posted September 23, 2019
This grilled halibut is a great way to enjoy fish any day of the week. Topped with my garlic thyme butter, this halibut is perfectly tender and flaky without coming off the grill dry and bland. Bonus level? It’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
Halibut is great fish to cook on the grill because it is not too delicate. It is a medium firm white fish, so you don’t have to worry about it falling apart on the grill mid-cook.
As far as the “fishiness factor” goes, halibut also has a really mild fish flavor, making it the perfect seafood selection if you’re not really into that strong fishy taste. This also makes it the perfect fish to play around with good seasoning. My garlic thyme butter is simple enough not to overwhelm the mild flavor of the halibut while adding an herbaceous kick of flavor.
This halibut serves beautifully and is citrusy, garlicy, and oh-so buttery. (These are words, right?). It’s a crazy-fast dinner, with prep time and cook time clocking in in less than a half an hour (here’s looking at you, busy families). Plus, we all know the health benefits of fish, right? So consider this a nice break from those days of non-stop red meat consumption.
If you’re a red meat fiend, you’re in luck. Halibut is a dense fish, so it almost eats like a steak. It’s good and hearty and still melts in your mouth like you’d expect from fish, but with a nice, robust texture. It’s gonna fill you and leave you good and satisfied.
Grilled Halibut Fillet
For today’s recipe, we’re grilling a halibut fillet. Take note when you’re at the store purchasing your fish that you make sure you walk away with a halibut fillet and not a halibut steak. The two are indeed quite different and will cook up differently on the grill.
Halibut fillets are cut into individual portions and range in size and thickness. Fillets are sold with both the skin and bones removed, so they make for a nice, quick cook, and they’re less likely to overcook and dry out (this is extremely helpful when cooking on a grill).
Halibut steaks, in contrast, tend to be more uniform and consistent in their size and thickness. They are sold with the skin on and usually contain backbone and possibly rib bones as well.
How to Grill Halibut
Ready to grill that halibut? Simply follow along with these 6 step-by-step directions to get perfectly cooked halibut in no time flat!
- Fire up the grill. Preheat your grill (these taste great on a charcoal grill or a good ol’ gas grill) to 375 degrees F.
- Make the garlic butter. Place your halibut in a baking dish. Combine the ingredients for the garlic thyme butter in a bowl and pour over the halibut.
- Season your halibut. Gently toss the fillets in the butter to evenly cover all sides. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt.
- Season the grill grates. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil (high heat oil is preferred, but any oil you have on hand will do). Pinch the paper towel between the tongs and wipe it on the grates to season the grates and help the halibut from sticking while it’s grilling.
- Grill the halibut. Place your buttered and seasoned halibut on the grill and close the lid. Grill the fish for approximately 5-7 minutes. Flip, close the lid, and finish grilling the halibut until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees F. Your halibut should be opaque and starting to flake.
- Remove and serve. Promptly remove the halibut from the grill. Serve immediately with a side of lemon wedges. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
How Long to Grill Halibut
Depending on the thickness of your halibut fillet, it takes approximately 10-15 minutes to grill halibut. Cook your halibut for 5-7 minutes on one side then flip. For the second side, keep a meat thermometer handy and continue to grill your halibut until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 145 degrees F.
Word of grilling caution: halibut has a very low oil content, putting it at-risk for drying out if left on the grill too long. Pay extra close attention to your fish while it is on the grill to ensure you pull it right as it reaches 145 degrees F. A few minutes too long on the grill can be the difference between beautifully flaky fish and a tough, dry mess.
What Goes with Halibut?
As mentioned previously, halibut is a nice, mild fish. This means the flavor will not overpower your meal, and you can pair just about any side with the fish. I personally love pairing vegetables with fish, and these cannot be beat:
Grilled Halibut Recipe
Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own Grilled Halibut at home. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes and videos on YouTube, Instagram, or our Facebook Page.
- 4 4-6 oz skinless halibut fillets
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste)
Garlic Thyme Butter
- 3 cloves garlic cloves (minced)
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 Tablespoons fresh thyme
- juice of 1 whole lemon
- Preheat. Preheat your grill 375 degrees F.
- Prep the fish. Place the halibut fillet in a shallow baking dish. Combine all of the ingredients for the butter in a small bowl and pour over your halibut fillets.
- Season. Gently toss the fillet to ensure all sides are evenly coated in the butter. Season all sides with freshly cracked pepper and salt.
- Oil the grill. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil. Pinch the paper towel between tongs and wipe it on the grates of your grill to prevent the halibut from sticking while it grills.
- Grill the halibut. Place the seasoned halibut directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and grill for 5-7 minutes. Flip them, close the lid, and grill until the internal temperature of the halibut reads 145 degrees F. You want your fish to be opaque and just start to flake.
- Serve. Remove the grilled halibut from the grill. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
BBQ Must Haves
Join the Grill Squad
The Grill Squad is our exclusive membership program that will transform bland cookouts into booming barbecues that you'll remember for a lifetime. The technique and skills you learn will bring your backyard cookouts to a new level. For the cost of a full brisket, you'll get annual access to an exclusive BBQ community, Pitmaster Classes, discounts, and much much more!