Can You Cook Steak With Olive Oil?

can you cook steak with olive oil

Cooking steak is a skill, and to develop this skill you must have the proper tools and equipment to do so. This is why here at SteakSpecialist we’re big on investing in good quality tools to help you cook up a storm in the kitchen.

You’ll also need to know what oils to use, and in this post, we’re going to take a look at a question we get asked regularly here.

Olive oil is undoubtedly the most popular cooking oil across the globe. And although there are other alternatives today that are equally as good, olive oil is the one most people go to.

So, can you cook steak with olive oil?

Let’s find out…

Why Oil Is Important For Cooking Steak

Oil is crucial for cooking, it conducts heat from a hot pan onto the steak and allows it to cook evenly and thoroughly. Not only that, but oil also stops food from sticking to the pan by lubricating the surface.

Without using oil, you will find that the food will stick to the pan and result in the food being unevenly cooked and ruined.

Although oil is pure fat and is one of the most calorie-dense substances on the planet, it’s important if you want an evenly cooked steak.

Here’s a quick tip for when using oil for cooking steak:

Instead of oiling up the frying pan before cooking the steak, place your steak on a plate and drizzle oil over the meat instead.

I like to place a few cuts into the meat too which allows the oil to seep nice and deep into the steak.

This will ensure the perfect outer texture once cooked, and it will stop the steak from sticking to the pan.

Massage the oil gently into the steak so that the surface area is fully covered, and be sure to pre-heat your pan before placing your steak in the pan.

How Much Oil To Use When Cooking Steak

As mentioned above, using oil to cook a steak isn’t exactly healthy. Oil is incredibly calorie-dense and if you’re not careful you can quite easily turn a once healthy meal into a high-calorie disaster.

I like to use one teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I pour this into a small container and then brush the oil onto my steaks evenly.

The reason I use an oil brush is because it is much easier to cover the surface area of the steak without using too much oil, perfect for those watching their caloric intake.

The reason I opt for Extra Virgin is that it’s far less processed than regular oil. Extra virgin Olive Oil is made from pure, cold-pressed olives whereas regular olive oil is a blend.

As oil is packed full of calories, if you’re trying to watch what you eat then I would recommend using Extra Virgin Olive Oil too.

Is Olive Oil A Good Option For Cooking Steak?

Yes, olive oil is a good option for cooking steak. Just like butter, olive oil has a distinct taste which if you like it, can make a great option to cook your steak in.

Olive oil gives flavor to your steak and it has a relatively high smoke point which allows you to cook your steak without the oil smoking and leaving harmful toxins behind.

It’s important to be very careful when cooking steak with oil that has a low smoke point, as you’ll find the oil starts to burn and can ruin the taste of your steak.

Using a splash of olive oil in a hot skillet is a great way to ensure your steak cooks evenly and tastes exceptional when it’s on your plate.

You don’t need to use much olive oil to cook steak, simply use enough to cover the pan or enough to lubricate the steak (whichever way you prefer to oil up your steak).

Here are some other alternatives to olive oil that are certainly worth a try:

  • Butter
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil

Olive Oil Smoke Point

A smoke point is a temperature that the oil reaches before it starts to smoke. It’s essentially a burning point, meaning you know how hot you can heat the oil before it will start to smoke.

You want to ensure that whatever oil you use, it doesn’t reach the smoke point when cooking steak as this can leave harmful toxins behind and leave a nasty taste on your expensive steak.

So what is the smoke point of olive oil?

The smoke point of olive oil is around 374–405°F (190–207°C), which means once the oil heats up to this point it will start to burn.

Frying steak on a pan is done at a heat of around 190°C or 356°F, meaning it’s lower than the smoke point of olive oil.

A smoke point of this level ensures that you can safely cook in a frying pan without smoking out of your home. However, olive oil can come very close to its smoke point when frying steak, so it may be wise to look for alternative oils.

That being said, depending on where you purchase your olive oil you may come across ‘Refined Olive Oil’ (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). This is an extract of olive oil that actually burns at a higher temperature of 243°C – 470°F.

This means that refined olive oil has a high enough smoke point for you to cook your steak on a hot skillet just how we like it.

Is Olive Oil Or Butter Best For Cooking Steak?

When it comes to cooking steak, olive oil is a much better option. This is because olive oil has a much higher smoke point than butter.

You may have seen many chefs serving their steaks with a side of butter, but this does not mean that they are using it to lubricate their pan. It’s simply an added serving to make the steak appear fancier.

Butter has a smoke point of around 150°C, which is far too low to cook a steak on.

Trying to cook steak on butter will only result in the butter burning very quickly, and you may find that the steak starts sticking to the pan after the butter has evaporated.

Other Considerations

When it comes to cooking steak with olive oil, yes it’s certainly safe to use. However, opting for Extra Virgin Olive oil is a much better option in my opinion.

Not only does it have a higher smoke point, but it’s actually healthier for you too. Each tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains 1.9mg of Vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can protect the body against eye and skin problems. Impressive right!

Extra Virgin Olive oil is the least processed version of olive oil, it retains its natural antioxidants and vitamins making it a much better option than regular olive oil.

Cooking steak in Extra Virgin Olive oil is a great idea and something that you should not shy away from if you’re looking for a convenient oil to cook with.

There is a lot of mixed opinion between chefs and steak connoisseurs when it comes to which is the best oil to use, but in my experience, I’ve never had any issues with EVOO, so am not going to knock it.

Final Thoughts

So, can you cook steak with olive oil? Absolutely!

Olive oil, although not exactly the healthiest option is a great method of cooking your steak in a hot frying pan.

I recommend using Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of regular olive oil, this is because it is packed full of vitamins and also has fewer calories.

There are certainly other oils out there that are just as good, if not better. So it’s wise to experiment with different oils depending on your own personal preference.

Just be sure that the oil you decide to use has a high enough smoke point to handle cooking steak.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this post and learned a thing or two about cooking steak with olive oil. This type of oil is certainly suitable and is one that many households always have stocked in their cupboards.

Don’t be afraid to use olive oil when cooking steak, but if you have the option I recommend using Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead.

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