Directions to Grill Swordfish may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Swordfish is one of the few fish that is a breeze to grill: its strongly flavored steaks are sturdy enough to hold up to the high heat needed to yield fish that is crispy brown on the outside, moist on the inside. Swordfish -- similar to other large fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel -- is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, vitamin B-12, niacin and vitamin B-6. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults eat at least two 3.5-ounce servings of cooked fish weekly. Grilled swordfish steaks can take care of that recommendation quickly, easily and with optimal nutrition.

Step 1

Rinse the swordfish steaks in cold water and gently pat dry with paper towels. Place the steaks in a glass baking dish. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk until blended and pour over the fish.

Step 2

Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to two hours. Turn the swordfish steaks over twice while they're marinating.

Step 3

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high, with the grilling rack positioned 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Brush the grilling rack with olive oil. Remove the swordfish steaks from the marinade and place on the grill.

Step 4

Grill for two minutes. Turn the steaks 45 degrees to create crosshatch marks on the swordfish. Grill two additional minutes, then turn over with a long-handled metal spatula. Grill three minutes.

Step 5

Slide a thin-bladed knife into the center of each swordfish steak. Pry the flesh gently apart with the knife and look at the flesh. If the knife enters the flesh easily with no resistance and the inner part of the steak has lost all or nearly all of its translucence, the swordfish is done.

Step 6

Remove the steaks from the grill. Place them, with the crosshatching facing up, on plates or a serving platter. Allow the steaks to rest three minutes before serving.

Things You'll Need

  • Swordfish steaks, 1-inch thick, total 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

  • Paper towels

  • Glass baking dish

  • Bowl

  • Whisk

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for oiling grill rack)

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • Plastic wrap

  • Pastry brush

  • Long-handled metal spatula

  • Thin-bladed knife

  • Serving plates or serving platter


If you prefer your swordfish steaks cooked rare, decrease the grilling time to two to three minutes on each side.

Alter the flavor of your swordfish steaks by adding herbs and seasonings to the marinade. Try garlic, basil, rosemary, parley or lemon juice. Also, try adding additional flavor boosters such as lime juice, soy sauce or vinegar.

Plainly cooked swordfish steaks are excellent served with fruit-based salsas, relishes or sauces.


The American Heart Association advises that young children and pregnant women avoid eating swordfish since it may contain high levels of mercury.

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