Oiling steak before grilling or pan-searing?

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