Cook Perfect Tuna Steaks with These Tips

If you’re looking to add some healthy protein to your diet, tuna steaks are a great option! Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed with nutrients. However, cooking tuna steaks can be tricky – they can easily become overcooked and dry. With these tips, you’ll be able to cook perfect tuna steaks every time.

Cook Perfect Tuna Steaks with These Tips | Eat Urban Garden
Cook Perfect Tuna Steaks with These Tips

What to Look for When Buying Tuna Steaks

Selecting high-quality tuna steaks is crucial when it comes to cooking perfect tuna steaks. Here are a few key things to look for:


Make sure you choose tuna steaks that look and smell fresh. Fresh tuna should have a firm texture, bright color, and a clean smell. Avoid tuna that looks dull or discolored, feels mushy, and has a strong fishy odor, as these are signs of degradation.


The grade of tuna refers to its fat content and color. Higher-grade tuna, such as AAA or AA, has more fat and a deep red color, which means it will be more tender and flavorful when cooked. Lower-grade tuna, such as A or B, has less fat and a lighter color, which means it will be leaner and less flavorful, but still good for various tuna dishes.


When purchasing tuna steaks, look for thick, even cuts that are about 1 inch in thickness. Tuna that is too thin may overcook faster, and tuna that is unevenly cut may cook inconsistently.


Consider buying tuna that has been caught sustainably. Look for tuna that is labeled as pole-and-line or troll-caught, as these methods have less impact on the environment and bycatch compared to other methods.

The Best Tuna Steak Seasonings

When it comes to cooking tuna steaks, the right seasonings can really make all the difference. Here are some of the most delicious and healthy spices and seasonings to use when cooking tuna steaks to perfection.

The Classic Lemon and Pepper Seasoning

The combination of lemon and pepper is a classic seasoning for grilled tuna steaks that never fails. The sourness of the lemon and the spiciness of the pepper perfectly complement the natural flavors of the fish. To use this seasoning, simply sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of lemon juice over the tuna steaks before grilling or pan-searing.

The Asian Ginger and Soy Sauce Marinade

If you’re looking for a more adventurous seasoning for your tuna steaks, consider using a marinade made with ginger and soy sauce. This Asian-inspired seasoning adds a sweet and savory flavor to the fish that pairs well with a variety of sides, such as rice, stir-fried vegetables, or noodles. To make this marinade, combine grated ginger, soy sauce, garlic, honey, and a splash of sesame oil in a bowl. Coat the tuna steaks with the marinade and let them sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

The Herbal Rosemary and Thyme Rub

If you prefer a more herbaceous seasoning for your tuna steaks, try using a rub made with rosemary and thyme. These two herbs have a strong flavor that can stand up to the meatiness of tuna. To make this rub, mix chopped fresh rosemary and thyme with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture onto the tuna steaks before grilling or broiling.

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

The Different Ways to Cook Tuna Steak

When it comes to tuna steaks, there are several ways to cook them to get the best results. Depending on what you’re in the mood for and the tools you have on hand, here are the different methods for cooking tuna steaks:

Grilling Tuna Steak

Grilling is a classic way to cook tuna steaks, and it brings out the natural flavors of the fish. Prepare your grill by preheating it to high heat. Brush your tuna steaks with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until the flesh is opaque and slightly charred.

Searing Tuna Steak

Searing is a technique that involves quickly cooking food over high heat to create a crispy outer layer. To sear tuna steaks, heat a skillet over high heat until it’s smoking hot. Rub the steaks with olive oil and season them with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices. Place the steaks in the skillet and sear each side for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the outside is browned and the inside is still pink.

Baking Tuna Steak

Baking is a great method for cooking tuna steaks if you want a more hands-off approach. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Brush the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the center is cooked to your desired level of doneness.

How Long to Cook Tuna Steak

When cooking tuna steak, it’s crucial to get the timing just right. Overcooking can result in a dry and tough piece of fish, while undercooking can lead to an unpleasantly raw center. The optimal cooking time and temperature for your tuna steak will depend on its thickness and the method of cooking you choose.

Cooking Tuna Steak on the Stovetop

When cooking tuna steak on the stovetop, it’s important to preheat your skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes before adding the fish. The general rule of thumb is to cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side for every 1/2 inch of thickness. For a 1-inch thick tuna steak, you’ll want to cook it for around 4-6 minutes on each side.

Cooking Tuna Steak on the Grill

Grilling tuna steak is a popular method of cooking it, as it imparts a smoky and charred flavor. To grill your tuna steak to perfection, preheat your grill to medium-high heat and brush the fish with a little bit of oil to prevent it from sticking. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side for every 1/2 inch of thickness. For a 1-inch thick tuna steak, you’ll want to grill it for around 4-6 minutes on each side.

Cooking Tuna Steak in the Oven

Cooking tuna steak in the oven is a foolproof way of ensuring that it cooks evenly. To bake your tuna steak, preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking dish with foil or parchment paper. Bake for around 10-12 minutes for every 1 inch of thickness. For a 1-inch thick tuna steak, you’ll want to bake it for around 10-12 minutes.

Cooking Frozen Tuna Steak

Many people prefer to buy frozen tuna steak, as it’s often more affordable and readily available. If you’re cooking frozen tuna steak, it’s important to thaw it completely before cooking it. To thaw, place it in the fridge for 24 hours or until fully thawed. Once thawed, follow the same cooking times as you would for fresh tuna steak.

How to Tell if Tuna Steak is Done

Learning how to cook tuna steaks can be a little tricky since they can be easily overcooked or undercooked. Checking the level of doneness is crucial to ensure that your tuna steaks are cooked to perfection. Here are some tips to help you determine if your tuna is done:

1. Color

The color of your tuna steak can tell you a lot about its level of doneness. Ideally, the center of the tuna should be slightly pink or translucent, and the outer layer should be seared to a brown or gray color. If the center is still dark red, it means that your tuna steak is not cooked enough. If the center is completely opaque and light pink, then it is overcooked.

2. Firmness

The texture of your tuna steak can also tell you if it is done. The tuna should be firm to the touch but still have a little bit of give in the middle. If it is too soft or falls apart, it is undercooked. If it feels very hard or tough, then it is overcooked.

3. Cooking Time

The cooking time for tuna depends on the thickness of the steak, the temperature of the pan or grill, and how you like your tuna cooked. Generally, it is recommended to cook a 1-inch tuna steak for 2-3 minutes on each side. Adjust the cooking time accordingly if your tuna steak is thicker or thinner.

4. Thermometer

Using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your tuna steak is a foolproof way to ensure that it is cooked to perfection. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak and check the temperature. For rare tuna, cook it until the temperature reaches 125°F. For medium-rare, cook it until it reaches 135°F. For well-done, cook it until it reaches 145°F.

5. Resting Time

Resting time is an important step to let the juices settle and finish cooking the tuna. Once you’ve removed the tuna steak from the pan or grill, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into it. This will help ensure that your tuna is moist and flavorful.

Tuna Steak Side Dishes

When it comes to cooking tuna steaks, having a perfect side dish can take your meal to the next level. Here are some side dishes that pair perfectly with tuna steaks:

1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables is an easy way to add some extra flavor to your meal. Try roasting cherry tomatoes, zucchini, or asparagus with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. The sweetness of the roasted vegetables pairs perfectly with the savory flavor of the tuna steak.

2. Quinoa Salad

A light and refreshing quinoa salad is a great side dish for tuna steaks. Mix cooked quinoa with chopped cucumber, red onion, parsley, and a simple vinaigrette. The salad will add some brightness to your meal and contrast the richness of the tuna steak.

3. Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish, but adding garlic to them takes them to the next level. Mash boiled potatoes with garlic, butter, and a little bit of cream. The creaminess of the potatoes will complement the tender texture of the tuna steak.

4. Sautéed Spinach

Tuna steaks are rich in flavor, so a side dish that is light and healthy is a good choice. Sauté spinach with some garlic and olive oil until it is wilted. The spinach will add some vitamins and nutrients to your meal and pair well with the tuna steak.

5. Grilled Pineapple

Grilled pineapple is a great side dish for tuna steaks because it adds some sweetness and acidity to the meal. Slice a fresh pineapple into rings and grill them until they are caramelized. Serve the pineapple alongside the tuna steak for a delicious and unique combination.

6. Asian Slaw

Make a colorful and flavorful slaw with shredded cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, and a simple Asian-style dressing. The slaw has a sweet and tangy flavor that pairs well with the bold flavors of the tuna steak. Plus, it adds some extra crunch to the meal.

Thanks for Reading and Come Back Soon!

Now you have all the knowledge and tips you need to cook perfect tuna steaks every time! Whether you prefer your tuna rare or well-done, these tips will help you achieve the perfect cook every time. Don’t forget to season your steaks with your favorite herbs and spices to make them even more delicious. Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you here again for more cooking tips and recipes!

Cook Perfect Tuna Steaks with These Tips | Eat Urban Garden

Cook Perfect Tuna Steaks with These Tips

Learn how to cook perfect tuna steaks every time with these tips. From seasoning to cooking techniques, we've got you covered!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Seafood
Servings 2 servings
Calories 275 kcal


  • 2 tuna steaks about 1 pound
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges


  • Pat the tuna steaks dry with paper towels and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the tuna steaks to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side for rare, or up to 5 minutes per side for well-done. Remove from the heat and let rest for a few minutes.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice over the steaks and serve with additional lemon wedges on the side.
Keyword tuna steaks, cooking tips, seasoning, perfect cook

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