Since searing takes place at high temperatures, it is necessary to choose the best oil for searing – with a high smoke point that won’t overpower the natural flavor of the meat.
So, here you’ll learn why people do searing, which are the best oil types and why, how to sear the perfect steak and everything else every meat lover should know.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
Searing – Why Should You Do It?
Searing involves placing meat on a streaming hot pan to create a crusty, brown surface. There are a few theory that explains why people sear their steaks.
One theory says that searing helps to preserve all of your meat’s juicy flavors. Searing creates a crusty outer layer that provides a lovely contrast to a smooth interior.
Some say that seared steaks look prettier than un-seared ones. 😀 And finally, the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan are essential for making steak sauces.
Is Seared Meat Cooked?
Searing and cooking aren’t interchangeable terms. So, if you want to be precise, searing only refers to cooking the outer layer of the steak. This is why most chefs place their steak in the oven for a few minutes after they’re done searing.
Placing the steak in the oven helps preserve the golden-brown sear and brings the internal temperature to the desired level.
But that doesn’t mean seared meat can’t be cooked and this is especially true if you like your steak on the rare side.
What Are The Best Oils For Searing Steak?
Oils for cooking steak require a high smoke point meaning they should withstand the heat of 400° F and higher.
Not all oils can handle high temperatures, which means not all are fit to be used for searing. Even at extreme temperatures, these oils for searing will not produce noxious carcinogens. Okay, let’s start!
- Safflower Oil – It has the highest smoke point at around 510° F. But it’s not the most accessible oil.
- Canola Oil – It’s processed from canola seeds and it’s excellent for searing steaks. Canola oil has a smoke point of 400° F.
- Refined Avocado Oil – Refined oils have a neutral taste and a high smoke point. Refined avocado oil has a smoke point of 520° F, making it perfect for searing.
- Refined or Light Olive Oil – This oil has a smoke point of 465° F, which is pretty enough for searing.
- Grapeseed Oil – It comes from grapes and it’s excellent for cooking steak. Grapeseed oil has a relatively high smoke point of 395° F, so don’t use it for prolonged cooking.
- Rice Bran oil, Soybean oil, Corn oil, Peanut oil and others.
Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Okay For Searing?
Don’t use it for searing steaks. One of the most significant drawbacks of using extra virgin olive oil is its low smoke point (about 350° F). But, as I mentioned before, you can use refined olive oil.
Refined Oil VS Unrefined Oil
Unrefined oil is left in its natural state after being extracted, whilst refined oil is processed through filtering or heating. For searing, the refined oil is better thanks to its higher smoke point.
Flavorful VS Neutral Oil
It is best to use neutral oil for searing. For example, sesame oil or coconut oil has a distinct flavor, while neutral oils are flavorless. Plus, neutral oils have higher smoke points, and you already know everything about that.
Is Butter Good For Searing Steaks?
Because butter has a low smoke point of around 325° F, it is not a good idea to place a slab of butter in the pan to sear your steaks. Since so many people love the taste that butter adds, you can place butter in the pan after the steak has a good sear.
How To Sear The Perfect Steak
There are many methods and advice on how to sear the perfect steak. But here are some basics:
- Take the steak out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before you are ready to cook.
- When your steak is at room temperature, thoroughly dry it with a paper towel
- Season your steak generously with salt and paper
- Add a thin layer of the preferred oil to the pan
- Turn your pan on high and wait for it to smoke
- Slowly place the steak in the searing pan away from you
- Flip the steak over every 30-45 seconds until you notice a brown outer coating
Of course, you can add some flavor, so peeled garlic cloves, fresh thyme and butter for phenomenal flavor.
How Long To Bake A Steak After You Sear It?
Many factors influence how long to bake a steak, including your oven temperature and your preferred level of doneness.
However, as a rule of thumb, it is best to keep your seared steaks in a 425° F (or 218° C) oven for between 8-10 minutes.
According to the CABB (Certified Agnus Beef Brand) the ideal internal temperature for steak are:
- Rare: 125° F
- Medium-rare: 135° F
- Medium: 145° F
- Medium-Well: 155° F
- Well-Done: 160° F
But, keep in mind that USDA only recommends eating meat that registers at least 145° F. Anything below this temperature could be unsafe to eat.
Perfect Steaks For Searing
Here we’ll mention steaks that are perfect for searing. These are round steak, flank steak, skirt, rib-eye, T-bone, New York strip, rump, fillet and sirloin. Try some of them and enjoy a delicious meal.
What Pan To Use To Sear A Steak?
For the ultimate sear, you need a pan that can handle high heat without cracking. That is why cast iron skillets are seen often used in the steak world. These heavy-duty pans can withstand a ton of heat, and they are easy to pop into the oven.
Another good option is the stainless steel pan. Just double-check to see if your stainless steel pan is oven safe before you bake with it.
While you could use a nonstick pan for cooking a steak, it’s challenging to achieve a satisfying sear. The Teflon coating on nonstick pans will crack when exposed to extremely high temperatures.
To Wrap It Up
Everybody knows that an extremely hot pan is necessary for searing steaks, but it’s very important to choose the right oil for searing since not all are suitable for those high temperatures.
Be sure to stock up one of those mentioned high-smoke point oils so you could satisfy your steak cravings any day of the week.