Brush the halibut fillet or steak with oil

Best Guide to Grilling Halibut Like a Pro in 2023

Attention: Struggling with grilling halibut, even if you’re a beginner? The challenge of achieving perfectly grilled, flaky fish might seem daunting. But fear not! We have a solution to transform your halibut grilling game.

Imagine impressing your loved ones with restaurant-quality halibut, even with limited experience. Join us as we reveal expert tips and easy steps to grill halibut flawlessly, regardless of your skill level. Elevate your culinary skills and savor the satisfaction of a perfectly grilled halibut.

What’s Halibut, Anyway?

Halibut, my BBQ aficionado, is a delectable, cold-water fish that’s a must-try on the grilling scene. It boasts tender, white flesh with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. These flatfish can grow to impressive sizes, making them perfect for your grill adventures. They’re like the blank canvas of the sea, ready to soak up all that BBQ goodness you throw their way.

Now that we’re clear on what halibut is, let’s dive into the exciting world of grilling it to perfection!

What is a Grilled Halibut?

Grilled halibut is a delicious seafood dish made by cooking halibut, a type of flatfish, on a grill. To prepare grilled halibut, the fish is typically seasoned with various herbs, spices, and marinades to enhance its flavor. It’s then placed on a grill and cooked until the fish is tender, flaky, and has a slightly charred or grilled texture on the outside. Grilled halibut is known for its mild, sweet flavor and is often served with a variety of accompaniments, such as lemon, butter, garlic, or various sauces, making it a popular choice for seafood lovers.

Grilled Halibut
Credits to A Passionate Plate

Why Should You Master the Art of Grilling Halibut?

Here’s the sizzling truth, my fellow grill enthusiasts: knowing how to grill halibut isn’t just another culinary skill; it’s a passport to gastronomic bliss. Why, you ask? Well, let me break it down:

  1. Flavor Explosion: Halibut’s mild taste is like a canvas waiting for your flavor artistry. Grilling it unlocks a world of smoky, savory goodness.
  2. Healthy Dining: Halibut is a lean, protein-packed superstar with omega-3 fatty acids. Grilling preserves its health benefits without compromising on taste.
  3. Impress Your Guests: Serve up perfectly grilled halibut at your Sunday lunch, and you’ll be hailed as the BBQ boss among your friends and family.
  4. Versatile Delight: Halibut pairs splendidly with a variety of seasonings and marinades, allowing your creativity to shine
Why Should You Master the Art of Grilling Halibut?
Credits to Food Network

Now, why is my method the ultimate solution? Because it’s your express ticket to mastering the art of halibut grilling with flair and finesse. Get ready for an unforgettable Sunday lunch!

How Long to Grill Halibut

The grilling time for halibut can vary depending on the thickness of the fillet or steak and the temperature of your grill. As a general guideline, you can follow the rule of thumb for grilling fish, which is to cook it for about 4-6 minutes per half-inch (1.27 cm) of thickness. Here’s a basic grilling time recommendation:

How Long to Grill Halibut
Credits to wikiHow

How To Grill Halibut: Step-by-Step Instructions

You got it! Grilling halibut is a culinary adventure worth embarking on. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your halibut turns out perfectly:


  • Fresh halibut fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: your favorite marinade or seasoning


  • Grill
  • Tongs
  • Grill brush
  • Thermometer (for the grill)

Step 1: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

Start by preheating your grill to medium-high heat, around 400-450°F (200-230°C). Make sure the grill grates are clean and well-oiled to prevent sticking.

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat in grilling
Credit to The Kitchn

Step 2: Prepare the Halibut:

Pat the halibut fillets dry with paper towels. This helps ensure a good sear and prevents the fish from sticking to the grill.

Brush the halibut fillet or steak with oil
Credit to NYT Cooking

Step 3: Avoid Overcooking Place the halibut on the grill and close the lid.

Halibut can dry out quickly if overcooked, so keep a close eye on it. It’s better to slightly undercook it and let it rest for a few minutes off the grill; it will continue cooking from residual heat.

close the lid on the griller
Credits to LifeSavvy

Step 4: Grilling Time:

Place the seasoned halibut fillets on the preheated grill. Close the grill lid and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side for each inch of thickness. For example, if your fillets are 1 inch thick, grill them for about 4-5 minutes per side. The key is to grill until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Use a thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).

Grill the halibut for approximately 4-6 minutes per side for each half-inch of thickness.
Credit to How to: two-zone

Step 5: Temperature Check

The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

temperaure for grilling halibut
Credit to ThermoWorks Blog

Serve with Flair:

Once your halibut is perfectly grilled, transfer it to a serving platter. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the top and garnish with chopped herbs for an extra pop of flavor.

halibut is perfectly grilled, transfer it to a serving platter.
Credits to Wholesome Yum

There you have it—grilling halibut like a pro! With a bit of practice, you’ll master the art of grilling this delectable fish. Bon appétit!

Keep in mind that these are approximate guidelines, and actual grilling halibut times may vary depending on factors such as the grill’s temperature, the thickness of the halibut, and your personal preference for doneness. It’s essential to monitor the fish closely to avoid overcooking, as halibut can become dry if grilled for too long.

What Dish Perfectly Goes with Halibut?

Ah, the delightful question of what pairs perfectly with grilling halibut! Since you’re a fan of BBQ and flavors, let’s explore some fantastic companions for your grilled halibut.
Enjoy the Feast and dive into the deliciousness of your grilled halibut. Whether you pair it with grilled veggies, a fresh salad, or your favorite side dish, you’re in for a treat!

Lemon Herb Butter:

A classic choice! Create a zesty lemon herb butter sauce with a dash of bourbon for that extra kick. Drizzle it over your halibut for a burst of freshness.

Lemon Herb Butter:
Credit to Love and Lemons

Grilled Asparagus:

Keep the grill hot and toss some asparagus on there. Their earthy, slightly charred flavor complements halibut beautifully.

Grilled Asparagus
Credits to Lemon Blossoms

Mango Salsa:

For a tropical twist, whip up a mango salsa with diced mango, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and a hint of jalapeño. It’s a sweet and spicy dance partner for your halibut.

Mango Salsa
Credits to The Yummy Bowl

Quinoa Salad:

Go healthy with a quinoa salad loaded with fresh veggies and a tangy vinaigrette. It adds a satisfying crunch and nutritional boost.

Quinoa Salad
Credits to The Kitchn

Corn on the Cob:

Grilled corn on the cob brushed with a bit of smoky BBQ sauce is a classic BBQ side that pairs wonderfully with halibut.

Corn on the Cob

Remember, the key is to balance flavors and textures. Whether you’re aiming for a light, refreshing meal or something heartier, these pairings will elevate your grilling halibut experience to new heights. Enjoy the feast!

Tips For Grilling Halibut

You’re on a grilling adventure, and halibut is your muse? Excellent choice! Here are some expert tips to ensure your halibut grilling sessions are nothing short of spectacular:

  1. Start with Fresh Halibut: Quality matters. Opt for fresh, sustainably sourced halibut fillets. They should have a firm texture and a clean, ocean-fresh scent.
  2. Preheat the Grill: Give your grill plenty of time to heat up properly. Preheat it to medium-high heat (around 400-450°F or 200-230°C). A hot grill ensures that your halibut gets a beautiful sear.
  3. Oil the Grill Grates: To prevent sticking, brush the grill grates with oil before placing the halibut on them. You can use a folded paper towel dipped in oil and held with tongs for this.
  4. Pat Dry and Season: Before grilling, pat the halibut fillets dry with paper towels. This helps achieve a nice sear. Season with salt, pepper, and any other preferred spices or marinades. Let them sit for a bit to absorb the flavors.
  5. Mind the Thickness: Adjust grilling time based on the thickness of your fillets. A general rule of thumb is about 4-5 minutes per side for each inch of thickness.
  6. Keep it Clean: Use a grill brush to keep the grill grates clean. This prevents any lingering flavors from previous grilling sessions from transferring to your halibut.
  7. Flipping with Care: Use a sturdy spatula or tongs to flip the halibut. It can be delicate, so handle it gently to prevent it from falling apart.
  8. Baste or Brush: During grilling, you can baste the halibut with your favorite sauce or marinade. This adds flavor and helps keep the fish moist.
  9. Check for Doneness: To check if the halibut is done, use a meat thermometer. It should reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Alternatively, insert a fork into the thickest part of the fillet; if it flakes easily and is opaque, it’s ready.
  10. Resting Time: Once off the grill, let your halibut rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, keeping the fish moist and flavorful.
  11. Get Creative: Halibut is versatile. Experiment with different seasonings, marinades, and side dishes to create unique flavor combinations.
  12. Presentation: Garnish your grilled halibut with fresh herbs, a drizzle of lemon juice, or a sprinkle of sea salt for an elegant finish.
Grilling Halibut
Credits to Serious Eats

With these tips, your grilling halibut game will be top-notch. Enjoy your BBQ adventures, and may your halibut always be perfectly grilled!

Best To Serve With Grilled Halibut

When it comes to serving grilling halibut, you want sides that complement its delicate flavors and elevate the overall dining experience. Here are some fantastic options to serve alongside your perfectly grilled halibut:

Grilled Vegetables:

Fire up the grill for some colorful veggies like asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, or even cherry tomatoes. Drizzle them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until they’re tender and slightly charred. The smokiness pairs beautifully with halibut.

Grilled Vegetables
Credits to Food Network

Citrus Salsa:

Prepare a refreshing citrus salsa with diced oranges, grapefruit, and lime, mixed with red onion, cilantro, and a pinch of chili flakes. The citrusy brightness cuts through the richness of the halibut.

Citrus Salsa
Credits to The Travel Bite


Cook up some lemon and herb-infused couscous. It’s quick, fluffy, and a perfect base for your grilled halibut.

Credits to A Couple Cooks

Bread or Rolls:

Serve some crusty bread or rolls on the side to soak up any delicious sauces or juices from the grilled halibut.

Bread or Rolls:
Credits to Wikipedia

Rice Pilaf:

A fragrant rice pilaf with toasted nuts and aromatic spices is a flavorful accompaniment to grilled halibut.

Rice Pilaf
Credits to Life Made Simple

Remember to balance flavors and textures. A combination of something light and fresh with a more substantial side often works well. And don’t forget to garnish your halibut with a squeeze of lemon or lime for that final burst of freshness. Enjoy your grilled halibut feast!

Taking it to the Next Level: Elevating Your Grilled Halibut Experience

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of grilling halibut, it’s time to take your culinary skills to the next level and create restaurant-quality dishes that will leave your guests in awe. Here are a few tips to elevate your grilled halibut experience:

Experiment with Marinades:

While a simple olive oil, salt, and pepper seasoning can be delightful, consider marinating your halibut in a mixture of your favorite flavors. Try combinations like lemon and herb, teriyaki and ginger, or garlic and rosemary to infuse your fish with rich, complex tastes.

Experiment with Marinades for halibut
Credits to Kalyn’s Kitchen

Cedar Plank Grilling:

For a unique smoky flavor and gorgeous presentation, try grilling your halibut on cedar planks. Soak the planks in water before placing them on the grill and cooking the fish on top. This technique imparts a distinctive smokiness to your halibut, reminiscent of traditional wood-fired grilling.

Cedar Plank Grilling
Credits to Betty Crocker

Pairing with Sides:

Elevate your meal by pairing your grilled halibut with complementary sides. Think about fresh salads, grilled vegetables, or flavorful rice dishes that harmonize with the delicate flavors of the fish. The right side dishes can transform your meal into a complete dining experience.

Pairing with Sides
Credits to Melissa d’Arabian

By incorporating these advanced techniques and creative pairings, you can truly take your grilled halibut from great to gourmet, impressing both yourself and your dinner guests with each succulent bite.

Wrapping Up

And there you have it, my fellow grill master! Grilling halibut is an artful endeavor that promises delicious results every time. From prepping your fresh halibut to choosing the perfect sides, you now have the tools and knowledge to create a Sunday lunch worth celebrating.

Remember, mastering the art of grilling halibut is all about practice and experimenting with flavors. So, don that apron, fire up the grill, and let your culinary creativity shine!

Why should you trust my advice? Well, because I’m JL Surjan, the guy who blogs about coffee, bourbon, and BBQ over at I’ve spent years perfecting the art of grilling, and I’m here to share my expertise with you. So, keep those flames burning and those flavors sizzling. Happy grilling, my friend!


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