Ultimate Guide to Grilling Swordfish: Tips, Techniques, and Recipes

Why Grill Swordfish?

Grilling swordfish brings out its rich, meaty flavor and creates a delightful, slightly smoky taste that pairs perfectly with a variety of marinades and seasonings. Swordfish is also a robust fish that holds up well on the grill, making it an excellent choice for outdoor cooking enthusiasts.


  • 2 Swordfish steaks (about 1 inch thick)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Lemon wedges for serving

Best Practices for Grilling Swordfish


  • Select swordfish steaks that are about 1 inch thick for even cooking.
  • Pat the swordfish steaks dry with paper towels to ensure a good sear.
  • Marinate the fish with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper for at least 30 minutes before grilling.


  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F).
  • Oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
  • Grill the swordfish steaks for 4-5 minutes on each side, until you get nice grill marks.

Finishing in the Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  • Transfer the grilled swordfish steaks to a baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped thyme, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place the swordfish steaks in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Clean and oil the grates.
  4. Remove the swordfish from the marinade and place on the grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, until you have nice grill marks.
  5. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  6. Transfer the grilled swordfish to a baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  7. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Serving Suggestions

Swordfish pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Consider serving it with a fresh salad, roasted vegetables, or a light pasta dish. Lemon wedges and a sprinkle of fresh herbs can enhance the flavors beautifully.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overcooking: Swordfish can become dry if overcooked. Use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 145°F.
  • Skipping the marinade: Marinating adds flavor and helps keep the fish moist.
  • Not preheating the grill: A properly preheated grill ensures even cooking and prevents sticking.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when swordfish is done?

Swordfish is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. The flesh should be opaque and flake easily with a fork.

Can I use this recipe for other types of fish?

Yes, this method works well for other firm-fleshed fish like tuna or halibut. Adjust cooking times as needed.

What should I do if I don't have a grill?

If you don't have a grill, you can use a grill pan on your stovetop or broil the swordfish in your oven.


Grilling swordfish is a delicious way to enjoy this versatile fish. By following these best practices and tips, you can achieve perfectly grilled swordfish every time. Happy grilling!