How to Reduce Smoke When Cooking Steak?

Steak is a favorite dish on the dinner table worldwide, and it is easy to manage smoke when you are cooking or searing steak in an open space. However, if you are cooking steak in a closed area, it is hard to manage and reduce smoke, especially if your smoke detector keeps beeping and you do not have adequate ventilation in your kitchen.

How to reduce smoke when cooking steak?

You can use oil with a high smoking point (including canola oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, etc.) and a small amount of that oil to reduce smoke while cooking steak. Furthermore, do not grease your pan but oil your steak and preheat your pan without greasing because it will reduce the oil contact with a hot pan, and as a result, the smoke will significantly decrease.

How to Reduce Smoke When Cooking Steak

Do you have a small space and cannot manage to smoke while cooking or searing a steak? If so, no problem, you have landed at the right place. This article will discuss the correct method, the right oil, suitable pans, and everything else you need to know to reduce smoke significantly when cooking or searing steak.

Continue reading to understand how you can get rid of smoke and its odor after cooking. Additionally, you will learn how to cook a steak on firewood.

4 Tips to Reduce Smoke When Cooking or Searing a Steak?

Here are some tips that you can use to reduce the smoke when cooking or searing a steak. However, these tips still will not make the process smoke-free, but they will decrease the amount of smoke that will be manageable. 

Use Less Oil 

If there is less oil in the pan, it will significantly reduce the smoke while cooking or searing a steak. Thus, you should use a brush to rub a thin layer of vegetable oil on both sides of the steak and not on the pan. 

Oil Your Steak Instead Of Pan

While cooking or searing a steak, you do not need to grease the pan before heating it. Instead, it would help if you coated your steak with oil. For this, use a brush or even your hands to rub less oil on both sides of the steak. In this way, the oil has a short period in the pan, and it will not have enough time to break down and smoke. Consequently, the amount of smoke decreases exponentially.   

Use Oil With A High Smoke Point.

Make sure to use oil with a high smoke point while cooking or sear a steak. The oil with a high smoke point includes canola oil, etc. On the other hand, olive oil has a shallow smoke point; therefore, avoid cooking. Because if you use oil with a low smoke point, it will create smoke at an external temperature, and your steak will cook slowly with a lot of smoke.

Preheat the Pan 

Another way to reduce the smoke is by preheating the pan. You can preheat your pan on the stove or in the oven. But remember, you do not have to grease the pan with oil while cooking or searing a steak because the oil will smoke if it contacts a hot surface for longer.

For preheating your pan on the stove, place your pan on high heat for three to five minutes. You can use the water drop method to check whether the pan is heated enough or not. For this, you need to drop some water drops in the pan. If the drops of water ball up and skitter on the pan surface before evaporating, it means your pan is ready. 

On the other hand, if you want to preheat your pan in the oven, set the temperature of your oven to ideally about 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit. Take any oven-safe thick-bottomed or cast iron pan and put it in the oven without greasing for 30 minutes. 

Further, preheating the pan in the oven gives you an even temperature. Put the steak in the preheated pan, then place it immediately over medium-high heat on the burner.

What Causes Smoke When Cooking Steak? 

Many factors can cause smoke when cooking a steak. We have mentioned some of the reasons below.  

  1. You may have been cooking at too high temperatures.
  2. If you grease your pan before heating, it can smoke. As an alternative, oil your steak to reduce smoke
  3. If you use a lot of oil for cooking or greasing steak, it can smoke. 
  4. The fat renders from the meat can smoke even if you use oil with a high smoke point and a minimal amount of that oil.
  5. If you cook steak in the oven instead of the stovetop, it will produce a minimal amount of smoke. 

What Cooking Oils Should You Use When Cooking Steak?

It is best to use canola oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, safflower, and sunflower oil because they have a high smoking point. Additionally, you can also use soy, peanut, almond oil, and grape seed oil for cooking a steak. However, avoid using vegetable oil, olive oil, and extra virgin oil for cooking a steak because they have relatively low smoking points.

What Type Of Pan Is Suitable For Cooking A Steak? 

Every type of pan smokes if you do not use it accurately. Therefore, you can use any kind of pan for cooking a steak, such as cast iron pans, frying pans, saute pans, stainless steel pans, etc., provided that you follow the correct procedure. It is stovetop safe and oven-proof (if you want to preheat your pan in the oven).

Moreover, if a pan smokes when cooking a steak, it may be because of greasing, residual soap or fat, overheating, too much oil, a damaged pan, etc. Nonetheless, if you take good care of your pan, clean and dry it thoroughly, it will not smoke.

Check out our review of the Best Oils for Popcorn for our top picks.

Why Should You Not Use A Non-Stick Pan When Cooking A Steak?

You can use a non-stick pan for cooking a steak, but it may not be a good idea to use it. The steaks usually cook at high temperatures (500°F and above), and the Teflon coatings of the non-stick pans break down at those temperatures. Resultantly, it will release harmful toxins and change the taste and color of your food.

In addition, you will damage the coating of your pan; therefore, avoid using a non-stick pan for cooking or searing a steak.

Read Also: Can You Roast Meat in a Glass Dish?

Why Does Steak Smoke So Much When Cooking In Cast Iron?

The reasons for a smoke when cooking a steak in cast iron are too much high heat, not using enough oil, or using too much fat. In addition, if your cast iron pan is not maintained correctly and has residual food or soap, it causes so much smoke. 

Nevertheless, it will not damage your pan further, and smoke will decrease once your pan cools down. Therefore, maintain your pan correctly, and if it creates smoke, you need to be patient and require extra ventilation to remove it from your house.

Do You Cook Steak On High Or Low On The Stove?

It would be best to cook steak at high heat to brown it. Once you brown both sides of the steak, let the heat turn down to medium temperature and let the steak cook for the required time or 7-8 minutes on each side. You can determine the time by how you like your steak cooked. 

Additionally, most people can tell by just looking at steak if it is cooked or not. However, if you are not sure, make a tiny cut and take a look. Nevertheless, only cut if you are partially sure, as you should not make too many cuts. Furthermore, once the steak is cooked, let it rest for some time, then cut it into pieces to preserve juices. 

How Can You Cook Steak on Firewood?

It would be a great joy for you to cook a steak on firewood, and you can cook it without using a pan. The fire-cracking sound, wood burning, and feeling of nature make you relax. Follow the following steps to cook a perfect steak on firewood.


  1. First, make sure the meat is at room temperature and not frozen or refrigerated. However, if the meat is frozen or refrigerated, it can cool to room temperature.
  2. Rub salt, pepper, and oil onto the steak to mix and loosen the fibers. 
  3. Let the steak rest for about 30 minutes or more (if the steak is more significant).

Start the Fire

  1. Arrange woods in a square with one branch overlapping the other or stack woods in a form that the branches meet at the top and make a teepee or cone facing downward. Nevertheless, you can use any technique to burn the woods that allows enough airflow into the fire. Just make sure there are no hazardous items near the fire that could cause an accident.
  2. Let the fire burn, and when wood turns into white coal, it is ready for cooking.

Grill the Steak

Place two bricks beside your fire and set a wire rack or grill plate on them. Place your steak on it and let it cook for 7- 8 minutes on each side. Always cook both sides of the steak for the same time.  

Further, if you do not have a wire rack or a grill plate, you can wrap your steak in heavy-duty aluminum foil and put it on burning coal until it is cooked. Moreover, you can use a skewer to hang the steak over fire, place your steak on a rock over the fire, or put the steak directly on the burning coal and let it cook on both sides.

How to Reduce Smoke When Cooking Steak1

How to Get Rid Of the Smoke and Its Smell after Cooking?

You can use light-scented candles to reduce smoke and its smell after cooking. The smell will dissipate fast but make sure to extinguish them if you are not around. Additionally, you can put baking soda or coffee in an open container to absorb the smell. Also, always make sure to turn on the exhaust fan (if you have one in your house) or open windows when cooking. 

Further, you can use the following methods to eliminate the smoke smell after cooking or searing food.

Lemon and Water

You need to cut 3-5 lemons in slices, add three cups of water and boil the water on the burner. And let it simmer for 30 – 60 minutes to eliminate the smoke and its smell fast.

Vinegar and Water

You need to mix one cup of vinegar with three cups of water and boil it on the burner. Let it simmer for 30 – 60 minutes to eliminate the smoke smell quickly.

Does Smoke Change The Taste Of Steak?

The smoke may not make your steak taste bad because smoking is a cooking technique; that has been used for cooking meat since when humans used to live in caves. The smoke may give an earthy and Smokey taste that tastes good. 

However, if your steak gets burned or over smoked, you can reduce the flavor of the smoke from meat. For this, you can stir fry your steak, add spices directly to it or after blending and then cook it, stew the meat, slow cook it, or add vegetables such as carrots and onions.

Final Thoughts

It may not be possible to eliminate the smoke while cooking the steak, but reducing the amount of smoke is possible. Thus, always make sure you use the right oil, pan, and temperature when cooking a steak to decrease smoke. However, if your steak has smoked so much, you can use an exhausting fan, open windows, lemon water, and vinegar water to remove smoke and its odor.

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