New to Forums - Cast Iron Steak

Joined Dec 8, 2016
I have joined your community in hopes to learn more from people with experience and expertise. I love to cook, my skills are low but I am always ready to learn more. So last night I was trying out a new cast iron pan that I had just purchased. It came pre-seasoned and all ready to go. I was trying to sear some steaks but came into a smoking problem. It was crazy, smoking so bad that I had to open all the windows and leave the kitchen and the living room area. The oil I was using was peanut oil. After doing some research I found that it has a fairly low smoking point. After previous attempts with extra virgin olive oil, I tried to use something else that I had. What are somethings I could do to keep the smoke little to non-exsistant?
Joined Apr 3, 2008
That sounds about right. Cooking a steak indoors on a cast iron skillet will cause a serious amount of smoke, no way to divert that just make sure you have a good exhaust fan and open windows. My exhaust fan is not so good so I never ever cook steak indoors.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
I cooked ny's last night, didn't have a problem. I have a microwave hood above. You need a hot pan, but not as hot as you had it.
Joined Apr 25, 2014
How much oil are you using?  You only need a few drops, rub it over your steak, don't add to the skillet.  Your steak will render out more of its own fat, you don't need much to get started.  That will reduce your smoke a little.  Some smoke is unavoidable.  Also consider sear one side, start searing the other and throw it all in a preheated oven.  

I have other outdoor cooking options.   Outdoor stove,  claypot grill, kamado, etc.    Smoking up the house is the price of being lazy.  
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
I agree with chefbuba,your pan is likely too hot. Cast iron needs a minute or two to preheat but you dont need to be above 'medium' 5 or 6 out of 10 on the dial. Too hot and you will get burned steak instead of that dark crusty brown we want
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Wow, how much fire did you have under that pan and for how long??? Like Chefbubba implied, your experience is not normal. I gave a high-cfm residential hood over my cast iron pan and never have a problem like you describe. Sure theirs fumes but not billowing smoke! Sound like too much oil with too much heat.
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
Is this a regular pan or a grill pan?

If it's a grill pan...billowing smoke, probably not. But it's been my experience that if you cook a steak in a hot cast iron grill pan in a closed kitchen with no hood, it will create smoke and at some point you'll have to either leave the room or open the doors/windows. 
Joined Jun 23, 2015
All answers above are right on.  Your research on smoke points of oils may be incorrect.  Peanut oil has a fairly high smoke point at 450 F.  This is a preferred oil for  frying.  Check this refrence  I put oil on the steak then sear in a grill pan and finish in the oven.  Make sure you have a thermometer  to check the temperature of the steaks.  Welcome to Cheftalk.
Joined Aug 26, 2016
Agreed...if you're smoking peanut oil, you're way too hot.  Medium/MedHigh is where you should be depending on how you temp your steaks.  The more done, the lower the temperature.

A blackened steak is good, but it sounds like you went overboard!  LoL

We were lucky enough to build our house & I refused to have one of those over-the-stove microwaves or any other type of recirculating vent.  We installed a 600cfm vent that runs 15' straight out the side to the back of the house.  I can walk out on the porch and the backyard smells more than the kitchen does...drives the neighbors crazy on a regular basis!  LoL  The "real" hood and our induction cooktop were two of the best decisions we made in that house.
Joined Jan 8, 2010
Peanut oil has quite a high smoke point, so the oil is not the problem.

I agree with the others: your pan was probably too hot.

Don't give up, just try again and let us know /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rollsmile.gif

Personally, I prefer steak cooked on a charcoal grill.

If I do cook indoors, I will use a cast iron skillet and fry the steak in butter (and while the steak rests, I use the butter for a nice sauce)
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