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Old 10-02-2013, 10:02 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
For searing a steak, I often cut off a piece of the fat and grease the hot pan with it.

I do that with pork chops.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:04 AM   #22
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Different oils smoke at different temps. That's why some recipes will specify which oil to use, based on the temp you will be using. Here is a chart I found online.

Cooking Oil Smoke Points
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:27 PM   #23
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I always wonder about these charts. I have safflower oil but is it refined? Is it possible I'm not getting the hottest temp. possible before smoke? I guess I would need to measure the heat of the pan and compare to the chart. Some olive oils have high smoke points but this has never been my experience.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:33 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by mattdaddym View Post
I always wonder about these charts. I have safflower oil but is it refined? Is it possible I'm not getting the hottest temp. possible before smoke? I guess I would need to measure the heat of the pan and compare to the chart. Some olive oils have high smoke points but this has never been my experience.

You're right...anyone can post anything on the internet and it is not necessarily true. I also don't know the difference between refined or unrefined. I just naturally assume that any oil I buy is refined.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:37 PM   #25
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I imagine most are refined or the oil wouldn't look so clean/clear. Question is what process they use and how it affects the oil. This assume manufacturers would share that info with us, lol.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:46 PM   #26
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I have found a wide variation in smoke point temperatures from website to website. I stick to a few basic oils.

1. Corn oil for baking and all basic frying where flavor isn't important. It's also good for high temp applications including deep frying.

2. Asian peanut oil for Asian foods and high temp applications. Asian peanut oil is my choice because it smells and tastes of peanuts. I prefer that to American peanut oils that are as bland as corn or canola.

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oils for some recipes that benefit from the flavor. I have a general use EVOO and a couple of better oils for salads and drizzling.

Many folks use canola but I sometimes get a whiff of fishy smell when using it so I switched.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:01 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by mattdaddym View Post
I have been reading quite a bit about not exceeding the smoke point of the oil and all the negative effects that follow. However, this means reducing the heat. So, that's sort of where I've been stuck. Does anyone know how hot a pan can get? I realize this could vary quite a bit. Thanks.
If you use a cast iron skillet, you cannot overheat the pan. Ruth's Chris advertises that their steaks cook at 1800 degrees.

I use a CI skillet, no oil, and add the steak at the smoke point. Turn once when it releases. Finish in the oven in the same pan.

IMO, stainless does not get hot enough for proper searing.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:28 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by mattdaddym View Post
I always wonder about these charts. I have safflower oil but is it refined? Is it possible I'm not getting the hottest temp. possible before smoke? I guess I would need to measure the heat of the pan and compare to the chart. Some olive oils have high smoke points but this has never been my experience.
If you bought it in a regular supermarket, chances are its refined.

It will say if its unrefined on the label.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:06 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
Am I the ONLY person who sears a hunk of meat in a dry pan? Granted I do use oil if I'm searing chunks of floured-and-seasoned meat for a stew type dish, but when it's a roast I'll put it in a dry pan. A lovely crust ensues, and that's exactly what I'm looking for.


You are not alone.

I like a screaming hot pan.
Toss in the meat and let go until it releases plus a little.
Flip & Repeat.

I don't finish in the oven but I like my steaks Black and Blue.

On the grill I set the grate as close to the coals as I can get it and do the same.

I do use a lower heat for chicken and a little higher temp oil.

Andy's suggestions for oil are good ones.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:40 PM   #30
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Hi all,

I've had some better luck turning the heat down just a tad and trying a few different oils. Thanks for all the advice!
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