Oil is used in various stages when cooking a steak. The oil may be added to a marinade in order to help lock moisture into the steak while cooking. Or, alternatively, the oil may be used to cook the steak.
Traditional cooking oil is able to withstand the high heat required in order to cook a steak to a certain temperature. The question is: can you cook steak in vegetable oil?
Vegetable oil may be used to cook a steak with. It will give the steak a beautiful sear while preventing it from sticking to the pan. In addition, vegetable oil has a high smoke point of 400°F, which makes it an ideal oil to use when cooking at high temperatures.
Can you cook steak with vegetable oil in a pan, grill and oven
Pan fried steak using vegetable oil
To sear your steak in a pan, prepare the steak at least one hour in advance by bringing the steak down to room temperature.
Season your steak with salt, pepper, and lightly brush the vegetable oil on the surface of the steak. Keep in mind that cooking a steak indoors using this method may produce a fair amount of smoke. It may be a good idea to ensure that there is proper ventilation in the cooking area. You could open a window or a door.
An interesting point is that you should never put oil in the pan, but only oil on the meat. While this may be true, many home cooks use their discretion and may apply oil to the meat and into the pan.
Put your stove top on high heat and wait for the stove to heat up before placing a cast iron skillet on the stove. Ensure that it is piping hot before lightly drizzling a few drops of vegetable oil in the skillet. Wait for it to gently simmer before placing the steak in the skillet.
Cook the first side of the steak for approximately four to six minutes before turning the steak over using a pair of tongs.
Continue to sear the steak on the other side for an additional four to six minutes.
Once the steak has reached the perfect sear on both sides, place a table spoon of butter, thyme, rosemary, and a few cloves of garlic in the skillet.
Allow the butter to melt and brown before tilting the pan to one side and allowing the juices, herbs, and garlic to collect.
Then, using a spoon, gently bathe your steak in the butter-oil combination for approximately one to two minutes.
Then, finally, use the tongs to pick up the steak and sear the outer edges of the steak before plating it.
Grilling a steak with vegetable oil
When the weather turns warm and you don’t want to heat up your kitchen, grilling may be the better option for cooking your beautifully marbled steaks. You may need to apply a different approach when cooking a steak on the grill using vegetable oil.
First, start by spraying a clean rag with vegetable oil. Wait for the hot grill plates to heat up but be sure that they are clean. Use tongs to wipe the vegetable oil sprayed rag and wipe down the grill plates. Use caution as the plates are already heated up and may burn you .
Then, sear your steak on the hot grill for approximately three to five minutes per side. Keep turning the steak until you have reached the desired inner temperature.
Cooking a steak inside an oven with vegetable oil
There are various methods for cooking your steak. You could sear it on the stove top using vegetable oil and finish it off in the oven.
Turn your oven to 500°F (260°F). Again, this method will differ slightly as opposed to searing the steak in oil directly. Heat the stove top to high heat and prepare a cast iron skillet. Do not pour the oil directly into the skillet. Instead, lightly brush the steak with the vegetable oil. This will prevent a situation where there is extra oil in the pan that may end up burning while in the oven.
Sear your steak on the stove top for approximately one minute per side, making sure that you get that beautiful crisp sear on the exterior of the steak. Once done, place the skillet in the oven and finish cooking until the steak has reached the desired level of doneness.
Does vegetable oil affect the taste of the steak
Vegetable oil is a refined and processed oil. As such, it is very light in color and neutral in taste. It will not affect the taste of the steak. By adding the butter, thyme, rosemary, and garlic to the pan to finish the steak off, you are actually imparting the flavors from the butter, herbs, and garlic onto the steak.
The oil is simply to ensure that the steak can be cooked at such a high temperature without burning due to the cooking application. Butter has a much lower smoke point and should not be used to cook the steak. It is better used to coat the steak during the finishing process.
Steak cooking temperature versus steak thickness
Another factor to keep in mind when searing steak in a pan is that the thicker the cut of steak the lower the temperature required to cook the steak. This will also have an effect when cooking your meat in a pan.
For example, a half an inch steak may need to be seared at a temperature of 425 °F to 450 °F (218°C to 232°C) which is above the smoke point for vegetable oil. Therefore, when cooking a thinner cut of steak, it may be better to opt for another refined oil that has an even higher smoke point.
The thicker the cut of meat, the lower the cooking temperature required to get the meat to the desired doneness when using the stovetop. A 1.5 inch thick cut of meat may only need to be seared at around 110 °F to 120 °F, which is well below the smoke point of vegetable oil.
Best applications for vegetable oil
Vegetable oil has a high enough smoke point to ensure that you could use it to saute the steak, cook the steak in a cast iron skillet or in a pan, as well as BBQ the steak or roast the steak in the oven.
Keep in mind, as previously mentioned, the application of the oil may differ slightly when using a grill or the oven to cook the steak.