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posted January 10, 2023

Grilled Ahi Tuna Steaks with Lemon Herb Butter

These grilled ahi tuna steaks are a beautiful and delicious meal that are dressed to impress. The steaks are grilled over high heat to a gorgeous rare doneness for a meal that feels like it came from a high-end restaurant.

Sliced grilled ahi tuna steaks on a wooden cutting board with text overlay - Grilled Ahi Tuna.

Grilled Ahi Tuna

Need a super quick seafood dish that will impress? Look no further than these grilled ahi tuna steaks with lemon herb compound butter. Not only are they are a show-stopping entree, but they’re ready in under 20 minutes!

The real shining star with these ahi tuna steaks is the lemon herb butter. It’s a 4-ingredient compound butter that adds a light and fresh finishing touch to the tuna. Here’s what you’ll need to make the butter:

  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Ahi tuna steaks being seasoned with salt and pepper.

How to Grill Ahi Tuna

Let’s dive into the process of grilling ahi tuna steaks, shall we? They cook up very quickly, so be ready to give them your attention and focus while they are on the grill. Here’s how to grill ahi tuna.

  1. Make the butter. Combine all ingredients for the butter in a small dish and set aside.
  2. Prep. Preheat the grill to 600-650 degrees F. While the grill preheats, drizzle the tuna with avocado oil and season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  3. Oil the grates. Just before grilling the ahi tuna, oil the grates by folding a paper towel between tongs and dunking it in avocado oil. Run the oil over the grates until they are lightly coated. This will help the fish from sticking to the hot grill grates.
  4. Grill. Place the seasoned ahi tuna on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 90 seconds. Rotate the fish 90 degrees and cook for an additional 90 seconds (this turn will give you those beautiful criss-cross grill marks on your fish). Turn the fish to the other side and repeat.
  5. Enjoy. Remove the fish from the grill grates to a serving dish. Top it with a large dollop of the compound butter and serve.

Seasoned ahi tuna steaks on a wooden cutting board.

How Long to Grill Ahi Tuna

It only takes around 6 minutes to grill ahi tuna with the grill preheated to 600-650 degrees F.

These ahi tuna steaks are cooked to a rare doneness, so if you’re tracking temperature, remove the steaks from the grill when they reach a temperature of 90-100 degrees F ONLY IF you have sushi-grade tuna. If you do not have sushi-grade tuna (tuna that is graded for raw consumption), cook the meat until it reaches 130 degrees F. It’s best to use a reliable meat thermometer while your food cooks to get it to that perfect temperature.

Two ahi tuna steaks on the grill.

Tips for Grilling Ahi Tuna

Ahi tuna steaks cook up very fast, but they need a little extra attention to ensure they are safe to consume and come off the grill easily. Here are some tips for grilling ahi tuna.

  • Purchase sushi-grade ahi tuna. Since you’ll be eating this tuna on the rare side, you want to ensure the fish you are eating is safe to be consumed raw.
  • Don’t forget to oil! Oil your grates to prevent your delicate fish from sticking. I like to preheat my grates entirely, and oil just seconds before placing my fish on. Tightly fold a paper towel, pinching with the end of your tongs. Dip it into any high-heat cooking oil (I prefer avocado oil). Lightly brush the oiled paper towel across the clean grates to deposit just enough oil. Then you’re ready to add your seafood.
  • Stand by! Once your ahi steaks are on the grill, you won’t want to leave. They cook in 5-6 minutes and require a little bit of babysitting, so don’t walk away. Bring your spatula, thermometer, and serving platter with you to the grill so you’re ready to pull those steaks off at the exact second they’re ready.
  • Adjust cook time as needed. If your steaks are thinner than 1.5 inches, you’ll likely need to decrease your cooking time. Start with 60 seconds at each turn and you should be close to where you want to be!

Sliced grilled ahi tuna steaks on a wooden cutting board.

More Grilled Seafood Recipes

While you’re in the seafood groove, try out a few of these grilled seafood recipes from Hey Grill Hey. They’re all completely delicious and have a hint of BBQ flavor.

Grilled Ahi Tuna Recipe

Ready to become a backyard BBQ hero? Join my members-only group The Grill Squad for full access to all my meat, rubs, sauces, and meat-buying masterclasses, podcasts, and so much more. It’s an amazing community of grillers that will help support you and increase your confidence in all things BBQ.

Did this grilled ahi tuna recipe turn out to be everything you needed and more? If so, let us know in the comments below. You can also catch more behind-the-scenes content from Hey Grill Hey on social media by searching @HeyGrillHey.

Sliced grilled ahi tuna steaks on a wooden cutting board.

Grilled Ahi Tuna Steaks with Lemon Herb Butter

Susie Bulloch
These grilled ahi tuna steaks are a beautiful and delicious meal that are dressed to impress. The steaks are grilled over high heat to a gorgeous rare doneness for a meal that feels like it came from a high-end restaurant.
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 6 mins
Total Time : 16 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 369kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 4 ahi tuna steaks (sushi grade, 1.5 inches thick)
  • 2 teaspoons avocado or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

Lemon Herb Butter

  • 4 Tablespoons saled butter (softened)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

  • Prepare the butter. Combine the softened butter with the thyme, parsley, and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • Preheat. Preheat your grill to very high heat (around 600-650 degrees F).
  • Prep the ahi tuna. Pat the tuna steaks dry with a paper towel, drizzle with avocado or vegetable oil, and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Oil the grates. Oil the grill grates by folding up a paper towel and pinching it at the end of a pair of tongs. Dip the paper towel in a bowl of avocado or vegetable oil, allowing the oil to saturate the paper towel. Run the oiled paper towel over the preheated grates to coat them lightly.
  • Grill. Place the seasoned steaks on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 90 seconds before rotating 90 degrees, closing the lid, and cooking for an additional 90 seconds. Flip the steaks to the uncooked side, close the lid and cook for 90 seconds. Rotate 90 degrees again, close the lid, and cook for the final 90 seconds. Remove the tuna from the grill when it reaches 90-100 degrees F only if you have sushi-grade tuna. If you do not have sushi-grade tuna, cook the meat until it reaches 130 degrees F.
  • Enjoy. Move the seared tuna to your serving platter, top it with a dollop of the soft lemon herb butter, and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 1319mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 4118IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg
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