How to Grill or Bake Tuna Steak

A tuna steak is a thick cut of fish suitable for grilling or baking to an ideal tuna temperature. Tuna's naturally oily texture makes it an ideal choice for cooking over an outdoor barbecue, because the fish retains its texture and juiciness when grilled.

A tuna steak is a thick cut of fish suitable for grilling or baking to an ideal tuna temperature.
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Bake tuna in the oven on its own, or brush it with a marinade. Cooking times vary depending on the thickness of steak, but as a guide, allow 10 minutes for each inch of thickness. Test the internal temperature of tuna steaks with a meat thermometer before serving.

According to Washington State University, tuna steaks can be high in mercury and should not be consumed by pregnant women or children under 6 years of age.

Read more: Canned Tuna May Not Be as Healthy as You Thought

Grilling Tuna Steak

Step 1: Prep the Tuna

Remove the tuna steak from the refrigerator and pat it dry with a paper towel to absorb surface moisture.

Step 2: Preheat the Grill

Preheat the grill to a medium heat and lightly brush the grates with olive oil.

Step 3: Brush the Fish

Brush both sides of the tuna steak with oil and place it directly on the grill grates. Alternatively, place a piece of aluminum foil on the grill between the fish and heat source to reduce the smoky flavor of the steak.

Step 4: Grill Your Tuna

Calculate the grilling time using the 10-minute rule, and turn the fish half way through cooking. Grill the tuna steak on only one side if it is less than a quarter-inch thick.

Step 5: Check Tuna Steak Temp

Insert a meat thermometer into the tuna teak to check its internal temperature. According to the FDA, tuna cooking temp should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit before your tuna steak is ready to season and serve.

Baked Ahi Tuna

Step 1: Prep the Oven

Preheat the oven to between 350 and 450 degrees F.

You can bake your fish at any tuna temperature within this range, but cooking times will vary according to temperature, size and thickness of the tuna steak.

Step 2: Pat It Dry

Remove the tuna from the refrigerator, and absorb excess moisture from the fish with a paper towel.

Step 3: Place Rack in Pan

Place a rack inside a baking pan to allow excess oil and fat to drain away from the tuna during baking.

Step 4: Brush the Tuna

Brush the tuna steak with olive oil or melted butter and place it on the rack.

Step 5: Season Your Fish

Add seasoning or brush the tuna with a marinade. You may also coat the steak with a sauce at this stage.

Step 6: Cover With Foil

Cover the pan with aluminum foil, or wrap the foil loosely around the steak, and place the pan on the middle shelf of the oven.

Step 7: Bake the Tuna

Bake for approximately 25 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cooking time depends on the oven temperature, quantity and size of steaks.

Step 8: Baste If Desired

Baste with oil or butter during cooking if necessary. But, as Mayo Clinic points out, baking does not generally require this addition, so you can skip the extra fat.

Tuna is naturally oily, and if you cook the fish with a sauce or marinade you may not need to baste it.

Step 9: Check Tuna Steak Temp

Ensure the internal temperature of the tuna is 145 degrees F by testing it with a meat thermometer. Press a fork into the steak to check that the flesh is flaky and opaque.

Read more: Is a Tuna Sandwich Healthy?

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum foil, optional

  • Melted butter or olive oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Baking pan

  • Marinade, optional

  • Fork

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