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May 11, 2022

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Honey Vinaigrette

With this recipe for grilled tuna steaks with honey vinaigrette, you will be able to prepare an easy and elegant restaurant quality dish at home with just a few ingredients you probably already have. 

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BBQWeek. I received product samples from companies providing our prizes to help in the creation of the #BBQWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Honey Vinaigrette in a serving bowl.

These tuna steaks, grilled over high heat, are beautifully seared outside and have a perfectly pink center. I aimed for a rare center, but you can quickly sear them and leave the center raw (like seared ahi), or cook them just a few seconds longer for medium rare. 

Top this tuna steak with a sesame soy and honey vinaigrette that adds an umami flavor but is not too overpowering. 

After all, you want to savor the flavor of the gorgeous fresh tuna. 

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Honey Vinaigrette and a salad on a platter.

Tips for Grilling Tuna Steaks:

The trick for getting a great sear on a tuna steak without fully cooking it through is to grill it on the highest heat possible and pay close attention to timing. The process is so quick that you cannot rely on a thermometer for figuring out when the tuna is done to your liking. 

If you are using a charcoal grill, sear the tuna steaks when the coals are as hot as possible. If you are using a gas grill, be sure to heat the grill with the lid closed for at least 15 minutes. 

You can also grill this tuna on a cast iron grill pan on a gas grill or on the stove top. Be sure to get the pan screaming hot. 

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Honey Vinaigrette sliced on a cutting board.

To Prepare the Grill:

First, heat the grill and then scrape it with a grill brush. Next, wipe the grates with an oiled wadded up paper towel in tongs and cover the grill for about five minutes. 

Finally, wipe the grates again with more oil before grilling. 

You want to make sure the tuna does not stick. After all, it is pretty pricey and you don't want to lose a single bit of its deliciousness to the grill grates. 

To Prep the Tuna:

First, dry the tuna with paper towels on both sides and then lightly brush it with oil. Next sprinkle it with the seasoning/rub of your choice. 

For the seasoning, I used Rainier Foods Smoky Honey Seasoning and Rub. Rainier Foods has contributed prizes that you can win as part of #BBQWeek. The Smoky Honey rub is made with honey granules, smoked paprika, spices, and sea salt. It's perfect for pork, chicken, fish, and veggies. 

To see the complete selection of prizes, visit my recipe for Grilled Kale Salad

Honey rub with tuna steak in the background.

Be sure to splurge on good quality tuna, typically labeled yellow fin or ahi. The tuna should be fresh and safe to eat when raw and not smell fishy. Choose a trustworthy source for seafood. It's totally worth it. 

Grill the tuna uncovered and go strictly by timing. For 1 to 1 1/4 inch thick tuna steaks, grill them two minutes per side for rare and 2 1/2 minutes per side for medium rare. You can also just sear the outside and leave the center of the tuna raw, about 60 to 90 seconds per side. 

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Honey Vinaigrette on a serving plate with salad.

For the Vinaigrette:

For the sauce, I combined soy sauce, cider vinegar, mayonnaise, toasted sesame oil, dry mustard, and honey, a combination inspired by America's Test Kitchen. The sauce is savory with a little bit of sweetness, and not overpowering. 

You can make the sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before serving and shake it to re-emulsify it. 

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Honey Vinaigrette bite on a fork.

This grilled tuna is amazing. Once I sliced it, I couldn't stop tasting little slices of it for "quality control purposes." 

Recipe Tips and Variations:

Instead of the honey soy vinaigrette, you can substitute another vinaigrette or a salsa such as pineapple salsa, pear salsa, or roasted tricolor pepper salsa

If you have leftover tuna slices, they will still be good within 24 hours, either reheated or cold. 

Sliced tuna on a cutting board.

#BBQWeek is a great event for kicking off the summer grilling and barbecue season. We offer recipes to cook on your grill or to serve at your summer barbecue. 

As a reminder, after the recipe, be sure to check out the prizes you can win from Saucy Queen and Rainier Foods by entering. Everything I've tried is pretty fabulous. All you need to do is follow me on Instagram (and make sure you enter on the Rafflecopter form below)! Plus, you'll have multiple chances to enter by following the rest of the group. 

Wednesday #BBQWeek Recipes

Starters and Sides



Tuna steaks sliced on a platter.

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Honey Vinaigrette

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Honey Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 5 MinInactive time: 20 MinTotal time: 35 Min
With this recipe for grilled tuna steaks with honey vinaigrette, you will be able to prepare an easy and elegant restaurant quality dish at home with just a few ingredients you probably already have.


For the Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
For the Tuna
  • 4 six to eight-ounce tuna steaks, 1 inch thick (or two to three larger steaks)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing the grill grates
  • 2 tablespoons Rainier Smoky Honey Seasoning and Rub


  1. Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a lidded jar or bowl and shake with the lid on to emulsify.
  2. Dry the tuna steaks with paper towels and brush with vegetable oil. Sprinkle the steaks on both sides with the smoky honey seasoning.
  3. Heat your grill to it's hottest temperature and scrape the grates with a grill brush. Wipe the grill grates with oiled paper towels twice and cover and continue to heat for 5 minutes more. Oil the grates again.
  4. Grill the tuna steaks two minutes per side for rare. See note below for different timing.
  5. Slice the tuna into 3/8 inch slices with a very sharp knife and serve warm or at room temperature with the vinaigrette.


For seared and raw in the middle, grill 90 minutes on the first side and 60 seconds on the second side.

For medium rare, grill for 2 1/2 minutes per side.

Nutrition Facts



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Tuna, Seafood, grilling
Main course
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you #BBQWeek sponsors Saucy Queen and Rainier Foods for donating the prizes for this event. The #BBQWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner are checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning.

Two (2) winners are selected at random from entries received. The prize packages are fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. #BBQWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #BBQWeek posts or entries.

Would you like to comment?

  1. These flavors sound great for tuna. Yours is grilled perfectly.

  2. I love tuna, especially grilled and this bowl would be a perfect dinner in my opinion.

  3. Those tuna steaks are cooked perfectly and that dressing sounds yum!

  4. The vinaigrette sounds so amazing and the tuna looks perfect! YUM!

  5. My guys are going to flip for this one and I bet the vinaigrette would be great on chicken too!

  6. Yum! And I have tuna steaks in the freezer that I hadn't decided what to do with!

  7. This one has my name written all over it! and... smokey honey.... hummmmmm, must investigate!

    1. The rub is pretty amazing. You should enter to win!


  8. What a gorgeous meal, Karen! That honey dressing sounds delicious, but I know we would enjoy the pineapple salsa too! Thanks for the suggestion!

  9. This will be delicious dinner this summer when it's too hot to turn the oven on

  10. I love tuna and this sounds so good. I bet the honey makes it even better!

  11. What a gorgeous and inviting meal! Looking at the great picture would make anyone hungry. Fabulous!

  12. That tuna looks perfectly cooked! And the vinaigrette sounds delicious for a light and tasty dinner.


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