Whether you fancy yourself as a master cook, or a beginner, the idea of coming home and cooking yourself a thick, juicy steak is still as exciting.
If you’ve cooked steak before you’re probably aware that there are a variety of factors that can influence how your steak is going to taste: seasoning, the way it’s cooked, the cut of meat, just to name a few.
Today, I want to talk about the best oil to use for steak.
Do I Need To Use Oil?
Cooking a steak at home may cause you to ask yourself, should I cook my steak in butter or oil? Many would agree that oil is the best option.
Butter can burn quickly and easily at lower temperatures compared to oil which means you either have burnt butter or not enough heat to cook your steak properly. You usually need a searing hot pan, which simply too much for butter to handle.
The burnt butter will affect the taste of your steak. It will turn the meat bitter. Even if you are cooking something different, like a steak stir fry, you still need a somewhat hot pan to get the meat going.
Best Oil To Use For Steak?
When cooking steak you may not have realised the type of oil you cook it in can affect how the steak cooks and tastes.
Oils with a high smoke point, which means they can withstand a heat of 400℉ and higher, are best when grilling or searing a steak.
Other characteristics to look for in an oil are those with a neutral flavor and ones light in color.
These characteristics mean the oil will not compromise the flavor of the steak or produce a bad smell when cooking at high temperatures.
Oils that meet these characteristics include avocado oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil and canola oil. Obviously, if you or those you’re cooking for have any allergies you can cancel these out. Before you start cooking, read below which oil is best suited to you.
Avocado oil is refined oil, which simply means that it has been extracted using heat and then purified.
This oil has a neutral taste and has the highest smoke point out of all the oils coming in at 520℉, which is great for cooking a steak.
The high smoke point means that there’s less of a chance of the steak burning quickly whilst maintaining the meat’s natural flavor. Using avocado oil is also useful if you’re cooking inside as it won’t produce a huge cloud of smoke.
If you’ve never heard of canola oil before, it’s a vegetable-based oil made from crushed canola seeds from the rapeseed plant.
The process of making the oil does involve synthetic chemicals that help extract the oil so it may not be suited to everyone.
However, you can shop around to buy all-natural canola oil versions. We recommend it for cooking a steak as it can withstand high heat, it’s rich in Omega-3s and is an affordable, versatile option.
Peanut oil is widely recommended as a great oil for cooking steak. This vegetable-derived oil is made from the seeds or nuts of the peanut plant which grows underground.
Depending on how the nuts are processed, peanut oil can be found to have a wide variety of flavors. In this context, we would recommend using a neutral to mild version to not compromise the natural flavor of the steak.
Using peanut oil has certain advantages as it’s a good source of vitamin E and antioxidants known for reducing the risk of heart disease.
On the downside, peanut oil can be a little more expesive as they are produced in smaller quantities than others. If you’re willing to shop around you can usually find a good deal.
Grapeseed oil has a relatively high smoke point of around 390℉ making it a great option if you’re using a cast-iron skillet.
Grapeseed oil is actually a byproduct of winemaking, after the grapes are pressed the leftover seeds are extracted in order to make the oil.
It’s high in omega-6 fatty acids, making it one of the healthier options when used in place of saturated or trans fats.
The way the oil is processed can influence the health benefits, so buying an organic or natural version that has been cold-pressed can be a great alternative.
How To Cook Steak With Oil For Best Results
Little oil is needed to cook a steak, but for best results grease your pan or cooking apparatus with oil using a kitchen towel or a basting brush.
This will aid in transferring heat from the pan to the steak creating a mouthwatering flavor and a crispy coating.
You can still add a little extra if you’re concerned about the steak sticking to the pan. Less is more when it comes to steak.
You can also use an electric grill or frying pan if you have one, but the first options will produce the best results.
Cooking is mostly dependent on personal preference and dietary requirements, so what works for you may be different to others. The best way to find out which oil is right for you is through trial and error.
Overall, avocado oil can be considered the best oil to use to cook a steak in terms of the meat itself as it has the highest smoke point.
Yet it’s one of the more expensive oils you can use, so if you’re just going to use it to cook a steak every now and then it may not be very cost effective. In this case, use canola.
Hopefully you understand why it’s important to cook your steak with the right oil and feel more confident in cooking an excellent meal.