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Smoked Ahi Tuna Steak

Today, I’m diving into the world of culinary delight with a mouthwatering topic: Smoked Ahi Tuna Steak. I’ve had my fair share of kitchen adventures, but this one is a real treat, and I can’t wait to share it with you. So, grab your apron, fire up the smoker, and let’s get cooking!

smoked ahi tuna steak

How to Make Smoked Ahi Tuna Steak

Let’s kick things off with a bang – the step-by-step rundown of how to make the most divine smoked ahi tuna steak you’ve ever laid your taste buds on. Here we go:

  1. Prep Time: Patting those beautiful tuna steaks dry with a paper towel. You want ’em nice and dry for that perfect sear.
  2. Seasoning: Rub a generous amount of your favorite seasoning blend onto both sides of the tuna. Personally, I’m all about that garlic, pepper, and paprika combo, but feel free to experiment.
  3. Fire Up the Smoker: Get your smoker ready, aiming for a temperature around 225°F. Now, choose your wood (more on that later) and toss it in. Let it get all smoky and fragrant.
  4. Sear the Tuna: While the smoker’s heating up, it’s searing time. Heat up a cast-iron skillet to screaming hot and sear each side of the tuna for about a minute. You’re looking for that golden crust, baby!
  5. Into the Smoker: Place those perfectly seared tuna steaks into the smoker and let them smoke away for about 30-45 minutes. We aim for a nice, smoky flavor without overcooking that beautiful fish.
  6. Keep an Eye On It: Smoking times can vary depending on your setup, so keep a watchful eye. You want the tuna to reach an internal temperature of about 125°F for that perfect medium-rare goodness.
  7. Rest and Serve: Once done, let the tuna rest for a few minutes to lock in all those delicious juices. Then slice ’em up and serve. You’re in for a treat!

What’s the Best Wood to Use

Now, let’s talk wood, shall we? Choosing the right wood for smoking can take your tuna steak to a new level of deliciousness. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Cedar: Cedarwood gives your tuna a sweet and smoky flavor. It’s like a flavor explosion in your mouth!
  • Hickory: If you’re a fan of bold and smoky, hickory is your wood. It pairs perfectly with ahi tuna and adds that classic barbecue kick.
  • Applewood: For a milder, slightly sweet touch, go for applewood. It complements the tuna’s natural flavors beautifully.
  • Mesquite: If you’re feeling adventurous and want a robust, earthy flavor, mesquite is the way to go. Just go easy on it; Mesquite can be quite powerful.

smoked ahi tuna steak recipe

Do I Need to Marinate the Tuna?

The age-old question! I think you don’t need to marinate ahi tuna if you’ve got a good seasoning blend. The tuna’s delicate flavor speaks for itself; a quick sear and smoke are all it takes to make it shine. That being said, if you want to experiment with a marinade, go for it! Just keep it light so you don’t overpower that beautiful fish.

What Sides Should I Serve

Ah, the sidekick question! You’ve got options galore, my friends. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cilantro-Lime Rice: The zesty kick of cilantro and lime pairs perfectly with the smoky tuna.
  • Avocado Salsa: Creamy avocado salsa is a fresh and tasty accompaniment that will make your taste buds dance.
  • Roasted Veggies: Whether it’s asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or carrots, roasted veggies add that rustic charm to your meal.
  • Mango Salsa: For a tropical twist, whip up some mango salsa. It’s a fruity explosion of flavor.
  • Wasabi and Soy Sauce: Keep it simple and classic with wasabi and soy sauce. It’s a match made in seafood heaven.

How to Store Leftovers

Now, let’s be real here – leftovers are a rarity for smoked ahi tuna steak. However, if you find yourself with some, here’s what you do:

  1. Cool Down: Let the leftover tuna cool down to room temperature.
  2. Wrap It Up: Wrap the tuna in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Make sure it’s airtight to prevent any funky odors in your fridge.
  3. Fridge Time: Pop it in the fridge; it should stay good for a day or two.
  4. Reheat: When ready to enjoy your leftover tuna, gently reheat it in the oven at a low temperature or on a pan. Be careful not to overcook it!

smoked ahi tuna recipe

Making smoked ahi tuna steak is a culinary adventure worth embarking on. The rich, smoky flavor paired with your choice of sides is a surefire way to impress your taste buds and dinner guests alike.

Finally, I’d like to thank you all for joining me on this flavorful journey. Remember, passion, experimentation, and a dash of humor are the key to a memorable meal! So whip up some smoked ahi tuna steak, and savor every bite. Until next time, happy cooking, my fellow food enthusiasts! And remember, when in doubt, just keep on smokin’!

Smoked Ahi Tuna Steak

Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with our delightful smoked ahi tuna steak recipe. Elevate your cooking game and impress your loved ones.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes


  • 2 Ahi tuna steaks about 6-8 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Wood chips your choice of wood – cedar, hickory, applewood, or mesquite


Preparing the Tuna

  1. Start by patting the tuna steaks dry with paper towels. Moisture is the enemy of a good sear, so make sure they're nice and dry.
  2. Combine the salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano in a small bowl. This is your flavorful seasoning blend.
  3. Rub a tablespoon of olive oil on each side of the tuna steaks. This helps the seasoning stick and adds a nice sear.
  4. Sprinkle the seasoning blend evenly on both sides of the tuna steaks, pressing it gently to adhere. Don't be shy with the seasoning; it'll create a tasty crust.

Preparing the Smoker

  1. Fire up your smoker to a temperature of around 225°F (107°C). Now, let's talk wood choices. Pick your favorite from cedar, hickory, applewood, or mesquite. Each wood will impart a unique flavor to your tuna, so choose wisely!
  2. If you're using wood chips, soak them in water for about 30 minutes before smoking. This prevents them from burning too quickly and gives you a steady, flavorful smoke.
  3. Once your smoker is up to temperature and the wood chips are ready, add the wood to the smoker's wood chip tray or directly onto the charcoal.

Searing the Tuna

  1. While the smoker is heating up, heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat on your stovetop. No need to add oil; we've already oiled the tuna.
  2. Once the skillet is scorching hot, carefully place the tuna steaks in it. Sear each side for about a minute or until you get that beautiful golden crust. Your kitchen will smell amazing!

Smoking the Tuna

  1. Transfer the seared tuna steaks to the smoker's grates. Close the smoker lid, and let the magic happen. Maintain the smoker's temperature at around 225°F (107°C).
  2. Smoke the tuna for 30-45 minutes, but watch it closely. We're aiming for an internal temperature of about 125°F (52°C) for that perfect medium-rare result.

Rest and Serve

  1. Once the tuna reaches your desired doneness, carefully remove it from the smoker. It should have a tantalizing smoky aroma.
  2. Let the smoked ahi tuna steaks rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the fish moist and flavorful.
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