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How to Grill Swordfish? — The Most Delicious Way to Prep and Cook!

by Ian Bond September 30, 2021

How to Grill Swordfish

Are you planning for an elaborate summer party with your outdoor grill? If so, you’ll definitely need more grilling recipes that will suit the taste of young children and adults alike.

In this post, our cooking experts will guide you on how to grill swordfish steaks with the desired doneness and flavor even experienced cooks have a hard time doing. 

What You Need

It’s no secret that fish is a tricky food to cook and serve. Our kitchen experts suggest buying at least one-inch-thick fish steaks to achieve a perfectly grilled swordfish recipe. With this size, the fish meat will be able to withstand high heat during the grilling session. 

Before we start grilling swordfish steaks, you must have the right ingredients ready ahead of time to save time during the food prep.

Our team advises you to get enough olive oil, not only for seasoning but also for prepping the grill grates. If you don’t fancy olive oil, you can opt for a neutral oil like canola and vegetable oil. 

Adding olive oil

On top of that, cooking grilled swordfish steaks will also require you to prepare lemon juice or lemon zest, kosher salt, fresh parsley, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes.

You’ll need these ingredients to marinate the steaks and enhance their flavor, which our seasoned chefs will discuss further before putting it into the grill. 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Grill Swordfish

Step #1: Prepare the Grill

The most basic step of learning how to grill swordfish is preparing your cooking chamber’s grill grates. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to use a charcoal grill over a gas grill; the place where the fish is cooked and prepared should be properly cleaned to avoid contamination[1].

Prepare the grill

After ensuring that the grill grate is clean, you may now preheat your cooking chamber. Our outdoor kitchen experts highly suggest brushing olive oil on the grill grate to prevent the swordfish from sticking when exposed to direct heat. 

Step #2: Season the Swordfish

Before you get your swordfish grilled, pat the fish meat dry with paper towels. You can mask the fishy taste of a grilled swordfish using a concocted marinade to add a mild flavor to the meal. Preparing a marinade sauce to enhance its flavors is the highlight of learning how to grill swordfish steaks, which we’ll discuss in detail in the latter part of this recipe. 

Put two tablespoons of the fish marinade in a small bowl and brush it generously on both meat sides. After marinating and letting the sauce sit, our experts suggest brushing the dried swordfish steaks with olive oil or melted butter to add a protective layer from grill sticking. 

Step #3: Grill and Flip the Swordfish

Next, place the seasoned swordfish steak in the grill with medium-high heat around 400ºF. When you grill the fish, remember to set it in the hotter section of the grates. Keep it in there until you see the grill marks on the bottom of the fish meat. 

If you’re keen on flavorful grilling, our seasoned chefs suggest flipping your grilled swordfish halfway through and brushing its surface with melted butter. Besides that, you can also sprinkle it with more salt and pepper, depending on your preference. 

Step #4: Check If Ready and Serve

As soon as your grilled swordfish reaches the internal temp of 130° to 145°, you’re ready to finish cooking. Depending on the heat level, there are instances where the fish cooks quickly at around 10 minutes. 

Check if it’s ready to serve

Never disregard the meat temp of your swordfish. This metric often indicates whether the pathogens on its surface are already killed. 

If your cooked fish meat is still not in the doneness you desire, you can move it to the cooler side of the grates to absorb indirect heat. However, recipes from our team highly recommend doing this step according to how meaty each swordfish cuts were. 

Last but not least, don’t forget to let the grilled swordfish rest in two to three minutes. For serving, you can use the remaining sauce from your marinade or prep a sweet pepper salsa on the side to go with the swordfish meal. 

Sauce For Swordfish

When you cook a grilled swordfish, concocting the marinade sauce will always be the highlight of your recipes. Before you cook, get a small bowl to put your ingredients in. Our team recommends soaking the swordfish in a mixture of kosher salt, red pepper flakes, lemon, one garlic clove, and chopped mint and parsley leaves. 

The amount of salt and pepper you can add to your fish sauce depends on your tastebud preferences. On the other hand, the lemon juice should be enough once you squeeze at least two tablespoons of zest. 


As we previously mentioned, you can also do your final swordfish plating with a sweet pepper salsa instead of the leftover sauce. It’s a very easy mix. All you need is chopped tomatoes, green and yellow peppers, lime juice, oil, vinegar, basil, and thyme. 

If you don’t fancy adding too many flavors to your grilled swordfish, our team simply adds some zest from a slice of lemon to top it all off. 

How to Choose Swordfish for Grilling

No matter what kind of fish steaks you’ll grill to serve, you’ll need one that’s not only meaty but also fresh. Now, how do you know if a swordfish steak is fresh enough to suit your recipe? Simple, look for a fish that’s light in color. Although it’s not the only sign to consider, most fish meats with a red or pinkish tint often indicate freshness. 

How to choose swordfish

Another way you can use to differentiate a fresh swordfish is its aroma. While some may argue that most fishes have a rather stinky smell, well-versed home cooks could easily tell apart the pleasant fishy smell from the ones that straight up smell bad. 

Besides that, consider the size of the fish. You have to make sure that it isn’t too big or small for it not to break when you grill and flip it on the cooking chamber.

We also have a list of the best fish to grill here


How do you know when swordfish is done on the grill?

The swordfish is done on the grill if it reaches the internal temperature of 130° for medium, 140º for well-done, and 135° for medium-well done steak. Ultimately, the duration depends on the recipe and thickness of your swordfish. Flake its surface with a fork. If bits fall apart, then it’s done on the grill. 

What is the best temperature to grill swordfish?

The best temperature to grill swordfish is at 400°F to 500°F. You may use a thermometer to easily determine if your grill is hot enough before placing the fish on the grates. As you can imagine, it’s high in heat so brushing the grates with oil is a standard procedure to prevent any meat from sticking when you grill. 


It’s not easy to learn how to grill swordfish steaks. However, as long as you follow this recipe diligently and keep a close eye on the process, our kitchen experts assure you that you’ll be just fine. There’s also no shame in taking it slow, especially if you’re still a beginner cook. After all, cooking isn’t something learned in an instant.

Read more of our grilling guides below:

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