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Smoked Tuna Recipe: Best Guide to Tuna Steaks and How to Dip

If you are a seafood lover, you know there’s nothing quite as tantalizing as a perfectly grilled, smokey tuna steak. That’s why I’m here to bring you the smoked tuna recipe of your dreams. Packed with flavor, this recipe will guide you on the best way to smoke tuna steaks and even gives a delicious dip to accompany this delicious dish. So, let’s get started!

Choosing the Best Type of Tuna

Selecting the right type of fish is crucial to your smoked tuna recipe. Yellowfin tuna, ahi tuna, albacore tuna, or bluefin tuna are all excellent choices. The only major difference is the texture and subtle flavors each one possesses. You can usually find these at your local grocery store in the fresh fish section

Preparing Your Fresh Tuna

Before you begin the smoking process, make sure to pat your fresh tuna dry with a paper towel. This is a great way to ensure the smoke flavor penetrates the fish. Remember, it is always best to use fresh fish, but if you only have frozen, ensure it’s fully thawed before starting.

A hand patting a fresh tuna steak dry with a paper towel.

Creating a Simple Brine

The next step is to prepare a simple brine. This is where you’ll infuse your tuna with flavors before the smoking time. For the best results, use a liquid brine made of water, brown sugar, kosher salt, garlic powder, and worcestershire sauce. You can also add a splash of white wine or apple cider vinegar for a tangy twist.

Brining Your Tuna Steaks

Once your brine mixture is ready, submerge your tuna steaks completely. Let them soak in the brine in a sealed container in the fridge. The brining time can range from a few hours to overnight, depending on how deep you want the flavors to penetrate.

Tuna steaks soaking in a brine mixture in a glass container.

Preparing Your Smoking Rig

While your tuna is brining, it’s time to prepare your smoking rig. You can use a pellet grill, charcoal smoker, gas smoker, or even a simple gas grill for this smoked tuna recipe. The key is to maintain a low, consistent heat source and to use good quality wood chips for the best smoky flavor.

Smoking Your Tuna Steaks

Once your tuna is done brining, pat it dry and lightly brush it with olive oil. This will prevent it from sticking to the grill grates. Place the steaks indirectly over the heat source and close the lid. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the steaks and the temperature of your fire. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the tuna reaches the desired level. The perfect smoked tuna steaks should have a beautiful brown color on the outside and retain a pink color inside.

Creating a Delicious Dip

While your tuna is smoking, why not whip up a delicious dip? This simple recipe involves cream cheese, hot sauce, lime juice, and a dash of liquid smoke for that extra smoky flavor. Don’t forget to add a bit of finely chopped jalapeno pepper for a kick!

Serving Your Smoked Tuna Steaks

Once your tuna steaks reach the desired internal temperature, remove them from the smoker and let them rest. Serve your deliciously smoked tuna on a greased wire rack set over a leafy green salad or with a side of your favorite veggies. Don’t forget to add a dollop of your homemade dip on the side!

Smoked tuna steak served on a leafy green salad with a side of dip.

Storage and Reheating

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready to enjoy your smoked tuna again, reheat it gently on medium heat to preserve its juicy texture. Trust me, your next time with this smoked tuna recipe will be just as delicious!

Heavenly Hickory Smoked Tuna Recipe

Heavenly Hickory Smoked Tuna Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

This recipe teaches you how to make a delicious hickory smoked tuna right in your backyard. The fresh tuna steaks are marinated in a flavorful blend of ingredients, then smoked over hickory wood chips to give them a distinct smoky flavor.


  • 4 fresh tuna steaks (around 6 oz each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Hickory wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
  • Fresh herbs for garnish (optional)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated


  1. Start by making the marinade. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and grated ginger.
  2. Place the tuna steaks in a zip-lock bag and pour the marinade over them. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C), filling it with hickory wood chips.
  4. Once the smoker is ready, place the tuna steaks directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and smoke the tuna for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).
  5. Carefully remove the smoked tuna steaks from the smoker and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired and serve with your favourite side dish.


This recipe is perfect for a backyard BBQ or a cozy family dinner. You can serve the smoked tuna with a fresh garden salad or steamed veggies for a healthy meal.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 1200mgCarbohydrates: 8gNet Carbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 45g

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