Here’s the very best grilled tuna steak recipe: ahi tuna that’s perfectly seared on the outside and tender on the inside! A true showstopper.

Grilled tuna steak

Tired of grilling burgers and salmon? Good, because here’s an incredible grilled dinner idea: grilled tuna steaks! Ahi tuna is rich and buttery. Seared perfectly on the outside, it tastes more like chicken or steak than fish! There’s nothing fishy about this tuna. Even better, it’s one of the quickest things you can cook. Just 1 to 2 minutes, and you’ve got dinner.

Ingredients for grilled tuna steak

Ahi tuna is so flavorful on its own that you hardly need any seasoning! Just salt and pepper will do. Here’s what you need for grilled tuna steaks:

  • Ahi tuna steaks: Look for sashimi grade. If you can find it, wild caught tuna is most sustainable. You can use fresh or frozen tuna steaks: if it’s frozen, thaw it by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight the night before you plan to grill.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Seared grilled tuna

This recipe makes perfectly seared grilled tuna steak

In this recipe, you’ll use the grill to make seared tuna using ahi tuna steaks. Here are a few tips for understanding this method:

  • Seared tuna is made with only the highest quality, freshest ahi tuna. This is the tuna is the quality that’s used in sushi and sashimi.
  • The perfect seared tuna is browned on the outside and raw on the inside: a beautiful pink color! It’s absolutely safe to eat, unless you’re pregnant and avoiding raw fish.

How to make grilled tuna steak: time and temperature

The basic concept behind grilled ahi tuna: you need to crank up your grill to the highest heat possible! To get a perfect sear on the outside and a raw inside, the hotter the better. Because grills vary, the exact temperature will be different based on your grill.

  • Preheat a grill to the highest heat possible: 500 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on how hot your grill gets.
  • Pat the tuna dry and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Grill 30 to 60 seconds per side, until cooked on the outside but still raw on the inside. It’s helpful to use a food thermometer: the internal temperature should be 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grilled tuna steak

More on buying ahi tuna

Where to look for ahi tuna at the grocery? If you’re not used to buying it, here are a few things to know:

  • Look for frozen steaks. It’s possible that your grocery might have frozen ahi tuna steaks. These can be even fresher than fresh tuna if they’re flash frozen right when they’re caught. You’ll just need to remember to thaw the night before in the refrigerator.
  • If not, look at the fish counter. Ahi tuna steaks have become more popular lately, so you should be able to find it at your local grocery counter.
  • Find wild caught. Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.

Ways to serve grilled ahi tuna

There are lots of fantastic sides to pair with a grilled tuna steak! One thing to note: if you want to serve other grilled vegetables with the tuna, you’ll need to cook at medium high heat (375 to 450 degrees). So you’d grill them first, then increase the heat for the tuna. If this presents logistical challenges with your grill, you may want to opt for other sides like salads or rice.

Grilled ahi tuna recipe
Serve it over rice with a few veggie sides!

More ways to eat ahi tuna

Ahi tuna is a highly nutritious lean protein (more info here). There are many ways to eat it, but here are our favorite tuna recipes:

This grilled tuna recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian.

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Seared tuna

Best-Ever Grilled Tuna Steak

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 to 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minute
  • Yield: 4 1x


Here’s the very best grilled tuna steak recipe: ahi tuna that’s perfectly seared on the outside and tender on the inside! A true showstopper.


  • 2 6 ounce ahi tuna steaks (best quality, wild caught if possible)*
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. Preheat a grill to as hot as it gets (500 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Pat the tuna dry. Sprinkle it liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper on both sides.
  3. Add the steak to the grill and cook 30 to 60 seconds per side, until lightly browned on the outside but still raw on the inside (115 degrees Fahrenheit if you measure with a food thermometer). If you’d like to sear the short sides, turn the tuna with tongs and sear each side for a few seconds.
  4. To serve, slice the tuna against the grain into ½ inch slices. Serve immediately.


*Frozen is okay: make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Grilled tuna steak, Grilled tuna, Grilled ahi tuna, How to grill tuna, Grill tuna recipe, Grilled ahi tuna recipe

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About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. I like your simple recipes. Just got bluefin and now have 80 pounds of filets to eat. Looking forward to your suggestions.

    Thank you

  2. This recipe seems simple enough, but I cooked to 115 degrees Fahrenheit as instructed and it WAAAYYYY overcooked the fish. It was a huge bummer, given how good the fish looks in the photo.

    1. I’m very sorry you had this result! The steaks can continue to cook quite a bit after removing from the grill.