Why It Works
- Properly preparing the grill by cleaning and oiling the grill grate reduces the chances the fish will stick.
- Drying and lightly oiling the fish also helps ensure it doesn't glue itself to the grill grate.
Grilled swordfish steaks should be nicely seared on the outside and warm and juicy within. They also shouldn't stick to the grill grate so that they shred when you try to move them. This basic technique, including proper grill and fish prep, is what you need to get it right.
- 4 swordfish steaks, about 6 to 8 ounces (170 to 225g) each and 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
- Vegetable, canola, or other neutral oil, for oiling the steaks
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional; see note)
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set all the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.
Dry swordfish steaks well with paper towels and lightly brush them all over with oil.
Season swordfish steaks all over with salt and, if desired, pepper, then set over hot side of grill. Cook swordfish until first side is well seared and the fish releases from the grill grate, about 5 minutes. If the fish sticks, try to gently lift it from below using a thin metal spatula or the tines of a carving fork inserted down between the grill grates. Turn fish and repeat on second side.
Cook swordfish steaks until an instant-read thermometer registers 130°F (54°C) for medium, 135°F (57°C) for medium-well, or 140 to 145°F (60 to 63°C) for well-done. If the exterior is well seared before the interior of the fish reaches its final doneness, move steaks to cooler side of grill to finish cooking, flipping and rotating every minute or so for even cooking. Serve.
Black pepper is a spice and adds a specific flavor to the food you cook; salt, on the other hand, is an essential seasoning, necessary for food to taste its best. While we always use salt, we use black pepper only when we desire its specific flavor and aroma.