How many times have you tried to cook halibut but found yourself overcooking it? I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that cooking halibut is really tricky.
Or is it?
Well, it turns out cooking halibut to the perfect internal temperature may not be as hard as you thought.
All you have to do is learn the proper techniques to cook it to the right temperature.
In this article, I’m going to show you the perfect temperature for serving up a moist and delicious piece of fish. No matter if it’s a halibut steak or fillet, I will show you the perfect preparations for the stove top, the oven, and grilling halibut outdoors. Let’s get started!
The Internal Temperature of Halibut When Done is……
145 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the suggested safe temperature. However, don’t cook it to this temperature unless you want a dry piece of fish.
Remember when I said cooking halibut is tricky? Why is that? Let’s figure this out.
If you do a search of meat temperature guides for the proper final temperatures for halibut you will discover a bunch of articles citing 145 degrees Fahrenheit. That is the government’s guideline for proper serving temperature for fish. This higher than desirable temperature is due to a few factors, most beyond the scope of this article.
If you are the type who likes to go down rabbit holes you can read more about that here.
But, for the sake of time, you can rest assured that a lower temperature will be more than adequate.
Halibut has lower fat content than most fish. If you cook it to 145 degrees Fahrenheit it will be dry. For a fish such as a halibut, you will find the best results in the 125 to 135 degree Fahrenheit range using an accurate digital meat thermometer.
Don’t have one?
Read our review of the best digital meat thermometers.
It is in this range that halibut is at its juiciest, with perhaps 130 degrees Fahrenheit being the optimum temperature taking into account texture and moistness.
One of the best cooking techniques for halibut steaks is pan-frying and finishing them in the oven. A general rule of thumb is for every inch of thickness of your fish, allow for 10 minutes of cooking time over medium-high heat.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat an oven-proof skillet with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on your stovetop on medium-high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the halibut steaks and cook them in the skillet for around 4 minutes. Pull the skillet off the heat and flip the fish carefully.
Next, place the skillet with the halibut in the oven and cook for another 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steaks. When the middle of the steak reads 130 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read digital thermometer you are ready to eat!
This cooking technique works great for halibut fillets. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Salt and pepper both sides of the halibut, and drizzle some olive oil on top.
Place two tablespoons of olive oil in an oven-proof dish, and place the halibut in the dish in the oven.
Cook for 10 minutes and start checking the temperature periodically. Pull the fish out of the oven when it reads 130 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read digital thermometer.
Halibut on the grill
Halibut on the grill can be a little tricky. If you are doing halibut on the grill, make sure it’s a thicker piece of fish and that your grill grates are well-oiled.
You want to make sure the halibut doesn’t stick. To ensure this doesn’t happen, get your grill nice and hot on high heat. This will sear the surface of the fish, making it harder for it to stick to the grill.
The grill is hot enough when you can’t hold your hand three inches above the grate for more than two or three seconds.
When the grill is hot and properly oiled, place the halibut and the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Carefully flip the fish over and grill for another 4 minutes or until the halibut reads 130 degrees on an instant-read digital thermometer.
Cooking halibut doesn’t need to be tricky or hard. Just remember to remove the halibut from the heat at around 130 degrees Fahrenheit and you should have a juicy and tasty piece of fish.
For more great tips and ideas on the proper cooking and serving temperatures of all types of food, check out our other articles here. Enjoy your halibut!