Halibut is a delectable fish is loved by professional chefs and home cooks alike because it can be prepared simply or in more complex dishes. Learn some of our favorite ways to bring out the subtle sweetness of this prized catch. 


Over cooking fish is one of the most common problems encountered by home cooks. Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent this stumbling block by identifying the best internal temperature for halibut cooked to your personal preference. This is a key step to success no matter what method you use to cook halibut.

The halibut from Snake River Farms is wild caught in Alaskan waters which is lean and is cooks up beautifully at a medium level of doneness. We’ve found the ideal temperature for medium halibut is 130°F. At this temperature, halibut filets are firm and flake easily with a fork. The center is just opaque. 

If you prefer your halibut medium rare, cook to a temperature of at least 125°F. At this temperature, the halibut will not flake as readily since the flesh is lean.

We don’t recommend cooking halibut higher than 135°F. Beyond this temperature the fish becomes tough and dry.  

Halibut internal temp


Halibut takes well to the grill because of its firm flesh. Grilling imparts smoky flavor that accents the fish's natural sweetness. Halibut’s natural mild flavor shines from simple seasoning of salt, pepper and lemon, but it can also handle the aromatic richness of garlic, thyme and other herbs. 


Fully defrost the halibut filets in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. 

Pat filets dry and brush both sides generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper on both sides of the fillets 

Heat clean grill to medium/high (about 400°F). Lightly season the grill with paper towels dipped in a high smoke point vegetable oil (avocado and grapeseed are good) to help prevent sticking.

Place fish on the grill and close the lid. Grill for about 5 minutes until flesh on the grill side turns white and grill marks form. 

Open the lid, flip the fish and close the lid. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 130°F for a medium finish. 

Immediately remove filets from the grill. Garnish with lemon slices.


Halibut has a subtle sweetness that is enhanced by cooking on a smoker. It’s common to brine fish before smoking, but instead of soaking the fish in brine we suggest a dry brine. Since halibut is a mild fish, it’s best to use a lighter smoking wood that doesn’t have a strong flavor. Oak, alder, pecan or fruit woods like apple and cherry, are good choices. This method works with any smoker including Kamado-style, pellet grills, offset or electric. 

2 NW Pacific Halibut Filets
Lemon wedges
Fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Fully defrost the halibut in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. 

Mix salt and sugar together. Liberally apply to halibut filets. Seal fish in plastic wrap, place in fridge and allow to brine for 2 to 3 hours.

Set up smoker to 275°F. with a light flavored wood. 

Remove plastic film from fish and brush off dry brine mixture with a damp kitchen towel.  

Place in smoker and smoke until the internal temperature reads 135°F. This is approximately 30 to 40 minutes. 

When halibut comes to temp, remove from the smoker and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. 

If desired, season with fresh-ground black pepper. Serve with lemon wedges. 

Smoked halibut


This is an easy method that ensures your halibut cooks evenly. Baking produces a juicy, moist finish. It’s a technique that doesn’t require any special equipment and allows  you to put dinner on the table quickly. 

Seasoning Halibut before Baking

Fully defrost the halibut in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. 

Heat oven to 425°F.

Brush filets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika.  

Arrange the filets in an ovenproof baking dish.

Bake for until the internal temperature reached 130°F (about 9 to 10 minutes). The halibut filets should be opaque and the flesh just beginning to flake. 

Remove from the oven, let rest 3 to 5 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges.


Pan-searing is a simple and flavorful and method of cooking halibut. This method produces a crispy exterior and a moist and tender interior.

Fully defrost the halibut in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. 

Pat filets dry and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Add a tablespoon of neutral vegetable oil to a non-stick skillet. Place on a burner over medium-high heat.

When the oil is hot, gently place filets in the skillet. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes until a golden crust forms. 

Gently flip and sear the other side. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 130°F (about 4 to 5 minutes). The halibut filets should be opaque and the flesh just beginning to flake. 

Remove from the pan, let rest 3 to 5 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges.

Pan-Seared Halibut


This elegant dish cooks quickly in one pan for easy cleanup. The rich pan sauce has a brightness from the lemon and fresh herbs, with a nice briny pop from the capers. Serve over pan sautéed asparagus or with your favorite vegetables for an easy meal that cooks in under 10 minutes.

A toasty panko crust gives the halibut a great texture and crunch while the garlic in the cream sauce is familiar and fragrant. The truffle pate elevates the sauce and gives the halibut a complimentary and bold flavor. Serve over roasted broccoli and topped with a garlic truffle cream sauce. 

A homemade seasoning of fresh lemon, lime, and mandarin orange zest are the flavorful foundation for this dish. A quick six-minute cook in the pan and the tacos are ready to go. Avocado crema is used as the slaw dressing and for topping. The sweet mandarin segments add a sweetness and pop of flavor with the crisp slaw and delicious fish.

Halibut is a delicious and versatile fish that works beautifully no matter how its prepared. Its culinary background and popularity make it the perfect seafood dish for a fast week night dinner or special meal. It’s wonderful prepared as a center of plate dish but is also a welcome addition paired with a Snake River Farms steak.