Oil is essential for searing steak. First, it stops your steak from sticking, but it can also add wonderful flavors and even a crust to your meat.
But, there are many different oils out there, and you may not be sure which is the best one to use.
So, luckily for you, I put together this guide to help you choose from 9 of the best oils to cook your steak with.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a brief overview of these oils:
|Type||Smoke Point||My Favorite|
|Clarified Butter||300°F / 150°C||Check On Amazon|
|Peanut Oil||450°F / 230°C||Check On Amazon|
|Avocado Oil||520°F / 270°C||Check On Amazon|
|Olive Oil||460°F / 240 °C||Check On Amazon|
|Beef Tallow||420°F / 220°C||Check On Amazon|
|Vegetable Oil||450°F / 230°C||Check On Amazon|
|Sesame Oil||450°F / 230°C||Check On Amazon|
|Canola Oil||400°F / 200°C||Check On Amazon|
|Coconut Oil||450°F / 230°C||Check On Amazon|
Butter tastes good and can add a creamy flavor to most dishes, but it has a low smoke point (300°F/150 °C). This means that it burns easily and will give your steak a bitter flavor.
However, you can use clarified butter or ghee instead. This is when butter is melted and the milk solids are removed. This increases the smoke point to 480°F (250 °C), making it a better option for frying steak.
If you’re still keen on cooking your steak with butter, cook your steak with another oil or fat, and add a scoop of butter at the end when you have finished cooking.
Some people love peanut oil and others not so much. It’s a good choice for cooking steak though as it has a smoke point of 450°F (230°C). It also has a nutty flavor that a lot of people like.
Peanut oil has health benefits too. It’s rich in vitamin E, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
One thing to bear in mind with peanut oil is that it is not suitable for people who have nut allergies.
Avocado oil has the highest smoke point of all the oils on this list – 520°F (270°C).
It has a mild flavor and like the avocado fruit, has many health benefits, including reducing heart disease and lowering blood pressure.
Olive oil has a light color and flavor, as well as a high smoke point of 460°F (240 °C).
We wouldn’t recommend using extra virgin olive oil for cooking steak as it has a lower smoke point. Save it for drizzling on your salad!
Beef tallow is rendered animal fat. It’s an excellent option for cooking steak as it has a high smoke point of 420°F (220°C) and will not impart any unusual flavors to your steak.
Tallow was disregarded for a while as it is high in saturated fat and was seen as unhealthy, but has now made a resurgence, especially with paleo and keto diets.
You can make your own tallow by melting down beef fat trimmings. You can save your own or alternatively, your local butcher will be happy to give you some.
Many people turn their noses up at vegetable oil as it is a cheap option. However, it has a neutral flavor and high smoke point of 450°F (230°C) which means you can sear your steak with confidence.
The only negative is that it is quite a heavy oil and may impact your steak’s texture.
Sesame oil has an intense nutty taste – if you’re cooking steak in a Chinese dish, this oil will add an extra element of flavor.
It has a high smoke point of 450°F (230°C).
Canola oil is made of crushed canola seeds.
It has a neutral flavor and a smoke point of 400°F (200°C) – not the highest on this list, but still enough to cook a steak and give it a nice crisp sear.
If you’re looking for a tropical taste, coconut oil is a great choice. It has a smoke point of 450°F (230°C) so is ideal for frying steak in.
The disadvantage of coconut oil is that it has a robust flavor, which may not always go with meat.
What Oil Is The Best For Beef Fondue?
Steak fondue is when cubes of steak are cooked in hot oil and dipped into sauces. It’s a great party dish and guests can cook their individual pieces of steak to their liking.
You want an oil that has a high smoke point for fondue. Oils with lower smoke points will burn and give your steak an unpleasant taste.
You’ll also want a neutral tasting oil. As the steaks and sauces are the stars of the show, you don’t want to use a flavored oil.
Some of the oils we recommend for a steak fondue include:
- Clarified butter.
- Olive oil.
- Vegetable oil.
In Summary: Which Oil Should I Cook My Steak In?
The oil you use is ultimately down to personal preference. Some oils add a unique flavor to your steak – some people like this while others prefer something with a more neutral taste.
The only thing we would recommend is using an oil with a high smoke point. Fats and oils with lower smoke points like butter, walnut oil and flaxseed oil are not ideal for cooking meat in.