We all love a perfectly tender and juicy steak, don’t we? I mean, who doesn’t, other than the ‘vegans.’ You may know all about your steak cuts, seasonings, and stuff, but to cook a steak to perfection, you should know your oils.
So, you can’t just pick any random oil for your precious steak! Choosing the right oil for cooking steak is an essential step as it depends on seasoning, marination, what you want to cook your steak on, your cooking process, and so on. And that’s a lot of managing and decision-making!
Now, don’t freak out. I am here to help you choose the best oil for cooking steak! After a lot of digging for several days going through hundreds of verified customers’ feedback, I’ve come up with these 7 oils that will at least give you some insight.
Just Follow This Table for Choosing A Best Product Very Quickly
Benefits of Using Oil for Cooking Steak
Cooking your steak using oil has its perks. The most prominent one is the high smoke point of oils.
To sear a steak properly, the pan or grill needs to be at a very high temperature, and that’s where smoke point weighs in. And to find out the oil for steak, you need to know which features of oil benefits you in the cooking process.
High Smoke Point
Smoke point is the temperature at which oils or fats will start to burn and generate bluish smoke continuously. After this point, the oil or fat gives in to heat, and the oil compounds start to break down. And this burnt oil will mess up your dish big time.
Doesn’t Cause Burn Issue like Butter
If you cook your steak in butter, the butter will burn because of its low heat tolerance, and your steak will be ruined. So, you’ll need to find oils with high enough smoke points that can handle the heat for your meat.
Retains Moisture and Flavor
Throughout the cooking process, oil is used in many stages. You can use oil to marinate your steak, which will enrich the flavor and help maintain the moisture.
Cooking in oil will do the same thing for you, retain moisture, and maintain all the flavors. Oil also prevents the steak from sticking to the pan or grill.
Our Top 7 Best Oils to Perfectly Cook Your Steak
You will definitely find a steak cooking oil that matches your taste and cooking method from this list –
1. BetterBody Foods Refined Avocado Oil
To begin with, we placed this oil at the top for its high smoke point, which ranges between 500-520° F. So, searing the steak won’t turn your kitchen into a smokehouse full of rancid smell.
Your steak is already full of a huge amount of protein and fat. And if you have health concerns, the last thing you’ll want in your steak cooking oil is extra gluten and fat.
BetterBody Foods cares about your health. They are one of the best online health food stores supplying quality organic and vegetarian products. This oil is absolutely gluten-free and contains very little harmful fat, making it exceptionally healthy and one of the ideal steak cooking oils.
Another great reason to use this as your steak cooking oil is that this oil has a smooth nutty, and buttery flavor, which will hugely complement your steak. If you can’t manage butter for your steak as a finishing touch, don’t worry! This oil will work as an excellent butter substitute.
The lack of any extra flavor will allow you to enjoy this oil even if you’re not fond of avocados. Unrefined avocado oils tend to contain a little bit of that avocado flavor. As this oil is refined, it will not make your steaks taste like avocados.
- It has a very high smoke point of 500-520° F
- Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and completely gluten-free
- No chemicals or additives were used for processing
- Refined and of light texture, no aftertaste
- Light in flavor has a little buttery taste to it
2. Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Our next choice in the list of best oils for cooking steak is an olive oil blend from Pompeian. Guys at Pompeian are so obsessed with olive oil they even call themselves ‘The Olive Oil People.’
They mainly produce various farmer-crafted, non-GMO (genetically modified organism) blends of quality olive oil, great as vinaigrettes, salad dressing, and skin-care products.
This oil has a comparatively low smoke point than the avocado one, ranging from 380-410° F. So, it won’t be a good idea to use this oil when cooking steak on a grill, as grills can get up to 500° F. But for searing your steak in a pan, this oil is a fine choice smoke pointwise.
This one deserves your attention because of its smooth and light texture and almost neutral flavor. No extra unusual flavors or any weird aftertaste will be in your way of enjoying your steak. But because of the lightness in flavor, I advise you to season your steak well.
You can put your mind at ease about health concerns because this oil is completely gluten-free; contains very little saturated fat and a significant amount of monosaturated fat per serving.
To be a little technical, saturated fat increases the risk for heart attack and stroke by increasing LDL cholesterol levels in your blood. In contrast, monosaturated fat reduces LDL cholesterol and keeps heart attack chances slim.
- Non-GMO and purely gluten-free
- USDA(United States Dept. of Agriculture) certified as organic
- No chemicals or additives were used for processing
- Non-allergenic and contains very little saturated fat
- Contains a good amount of monosaturated fat
3. La Tourangelle, Roasted Walnut Oil
When it comes to quality artisan oils, no other brand is as passionate as La Tourangelle. Their products are natural, organic, and handcrafted with care. This one is from their finest products, a blend of roasted walnut oil.
Compared to others, this oil has a relatively low smoke point of 320° F. This makes it a really bad choice for cooking steak on a grill or cast-iron skillet. However, the oil is a good choice for cooking your steak in a pan, but you should be careful with the temperature.
In terms of flavor, the walnut part in the oil is subtle but not really light. Using it as your steak cooking oil will infuse the steak with a unique nutty flavor and add a nice kick to it. This oil is also good for your salad dressings and vinaigrettes because of the added flavor.
Leave all your health concerns elsewhere because this oil is as healthy as it gets. It contains a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 keeps your blood cholesterol under control and significantly reduces the chances of heart disease.
As this oil is lightly filtered, it retains a lot of antioxidants from the walnuts. Antioxidants are really good for your health as they reduce the damage of body cells caused by oxidation. An antioxidants enriched diet can save you from heart disease and particular cancers.
- Naturally processed (handcrafted), partially unrefined
- Non-GMO and kosher certified
- Delicate smell and rich flavor
- Full of Omega 3 and antioxidants
- Recyclable, eco-friendly, and sturdy tin packaging
4. Pompeian 100% Grapeseed Oil
‘The Olive Oil People’ are back at it again with one of their finest products, but this time it’s not olive oil! This product is a blend of grapeseed oil from Pompeian. And yes, it is produced from seeds of grapes.
What makes this one of the ideal oils to cook a steak is its ability to handle high heat. It has a very high smoke point, which can get up to 510° F, close to the avocado oil.
Because of high heat tolerance, this oil is a very safe choice for all sorts of cooking methods. Deep frying, stir-frying, baking, grilling, you name it. You can comfortably use this oil to sear your steak on a grill or a cast-iron skillet without any worry of oil-burning up and producing smoke.
If you don’t want to worry about any extra added flavor to your steak, or any weird aftertaste, this could be your go-to steak cooking oil. It has a light texture and a simple, subtle flavor to it, which won’t disrupt your steak’s original flavor.
Similar to Pompeian’s other products, this oil is also organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. This oil contains Vitamin E, Omega 6, and some other fatty acids essential for our bodies.
- Very high smoke point ranging from 470-510° F
- Subtle and mild flavor
- Completely organic and non-GMO
- Non-allergenic and kosher product
- Rich in Vitamin E and useful fatty acids
5. Happy Belly Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
What a wholesome name, Happy Belly! You might be thinking, well, the products better be wholesome too, right? To be honest, they really are. Happy Belly is one of the 24 Amazon-owned feature brands that provide cheap, good value products reliably.
This vegetable oil is an excellent choice for cooking as it provides relatively good value for its price.
Extra light olive oils are chemically tweaked versions of extra virgin olive oils to achieve higher heat tolerance and neutrality of flavor. The chemical processing makes the best oil for cooking steak for toning down the flavor. Being less flavorful makes the oil unusable in dressings and vinaigrettes.
Our chosen oil has a high smoke point value of 470° F, making it a great choice for high heat cooking. With a little caution, you can perfectly sear your steak on a grill using this oil.
As the flavor is significantly toned down, the oil will add no extra unusual flavors to your steak. It is not an organic product, but it is healthy. It contains a low amount of fat and no unnecessary additives.
Besides cooking, this oil is exceptionally good for purposes like skin-care, hair treatment, soap processing, and so on. Read more: Reviews of Top Quality.
- It has a high smoke point value of up to 470° F
- Very light and subtle in flavor
- Contains a low amount of harmful fat
- Inorganic but healthy and kosher product
- No toxic additives were added
6. TruffleHunter White Truffle Oil
If you’re not familiar with truffle, it is the fruiting body of a special type of subterranean fungus. Truffle is very expensive but extremely flavorful food. Truffle Hunter is a fine brand that will be able to meet all your truffle needs.
This oil that we are going to talk about now is not really a cooking oil, but more of finishing oil. It’s a luxury blend of quality white truffle with extra virgin olive oil by TruffleHunter.
Your concern might be – if it’s not even cooking oil, what is it even doing on my list!
I had to keep it on this list for the unimaginable flavor combo it can blend into your steak. Providing a finishing touch with this oil can turn your steak into a gourmet experience for anyone and you, a gourmet chef.
The oil gives out a charming garlic aroma. It has a strong truffle flavor with a subtle hint of virgin olive oil. As it’s not cooking oil, the smoke point is very low. So, I won’t recommend heating it in any way, but you can use it to marinate your steak.
Marination will infuse the flavors of the oil into the steak and will help to retain moisture. After marination, with a little help from any other light oil, you can both sear your steak perfectly and keep the flavors intact inside the steak.
- The oil offers an exceptional flavor combo of white truffle and virgin olive oil
- Delicate garlic-infused aroma
- Processed using handpicked top-quality ingredients
- Completely vegetarian and gluten-free
- Non-GMO and kosher certified
- No toxic additives were used in the process
7. Great Value Peanut Oil
Products from ‘Great Value’ will not disappoint you because they actually do provide great value. For their good value deals of high-quality groceries and household commodities, this brand is a name of trust for lots of families in the US.
The last one from our list is a peanut oil blend from this brand. It is affordable and a good buy for your household needs.
Having a high smoke point value of over 450° F, this oil is an excellent and reliable option for standard high heat home cooking. Cook your steak on a pan, grill, or skillet, not worrying about the heat ruining your oil and seasoning.
Because of its light texture and mild flavor, this oil retains the authentic flavor of your steak and adds no other weird flavor or smell to it. This oil, being rich in antioxidants from peanuts, will prevent oxidation damage to your body.
It also contains good monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which keep your heart healthy. In terms of health concerns, it stands for the best oil to cook steak on the list.
Being allergic to peanuts actually means you’re allergic to peanut proteins. As this oil is highly refined, it doesn’t contain allergen proteins. But, if you really are allergic to peanuts, I’ll advise you to take your doctor’s permission before consuming this product.
- High heat tolerance, smoke point over 450° F
- No toxic additives present
- Rich in antioxidants, monosaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat
- Low carbon footprint and moderate water footprint
- Retains authentic flavor of the steak
Quick Comparison Table of Oil for Cooking Steak
BetterBody Foods Refined Avocado Oil
Very light; buttery
Organic, Gluten-free, Non-GMO
Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Organic (USDA certified), Gluten-free, Non-GMO, Non-allergen
La Tourangelle, Roasted Walnut Oil
Artisan, Partially unrefined, Non-GMO, Kosher
Pompeian 100% Grapeseed Oil
Organic, Non-GMO, Non-allergen, Kosher
Happy Belly Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
TruffleHunter White Truffle Oil
400-450° F (truffle content burns at a lot less temp)
Gluten-free, Non-GMO, Kosher, Vegan
Great Value Peanut Oil
Low carbon footprint, moderate water footprint
Things to Consider Before Buying Oil for Cooking Steak
Choosing the right oil for cooking your steak depends mainly on your cooking process. Generally, you want to pick an oil with a very high tolerance to heat, but as cooking steak is a very delicate process, there are other factors to keep in mind.
Cooking a steak is not really child’s play, and there are many ways to approach this. You may grill, stir fry, pan-sear, oven-bake, or even steam your steak. It is important to have a clear vision of your cooking process before making decisions.
We’ll now discuss some of the factors that come into play when considering the best oil for steak.
Frying, grilling, or pan-searing your steak requires the use of oil that can handle high heat cooking conditions. A smoke point value of 400° F should be the cut-off criteria; anything below that just won’t work.
If the oil doesn’t have enough heat tolerance, it’s just going to burn up at high heat, ruining your steak and the atmosphere of your house.
This is the reason chefs advise you to stay away from extra virgin olive oils, as most of their blends can tolerate only up to 380° F.
For grilling and frying, the ambient temperature may even go up to 500° F. Avocado oil, peanut oil, and canola oil have very high smoke points and are all solid choices for steak cooking oil.
First, you need to understand the difference between cooking oil and finishing oil. Finishing oils are used at the end of the process as a finishing touch, and they highly compliment your steak’s flavor.
These oils are not to be heated as flavorful oils tend to have lower smoke points. Butter should also be used as a finishing oil rather than cooking oil. But again, basting your steak with butter is a great cooking technique.
Remember, a good finishing oil should complement your steak’s flavor, not cloak it.
If you don’t want your steak to have any extra flavors, you should choose a very light, refined oil as your steak cooking oil. Light, refined oils typically are high heat tolerant and mild-flavored, making them really good choices.
Ingredients present in oil affect its smoke point. Roasting, cold pressing, expeller pressing, and crushing are natural oil extraction methods from various seeds, vegetables, and nuts.
Naturally extracted unrefined oils contain lots of minerals, nutrient contents, enzymes, and source flavors, making them very healthy and flavorful. But this also makes them less heat tolerant by lowering the smoke points because these unrefined contents are prone to burning up easily.
Removing these flavors and other natural compounds significantly improves the oil’s heat tolerance, which is called refining. To avoid oil burning and rancid smell, go for refined oils with high smoke points.
Refining can sometimes involve using toxic additives and high chemical processing, leaving the oil really unhealthy. So, watch out for that! Look for naturally processed oils containing vitamins, good fats, and fatty acids.
How to Cook a Perfect Steak in a Pan?
Cooking a perfect steak is a form of art, and you can be your own artist too. Pan-searing is the best and easiest technique for home cooking a steak. The key is to leave your steak be on a heated pan until a golden-brown and crisp crust full of flavor forms.
Best options for pan-searing are boneless and not so thick quick cuts, about 1 or 1.5 inches thick at most. Filet mignon, rib eye, and NY strips are fine choices at that. A steak cut with some fat puts the cherry on top. A moderate amount of fat adds in good flavors and also keeps the steak juicy.
Prepping the Steak
Now before you start cooking, it is important that you have prepped your steak properly. Take your steak out of the freezer 45-60 minutes prior to cooking.
Let the steak thaw for some time, pat it dry using paper towels, and then season it with salt and pepper. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes more. The seasoning will help the crust be more flavorful.
Now put your pan over medium-high heat till it’s really hot. I suggest you use a thick pan made out of cast iron and stainless steel.
Add oil to the heated pan, and let it get hot and shimmering. Put the steak down in the pan with caution, and let it sizzle. You’ll get the urge to flip it over and over but don’t. Let the crust develop properly on one side first.
Flip the steak over after about 3-4 minutes. By then, the bottom side should get all nice and crispy, with a dark brown color. Let the other side sear for another 3-4 minutes.
This will get your steak to a nice rare or medium-rare doneness. Cook the steak for a few minutes more and keep flipping it over if you want your steak done well.
Finishing and Serving
At the last minute, add a chunk of butter or some truffle oil to the pan; this will complement your steak with a burst of good flavors. Add cloves of garlic and different herbs according to your preference.
Thyme, chives, rosemary, basil, parsley are all great robust herb choices that will complement your beef with good flavors and add a beautiful aroma to the dish.
After cooking, don’t slice your steak right away, or all the juices will drip out of it. Rather wrap it in aluminum foil and let it sit. This will let the juices reach everywhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you cook steak without using any oil?
You can pan-sear your steaks on a cast-iron or stainless-steel pan without using any oil. The steak fat itself will suffice to develop a proper crust and cook it. However, use this technique for only thin cuts of steaks.
2. What sort of butter is appropriate for steak?
While cooking steak, you should be careful about the salt content in your dish. Too much salt will ruin your steak. For butter, use unsalted ones. This way, you can keep the salt content in your dish under control.
3. How do you avoid burning butter while cooking steak?
The key is to keep flowing the butter around the pan. Use a wooden spatula or spoon to keep stirring, and move the butter around. This technique is called basting.
Soak your steak with the butter while moving it so that the flavors can get attached to the steak. Add the butter at the very last minute so that it doesn’t have to be in the heat for long.
4. Can I cook my steak using extra virgin olive oils?
Typically, extra virgin olive oils are not appropriate for cooking steak as they are unrefined and tend to burn at low heat. That’s why most chefs do not recommend using EVOO as steak cooking oil.
But some lightly refined EVOO blends have a smoke point over 400° F, which is perfect for pan-searing your steak.
5. Should you not marinate your steak before cooking?
Marinading steak is a controversial topic as it has both pros and cons. Marination allows flavors to be infused in the steak and also provides aroma.
But it also prevents developing a nice crisp crust and meddles with the steak’s texture, which is not really worth it from my perspective. But hey, you do you.
I hope we achieved what we set out to do, help find you the best oil for cooking steak that is most suitable for you.
Don’t hesitate to experiment with your oil choices. Who knows where you might find the one! Be careful about the smoke point before you ruin a good steak.
Also, while choosing oil for cooking your steak, always keep allergens and other diseases concerning you in mind. If it troubles you much, you can always go for the no oil pan-searing option.