill.

You may be wondering how fully cooked tuna differ from seared tuna. In the case of searing, intense heat is required, while the first method uses medium heat and cooks slower.

Searing is not what you can do with those gas grills that can barely produce sufficient heat. If you have such gas grill, what you should do instead is to sear tuna with a heavy cast-iron skillet, or you can buy a smoker because buying this will greatly aid your tuna searing.

However, make sure you pre-heat the pan if you have to use a skillet. You don’t have to use a skillet if your grill produces sufficient heat.

You can get even more intense heat with charcoal grills since you can bank up the coals near the grate. Charcoal grill will offer more intense heat that you need to sear all sides of a tuna cut for few seconds.

You should sear each side for about 45 seconds. The result will be a mouth-watering piece of tuna with nicely seared crust, and a hot but raw middle.

It’s Time to Serve Your Grilled Tuna

You may serve tuna immediately it is ready or let it rest for about 10 minutes or less prior to serving.

If you choose to serve the tuna very hot, then you need to pick the grilled cuts with tongs and transfer them to the serving platter. Take few minutes to prepare the sauce or side dishes.

Depending on how your grilled tuna turned out, you can decide on how to serve it. For instance, if it is somewhat dry, then serve the delicacy with some kind of salsa or sauce to add more flavor.

Some of the great choices of sauces for grilled tuna include the following;

  • Ginger and lime sauce
  • Buttery lemon chive sauce
  • Mango salsa

Other great compliments of grilled tuna include couscous, garden salad, or grilled vegetables.

If you have leftover, make sure you place them in an airtight container before refrigerating – it will be well preserved this way for a couple of days.

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