Grilled Halibut

Grilled halibut prepared in garlic butter and seared over high heat. This easy grilled fish dish is tender and flaky, and has the perfect balance of smoky charred flavor.

grilled halibut seared with garlic butter and served with fresh herbs

This easy and savory grilled halibut recipe comes together in minutes, and the results are flakey, tender fish fillets covered in an umami-rich miso compound butter. This recipe is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, and we’re pretty sure you’ll want to put this miso butter on everything.

From nailing our garlic butter compound to filleting the perfect fish, discover how to grill halibut today, no matter your grill gear.

grilled halibut fillets cut in half served with lemon slices and mint leaf

Grilled Halibut with Garlic Miso Butter

Halibut makes for an ideal grilling fish since it’s not going to fall apart when cooked, and it absorbs the smoke flavor very nicely. Also, since it’s naturally mild in flavor, it’s ideal for imparting delicious flavors like butter mixed with herbs and spices.

For this grilled halibut recipe, we will be coating the halibut fish fillets in a compound butter made with miso and soy sauce. This will add an Asian flare along with umami flavors that are guaranteed to exceed expectations. This is one of our best grilled fish recipes, and it’s easy to see why.

Making this grilled halibut is incredibly simple, and just in case miso isn’t your thing, we’ve included a handful of equally simple compound butter recipes for you to try instead. 

How to Grill Halibut

In addition to tasting great, it couldn’t be easier to make this grilled halibut. Even if you don’t cook fish often, you will have no problem making this delicious grilled halibut. 

  1. Prep Work: Preheat the grill to medium heat and clean it if necessary. Lightly coat a paper towel in oil and, using a pair of tongs, oil the grill grate so the fish doesn’t stick.  
  2. Make the Compound Butter: Combine all ingredients for the miso butter in a large bowl, whisking to combine everything thoroughly. 
  3. Coat Halibut in Butter: Place fish fillets in a shallow bowl and cover them in the compound butter. Flip the fillets over so that each side is fully covered in butter. Season both sides with salt and pepper. 
  4. Grill the Halibut: Grill the fish for 5 minutes, then flip and grill for another 5 minutes. 
  5. Serve: Remove cooked halibut from the grill and serve with fresh lemon wedges.
grilled halibut seared with garlic butter and served with fresh herbs and lemon wedges

Ingredients

In addition to being easy to make, this recipe is also made up of straightforward ingredients. Here’s exactly what you’ll need for this grilled halibut recipe:

  • Halibut: The main attraction, this mildly flavored and firm whitefish is ideal for grilling. You could swap halibut for salmon, sea bass, grouper, or red snapper.
  • Salt & Pepper: For added flavor, adjusted to taste.
  • Butter: An essential part of the recipe that reintroduces oils otherwise lost in the cooking process.
  • Miso: An Asian ingredient made from fermented soybeans. Available at any mainstream grocery store, usually in the refrigerated section.
  • Garlic: Adds flavor and freshness. It can be swapped for ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds savoriness and complements the miso. It can be swapped for gluten-free or low-sodium soy sauce. 

Ingredient Swaps and Suggestions

This recipe is great as is, but there is definitely room for some simple modifications to make it truly your own. Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Make rosemary garlic butter: Omit the miso and soy sauce in place of one tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary and juice of half a lemon. 
  • Make Maitre D’Hotel (a classic French compound butter): Omit the miso and soy sauce in place of 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley and juice of half a lemon. 
  • Make sweet chili butter: Omit miso and soy sauce in place of equal portions of sweet chili sauce and add ½ teaspoon of Sriracha.
raw halibut fillet coated in butter compound

How to Fillet Halibut

Just in case you find yourself with a fresh catch in need of filleting, here’s a step-by-step guide on filleting fish from scratch, assuming you have a cleaned and gutted fish. 

  1. Remove fins, if needed
  2. Run your fillet knife down the fish’s spine, starting from the head and working down to the tail. Use the fish’s backbone to guide the blade and to make sure you’re cutting in a straight line.
  3. Repeat this process on the other side of the fish until you have two large fillets.
  4. De-bone the fillets with a boning knife or a large set of tweezers. To catch any small or broken bone pieces, carefully run your index finger along the fillets to feel for any bumps in the flesh.
  5. To remove the skin, place the fillet skin-side down and insert the knife where the skin meets the flesh. Slowly move your blade towards the other end, then continue in a sawing motion. When some of the skin has been removed, pull it with your other hand to give you leverage as you continue cutting.
  6. Trim away any extra fat and rinse fish under cold water before cooking.

Storing & Reheating Leftover Grilled Halibut

This recipe makes 4-6 servings. Just in case you end up with leftovers, you can store leftover grilled halibut in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Alternatively, if you want your halibut to last longer, you can freeze it in an airtight container (or freezer bag) for up to three months.

When you’re ready to reheat the leftovers, place them on a baking sheet, then cover them in foil, and heat the fish in a 275°F oven for 15 minutes or until the fish has been thoroughly reheated.

Quick Tips

  1. Stop your fish fillets from sticking to the grill by lightly coating the grill grates in canola oil, or another oil with a high smoke point
grilled halibut
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5 from 1 vote

Grilled Halibut

Grilled halibut prepared in garlic butter and seared over high heat. This easy grilled fish dish is tender and flaky, and has the perfect balance of smoky charred flavor.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 halibut fillets
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon sliced into thick wedges

Garlic Miso Compound Butter

  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat the grill to medium heat, about 300-400°F (150-205°C). Lightly oil the grates with an oil-soaked paper towel.
  • Combine all of the compound butter ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined
  • Place the halibut fillets in a shallow bowl and cover them with the compound butter, flipping them over to ensure both sides are covered in butter
  • Season one side of the fillets with salt and pepper, then place them salted-side down on the grill grates. Sprinkle the other side of the fillets with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the fish on the grill for 5-6 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes. The fish is done cooking when it is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
  • Remove from the heat and serve with lemon wedges

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