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Oiling steak before grilling or pan-searing?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Do you oil your steak before grilling? Before pan-searing?

 

I don't. I've tried doing it once or twice but couldn't really find a big difference in flavor. I'm wondering why some people do it?

 

Does it help making certain dry rub, like say coarsely ground pepper stick to the steak?

post #2 of 29

As I understand it,  the theory is that oiling is supposed to prevent the meat from sticking.  However,  if you know what you're doing,  have the heat up high enough to start,  and don't tinker around with the meat for the first very critical minutes after introducing it to the grill or pan,  to oil or not becomes a non-issue. 

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post #3 of 29

The only reason, IMHO, to "oil" a steak before cooking is if you wet marinade your steaks (oil, acid, seasoning).

 

If your grill is properly cleaned and oiled, no need.

If your pans are properly seasoned, and brought to temperature before cooking... no need.

 

Nope. I think most joints oil steaks to prevent them from oxidizing. A problem solved by proper prep levels.

post #4 of 29

I oil my steaks at home because we raise our own cows and the meat is leaner. I like to get a crust on the outside of the steak, and there is no other way....................Chef Bill

post #5 of 29

I found if its a non-stick pan oiling the steak helps, or if your marinade had an oil in it, you won't need to.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

I don't use non-stick pans and I don't marinate my steaks. OK thanks guys, just what I thought then, it's not necessary.

post #7 of 29

I oil my steaks before grilling because you can get better grill marks on it.  Similar results can be obtained by oiling the grill.

"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #8 of 29

I like oiling the steak because it helps my dry rub stick on it better.

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post #9 of 29

Depending on the cut of meat.

 Fatty cuts such as a prime rib I don't because I find that once the steak is at room temp, the fat in the steak is enough with a light rub to help my salt and pepper stick.  leaner cuts such as top sirloin I tend to oil as there is simply not enough fat to do the job. 

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post #10 of 29

I oil, as I like my steak still mooing on the plate.  Out of the fridge, onto a plate which has oil and spices of choice on the plate, get one side oiled up, flip it over and do the same.  Leave it at room temp. for about 30 mins. get my griddle pan smoking hot with no oil on it.  Salt just before searing the heck out of it, maybe 30-45 secs per side, get tongs and hold it vertically and sear the edges.  Onto a warmed plate amd tent it under foil and rest for a few minutes.  Best way I've found to do it, to my taste.  This is for a cut like scotch filllet.

 

I really like having the grid marks on it too - for whatever reason, it makes it look tastier.  What I do is put a clean pan on top of the steak with a heavy can in it to press it down (obviously I don't have one of the heavy presses you can get) and it makes great marks.  Turn the steak by 90 degrees half way thru cooking each side - lovely.

 

Blue steak - done.

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post #11 of 29

Never press a steak. or a burger. Never.

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

DC, I had my mouth watering reading your description - I like my steak medium rare, sometimes rare, sometimes blue.

 

One thing I don't understand though: if the oil goes on the steak, it is cold when the steak hits the pan, therefore the pan has to heat the oil and the steak - if the oil is in the pan, it is hot when the steak hits the pan, therefore the pan and the oil can sear the steak itself - wouldn't that be more efficient/fast/more searing power?

 

post #13 of 29

    Hi there,

 

   There are many successful ways to roast a chicken, just don't overcook any part of the meat.  You can use high heat, low heat, a combination of high and low...or low and high...or high low high...or

 

   I look at steaks the same way.  To me, you need to oil something...either the grill grates or the beef.  I prefer to heat the grill up and then oil the grates just before I put the steak on the grill.  But another method I'll sometimes use is to heat the grill up and oil the steaks before placing them on the grill.  

 

    Something needs to be oiled just before the steaks go on.  To me, pan frying is a totally different technique than grilling a steak.  I prefer to add my seasonings to the beef and keep it as dry as possible while heating the oil up in the pan.

 

   dan

post #14 of 29

I don't oil my steaks when grilling over charcoal.  I do, however, oil the steaks after I take them out of the fridge if I will be pan searing them.  It isn't strictly necessary, but to me it creates a better crust.  The light dose of oil acts as a thermal conductor, getting the searing heat into the crust more efficiently.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

DC, I had my mouth watering reading your description - I like my steak medium rare, sometimes rare, sometimes blue.

 

One thing I don't understand though: if the oil goes on the steak, it is cold when the steak hits the pan, therefore the pan has to heat the oil and the steak - if the oil is in the pan, it is hot when the steak hits the pan, therefore the pan and the oil can sear the steak itself - wouldn't that be more efficient/fast/more searing power?

 


I hear what you are saying - but I let the steak sit out for at least 30 mins sometimes 45 at room temp, so the meat is not cold.  The oil etc is on the steak. The pan is smoking hot.  It works :)  It's a griddle pan too that I use, so if I oiled the pan first, most of the oil would be wasted in the grooves and just smoke the house out and set of fire alarms...naah, I oil the steak..

 

P.S. FrenchFries - glad I made you hungry hehe
 

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrairieChef View Post

Never press a steak. or a burger. Never.


PrairiwChwf,

I'm only a home cook, not a trained professional.  It woeks well enough for me.

 

But if you have the time, I am curious to know why not to press a steak.  A burger I can ubderstand, but steak - what will it do to it?

 

TIA

 

DC
 

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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post #17 of 29

Same thing it does with a burger... press the juices out of it.

 

If you want good grill marks, heat your grill, scrub it, oil it with an oil dampened cloth, wait a bit, and put your steak on it. Like seasoning a pan... you're creating a non stick surface.

 

 It's heat that will give you your grillmarks, not pressure.

post #18 of 29

Thanks for the reply PrairieChef.

 

If it were pressed just for a few seconds at the start of each line of grid marks, am guessing that would be ok?  Could prob. even do it just  pressing with the tongs and avoid getting the juices out and so ending up stewing it in its own juices......Thanks again

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #19 of 29

I like to oil my steaks in a 50/50 mixture of corn oil and clarified butter. Nice crust and you get a little bit of buttery taste, especiallly in the already flavorful fat. seems extra juicy and does not overpower the steak at all.

post #20 of 29

I don't oil (kinda) I mayo. I use a horseradish mayo (store-bought or make my own) and salt and pepper liberally. I never pan fry steak, always grilled so I don't know how well this would work for pan frying. Pros correct me if I'm wrong but to improve overall juiciness it is most important to rest the steak after cooking, prior to slicing/serving. I've read that steakhouses often butter steaks after cooking, don't know if there is any truth to that. It does give the steaks a glossy pretty shine however.

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post #21 of 29

I used to oil the grates on the grill, but not the meat. Then, listening to Bobby Flay one day, he made the comment that he never oils the grill, but always oils the meat because it produces better sear marks.

 

I tried it, and he seems to be right.

 

As others have mentioned, however, the grate has to be hot, no matter which way you go.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-boy-nurse View Post

I don't oil (kinda) I mayo. I use a horseradish mayo (store-bought or make my own) and salt and pepper liberally. I never pan fry steak, always grilled so I don't know how well this would work for pan frying. Pros correct me if I'm wrong but to improve overall juiciness it is most important to rest the steak after cooking, prior to slicing/serving. I've read that steakhouses often butter steaks after cooking, don't know if there is any truth to that. It does give the steaks a glossy pretty shine however.

Mayo, that's interesting.  And yes I agree that adding butter to a steak after it's done is great.  I don't do it often because of the calories but when I do I just place a pat of herbed garlic butter on the hot steak and melts right in.  So yum.



 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #23 of 29

Hmmm after reading the replies maybe I am going all wrong about how I pan sear my steaks. First I heat the pan with no oil and get it pretty hot, next I add some EVOO and let it get hot enough that its get aromatic and before I drop my steak in I pat it dry with paper towel so there is no moisture at all on both sides.

post #24 of 29

B. Adams,

 

There are a lot of right ways to sear.  There's nothing wrong with yours, except: 

  • Start prepping the steak a good half hour before preheating the pan by removing the meat from the refrigerator and allowing it to come to temp;
  • No need to get the steak that dry, you're not going for crispy fish skin; and
  • SEASON THE STEAK before putting it in the pan.  Not after.  Not during.  Before.  On both sides.

 

Could make a difference,

BDL

post #25 of 29

Absolutely nothing wrong with that approach. Although the oil isn't necessary, there's no reason not to use it if you like it that way.

 

If you read the posts a little closer you'll see that most responders are talking about grilling, rather than pan frying.

 

maybe I am going all wrong about how I.......

 

FWIW, you are only going all wrong about something if it doesn't come out the way you want it to. Are you happy with your pan-seared steaks? If so, then you are doing everything right, no matter what anyone else says.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by B.Adams View Post

Hmmm after reading the replies maybe I am going all wrong about how I pan sear my steaks. First I heat the pan with no oil and get it pretty hot, next I add some EVOO and let it get hot enough that its get aromatic and before I drop my steak in I pat it dry with paper towel so there is no moisture at all on both sides.

Nothing wrong with this approach though I will say that that putting evoo in a hot skillet and letting get "aromatic" actually means you're burning it.  Evoo is best eaten raw in salads, drizzled over hot food on a plate although I have used it for steaks.  Try experimenting with other oils too, canola works well for this, or you could try a mixture of a little oil and butter which is by far the most flavorful approach imho.  As long as you like what you're eating you're going about it in the right way.

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #27 of 29

As KYH said, there is a big difference between grilling and pan frying.  Unless the 'grill' you are talking about is the flat top in a restaurant kitchen, in which case it is basically the same as pan frying.

 

I prefer all my steaks be cooked over rocket hot coals on a grill, or a barbecue as some may call it.  But I don't always feel like starting a fire and waiting.  A good pan seared steak is different than grilled - not necessarily better, not necessarily worse, just different.  And with a pan sear, you get the benefit of the fond to make a sauce.

 

Either way I usually lightly oil the meat and then season minimally, usually just salt, pepper and possibly garlic.  Sometimes a beef rub if I'm in the mood for such.  A little, and I do mean a little, Spanish pimenton or smoked paprika is a nice touch.

 

Two of my all time favorite sauces for beef grilled rare are bearnaise and chimichurra.  The first is a fairly heavy but heavenly butter based sauce from the French tradition.  The second is a South American concoction, with variants from country to country but is basically olive oil, crushed garlic and fresh, fragrant herbs like cilantro.  I imagine a web search would turn up quite a number of recipes.

 

In truth, though, when I do a pan seared steak it usually is topped with some sort of mushroom, butter and wine pan reduction.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #28 of 29

I've been doing both lightly to an extent recently, but I think I want to experiment with some cheap cuts. I recently switched grills and the newer one has enameled cast iron grates which I'm not really into. I think its the same as using a enameled cast iron skillet versus a seasoned cast iron skillet. The heat is there but the built in flavor is not. One thing I've been doing to enhance the grill marks on the steaks is slide them after a few seconds up the grates from the front of the grill towards the back. Since the enamel is so slippery this isn't a problem with tearing the steak up and I get all the built up heat stored in that section of the grate. Still I would rather super heavy cast iron that will stick slightly at first and then release. Any suggestions or recommendations for a grate I can place on top the existing grate, or any other means of retaining heat with unused grill space (This grill's burners BTU are moderate at best) such as placing foil wrapped bricks or ceramic under or on the grate. RIP old grill, you are missed much :cry:  

post #29 of 29

Try rendering beef trimmings into beef lard then keep in a pan melted next to the flat top.  Season steak and put a little of the melted fat on the flat top. sear on both sides, move to a pan and finish in a 350 oven to desired temperature. 

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