Smoky Tuna Steaks with Lemon-Pepper Sauce


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Smoky Tuna Steaks with Lemon-Pepper Sauce

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    Get the smoker ready for this summer seafood recipe! Use apple or cherry wood chips to infuse tuna steaks with a delicate smoky flavor and a hint of sweetness. Top with a homemade lemon-pepper sauce.

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    Servings and Ingredients

    Serves 4
    Apple wood chips, or cherry wood chips
    4 (8-oz. each) Fish Market frozen yellowfin ahi tuna steaks, 1-inch thick
    1 lemon, cut into 8 slices, plus wedges for serving
    2 c. warm water
    ⅓ c. Hy-Vee brown sugar, packed
    2 tbsp. kosher salt
    1 tsp. Hy-Vee garlic powder
    ½ c. Hy-Vee salted butter, chopped
    1 tsp. lemon zest
    2 tbsp. lemon juice
    ½ tsp. Hy-Vee black pepper, coarsely ground
    ¼ tsp. Hy-Vee crushed red pepper
    Italian parsley, for garnish
    Green beans, grilled; for serving

    Things To Grab

    • Large bowl
    • Large resealable plastic bag
    • Smoker, or charcoal or gas grill
    • Paper towels
    • Meat thermometer
    • Medium heat-resistant bowl


    1. Place tuna steaks and lemon slices in large resealable plastic bag. Combine 2 cups warm water, brown sugar, salt, and garlic powder. Pour brine mixture over tuna in bag; seal bag. Turn bag to evenly coat tuna with brine. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, turning occasionally.

    2. Meanwhile, cover wood chips with warm water; soak at least 1 hour.

    3. Preheat smoker according to manufacturer's directions to maintain a temperature between 220 and 225 degrees. Use wood chips and water pan as directed. 

    4. Remove tuna steaks from brine; discard brine and lemons. Pat tuna dry with paper towels.

    5. Place tuna on greased rack in smoker directly over water pan. Smoke 45 to 60 minutes or until tuna reaches 145 degrees, adding wood chips as needed to maintain smoke.

    6. For sauce, place butter, lemon zest and juice, black pepper, and crushed red pepper in medium heat-resistant bowl. Place bowl on rack in smoker. Smoke 18 to 20 minutes or until melted.

    7. To serve, spoon sauce over tuna steaks. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve with lemon wedges and grilled green beans.

      Hyvee Culinary Expert Tip
      Nutrition cannot be accurately calculated for brined foods.
      Hy-Vee Test Kitchen