Grilled tuna

Ingredients

  • 4 tuna steaks, about 6 to 8 ounces (170 to 225g) each and 1 1/4 to 2 inches thick
  • Vegetable, canola, or other neutral oil, for oiling the steaks
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Preparations

    step 1

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set all the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.

    step 2

    Dry tuna steaks well with paper towels and lightly brush them all over with oil.

    step 3

    Just before cooking, season tuna steaks all over with salt and, if desired, pepper. Then set over hot side of grill. Cook tuna until first side is well-seared and the fish releases from the grill grate, 1 to 2 minutes. If the fish sticks, try to gently lift it from below using a thin metal spatula or the tines of a carving fork inserted down between the grill grates. Turn fish and repeat on second side.

    step 4

    For an ideal doneness of rare, cook the fish long enough to sear each side, and no longer. You should be able to watch the heat penetrate the fish from each side because tuna changes color so dramatically, from a deep purple when raw to a beige when cooked. Use the side of the fish to gauge doneness: if you want it very rare in the center, the sides of the steaks should still look purple, with the color of the cooked fish just starting to creep in from above and below. If you want it a little more done, let the cooked color creep up a bit more from both sides. We don't recommend cooking tuna steaks beyond medium-rare.