Wednesday, February 23, 2011

$6 Dinner: Tuna Steaks

Continuing along the theme of foods that I have prepared just as well (if not better) than expensive Buckhead restaurants, I wanted to tackle tuna.  Tuna is usually served seared and sliced in restaurants for $20-40 a plate.  I noticed that it is usually covered in poppy seeds and other light seasonings.  I know I can recreate this!

As I have previously mentioned I am a big fan of the Buford Highway Farmer's Market (BHFM). I often buy sushi grade fish from them to make my own sashimi and had noticed on several trips how cheap the tuna steaks were for a city that has no readily available source of seafood.  I know tuna is the chicken of the sea but I had not seen a better price on the steaks anywhere in Atlanta (I wasn't looking very hard).  I decided I must give them a shot and this shot must involve the BGE.  So I grabbed two steaks and headed home to prep.

The tuna steaks were a little frozen at the market so I let them rest and defrost in the fridge.  When ready, I added poppy seeds, salt, pepper, Tony Chachere's (New Orleans style seasoning), and a pinch of Cavendars (Greek seasoning).

Is this picture upside down? I can't tell.

I set the grill for direct cooking  at about 400º (that was the hottest I could get it with the end of the bag of lump I was using) and threw the twins on.  The guidelines I had read mentioned 500º for 90 seconds each side for much thinner pieces.  Since I could only get the grill to 400º, I decided to just keep an eye on them and watch the sides until they looked done (If you watch tuna, it starts with a nice red color, becomes pink, and then turns grayish when fully cooked. This color creeps up the side of the steaks as they cook on each side).  I pulled them off after about 4min on each side when there was about an inch of red remaining in the center of the sides of the tuna.

You can see the nice red stripes on the sides of the tuna.
These were amazingly tasty.  Better flavor than I have had in most restaurants (I attribute this to the Tony's); however, the middle was a little more done than I prefer.  I usually like to see some nice red color in the middle but mine were more pink than red.  I should have pulled them off a bit earlier as the tuna will continue to cook even after being removed from the heat.  However, these were full of goodness and I look forward to my second attempt with them.

Served with asparagus, some crazy good spaghetti squash concoction, and a nice Chianti *slurping sound*.

I am shooting for a nice red color where you see pink here.


  1. It looks really good. I think a hotter grill might have helped you get the sear quickly without "baking" the inside as much.

  2. Nice paleo meal sir. Yeah, with tuna I like to go really hot for about 2 mins on each side no matter how thick. But I like my meat on the raw side. Yeah, buddy.

  3. Definitely the plan for the next time.