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How to Cook Tuna: Steaks, Tinned & Frozen

How to Cook Tuna: Steaks, Tinned & Frozen

Last Updated on 22nd April 2022 by

Tuna is a versatile fish that works well in a large number of dishes.

Whether you are smoking it to draw out the flavor or frying it up as part of a seasoned patty, there is a lot to love about this fish. Let me show you a few methods you can use to cook tuna and some of my favorite ways to make it.

How to Cook Tuna Steak

Tuna steak is a thicker cut of tuna, taken from the fish loin. It will dry out if you cook it all the way through, which is why I always try to leave the center pink and not quite cooked. This ensures the tuna steak comes out moist and flavorful.

Prepare your tuna by drizzling it with olive oil and sprinkling on some salt and pepper. Then, heat up a skillet (not a nonstick one) and oil the skillet. Heat over high heat, and once the oil is hot, you can add the tuna steaks.

You can also use this method for how to cook ahi tuna.

Cook the tuna on one side for about 4 seconds, keeping the heat to high. Then, turn the steak about 45 degrees and cook for another 45 seconds. Those are easy to remember because it’s the same number!

Rotating creates nice grill lines. And after that second set of 45 seconds, you can flip the steak over and cook for about a minute. You want the steak to cook until the internal temperature reaches 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the tuna steak to rest for five minutes before serving.

This method for how to cook tuna steak in pan can be modified for whatever seasonings or sauces you want to add. I have just given you a basic method for how to cook tuna, and you can deviate from there, once you are more comfortable.

How to Cook Frozen Tuna Steak

It’s ideal if you can let the tuna steak thaw out before trying to cook it, as you should not try to cook it from frozen. Let it thaw out in the fridge overnight or defrost it in the microwave before trying to cook it up.

How to Cook Tuna Steak on Grill

If you want to grill a tuna steak, turn up the grill to very high heat. Spread some oil on the fish (preferably olive oil for flavor and heart healthiness) and then sprinkle on some salt and pepper to season.

Grill both sides for about 2-2 ½ minutes each. Keep in mind that the center should reach 118 degrees Fahrenheit and should look raw so the tuna steak doesn’t come out dry and tough. Let it rest for 5 minutes before you serve it up.

How to Cook Tuna Steak in Oven

This is definitely the slowest way to cook tuna steak, but oven baking works just as well as any other method. Just start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare your tuna steaks by seasoning them with salt, pepper, and whatever other herbs and spices you want to use. Make sure you rub both sides thoroughly.

Spread about 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto a baking dish to grease and then place your seasoned steaks on there. Cook for 30 minutes in the oven. For a juicier tuna steak, you can baste the tuna a couple times while it is cooking, using either oil or a marinade.

How to Cook Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is already cooked, so you don’t have to heat it up, but it cooks nicely in a few different ways. I prefer what is known as fish accra, which is a Caribbean dish that mixes seasonings with tuna and flour and then deep fries it.

You can use this method for how to cook fresh tuna and canned tuna as well.


  • 1 can of tuna (with juices)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley
  • ½ teaspoon of lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Oil for frying


  1. Combine all of your ingredients together and mix well.
  2. Heat a pot of oil on medium heat and then spoon out the tuna mixture by tablespoons into the heated oil. You can put as many tuna balls as will fit at one time without overcrowding.
  3. Cook for about 1 minute and then turn the tun over to cook on the other side. Once it is browned all over, you can take the tuna balls out of the oil and dry on a paper towel.

This works with any kind of canned tuna, including if you are looking for how to cook yellowfin tuna or how to cook bluefin tuna. Even raw or fresh tuna work with this method, since it cooks the tuna all the way through.

When serving up tuna accra, or fried tuna, you can use a variety of sauces and garnishes. Tarter sauce works really well with this dish, as does sweet and sour sauce and cocktail sauce.

You can also make a sauce on your own by sauteing diced garlic, onions and tomatoes in a frying pan in butter until they become saucy and the garlic turns brown.

To cook the tuna in less oil, you can put it into a frying pan with a tablespoon or two of cooking oil. Place the tuna in patties rather than balls to allow it to cook all the way through easily in the frying pan.
These are just a few of my favorite methods to cook tuna.

If you are using it from the can, you can take the tuna uncooked and add it to casserole, pasta, salad, sandwiches and more. It can also be mixed with mayonnaise and parsley to make tuna salad, which goes well on bread, rice cakes, and more.

I hope this short guide to cooking tuna inspires you to try to do more with this fish and take advantage of the different ways you can use it.


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I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!