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Can i cook steak without oil? (Explained) 

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The short answer is: yes, you can cook steak without oil.

Cooking without oil is a great way to remove excess fat from your diet.

If you cook steak regularly, you might be used to covering the steak in oil or oiling the pan before cooking, but you don’t need oil to cook a great steak. 

How to Prepare a Steak Without Oil

When cooking steak, an important step is to remove the steak from the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking. If the steak is not fully thawed or too cold, the fibers in the meat will contract, resulting in a tough slab of meat.

Another important step is patting the steak dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, which helps ensure a nice crust on your steak when cooking. 

Next, choose your favorite dry rub or spices and season the steak on both sides. You can also marinate it overnight in the refrigerator; be sure to find a marinade without oil.

How to Pan-Sear a Steak Without Oil

After following the preparation instructions, heat a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. When the pan has heated to the desired temperature, place two tablespoons of unsalted butter in the pan.

Watch the butter and wait for it to stop bubbling and start to brown. 

Now, you are ready for your steak. Lay the slab of meat in the pan and sear for three minutes on each side. While cooking, it is a good idea to gently move the steak around with tongs to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan.

Experienced chefs can tell the temperature of a steak by pressing on the meat with their fingers, but if you aren’t this confident, a meat thermometer will do the job.

A rare steak will have an internal temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and goes up in increments of 10 degrees for each subsequent temperature until 160 degrees Fahrenheit for a well-done steak. 

Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting it.

If you cut it immediately, the steak will dry out because the juices run out of it instead of having time to settle into the meat. 

How to Grill a Steak Without Oil

The key to grilling steak without oil is to ensure the grill is hot enough. If it isn’t hot enough, the meat could stick, and you will have a mess on your hands. When grilling a steak without oil, you will want to follow the same preparation instructions as with pan-searing.

While the steak is sitting out for the recommended hour, you can start prepping your grill. It doesn’t matter if you use a gas or charcoal grill.

To test if the grill is hot enough, place your hand about five inches from the grill’s grate.

The grill isn’t hot enough if you can hold your hand there for more than two seconds.

The grill should be around 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the grill is hot enough, place the steaks on the grill, leaving the lid open, and cook for about six minutes on each side.

To create the perfect grill marks, rotate the steaks a quarter turn after three minutes.

Using a meat thermometer, you will be able to test the temperature of the steak so you can cook it to your desired doneness.

As with pan-searing, let the steaks rest for at least ten minutes before cutting into the meat. 

How to Broil a Steak Without Oil

Broiling is like reverse grilling. When grilling, the heat comes from underneath the meat, but when broiling, the heat comes from above.

When broiling a steak, it is best to have a grill pan, but you can also use a cast iron skillet or another metal pan.

The preparation instructions for this cooking method are the same as with grilling and pan-searing. Seasoning is a very important step, and not only for taste.

With broiling, the high heat combines with the seasonings to form a nice crust on the steak.

While prepping your steak, preheat the broiler to 550 degrees Fahrenheit with your chosen pan inside the oven.

When the broiler has preheated, carefully place the steaks into the grill pan.

You should hear a pleasant sizzling sound. Broil the steak on each side for at least three minutes until it reaches your preferred doneness.

Remove the steak from the broiler and let rest for ten minutes for optimal juiciness and flavor. 

Other Alternatives to Oil

There are other options if you don’t want to cook with oil. You can use butter, ghee, or a slice of bacon to help keep the steak moist and prevent it from sticking to the pan.

If the steak is a fattier cut of meat, you can trim the excess fat and cook it in the pan first to use the natural juices from the steak as an oil substitute.

Final Thoughts

Cooking steak without oil doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. You can use one of many alternatives or skip the extra fat altogether.

If you use a nonstick pan or get the grill hot enough, you won’t have to worry about the meat sticking. Next time you cook a steak, consider nixing the oil and trying one of these tasty techniques.