How To Reduce Smoke When Searing Steak [4 Different Ways]

Smoke after searing your steak is a common scenario. Isn’t it? Many reasons contribute to this and it can be quite problematic in certain scenarios.

How to reduce smoke when searing steak?

Well, there are 4 ways to do that. Primarily using less oil can be a very simple way to reduce smoke drastically. Preheating the pan beforehand can also reduce the smoke significantly. Using high-smoking point oil or oiling the steak instead of the pan can also be beneficial.

You might’ve so many questions yet. Don’t worry! Because we got a whole guide on this problem.

So, let’s dive right into the details-

What are the Reasons for Smoke When Searing Steak?

Multiple reasons can contribute to creating too much smoke while searing a steak. Keeping them in check can be a good start to reducing smoke when cooking steak.

Here are some reasons that may cause smoke. Let’s go through them one-by-one-

Reason 1: Too High Temperature

Cooking your steak at too high a temperature can create a lot of smoke. It also increases the chance for your steak to get burnt or get overcooked. Besides, there you won’t get the right color steak.

Reason 2: Greasing the Pan 

Greasing your pan before cooking the steak can be a reason too. The burnt grease will create smoke once given the heat. So as an alternative you can oil the steak instead.

Reason 3: Too Much Oil

Using too much oil or grease while cooking can cause smoke. Even if you maintain all that your steak can still produce smoke. Because it has fat in it that’ll burn with the oil.

So cooking steak in an oven instead of a stovetop is the best way. Because it’ll keep the smoke to the minimum.

These were the reasons but now let’s look at the ways we can keep the smoke in control.

Tricks to Reduce Smoke While Searing Steak

Now let’s talk about some tricks to reduce smoke when cooking a steak. This won’t make the cooking smoke-free but it will dramatically reduce the amount of smoke.

Trick 1: Oiling the Steak Instead of the Pan

It is not necessary to oil the pan just before cooking or searing a steak. Instead, a little coating of oil on your steak might be beneficial. To do so, massage minimal oil on both sides of the steak using a brush or your fingertips.

As a result, the oil will only be in the pan for a brief time. And it will not get enough time to break down and smoke. So, the amount of smoke produced falls dramatically.

Trick 2: Using Less Oil

Lesser oil on the pan will drastically reduce the smoke created while cooking. So it’s better to keep oil usage as low as possible.

Thus, as we said brushing both sides of the steak with minimal oil is a good idea. Also, remember to spread salt with a salt shaker to have consistent salt all over the steak.

However, don’t end up having uncooked pink color steak. 

Trick 3: Using High Smoking Point Oil

High smoking point oil means oil that burns at a higher temperature. So using a high smoking point oil can reduce smoke while cooking your steak.

When grilling or searing a steak, ensure that uses oil with a high smoke point. Avocado oil, for example, is a high-smoke-point oil. Olive oil has a low smoke point and should not be used in cooking.

Because if you choose a low-smoke-point oil, it will produce smoke at room temperature. That will cause your steak to cook slowly and with a lot of smoke.

If you are looking for a recommendation, here is one that we use:

BetterBody Foods Refined Non-GMO Cooking Oil, Kosher, Keto and Paleo Diet Friendly, for High-Heat Cooking, Avocado Oil, 1 Liter, 33.8 Fl Oz
  • COLD WEATHER WARNING: Avocado Oil has natural sediment and waxes, making the oil appear cloudy or thick when exposed to cold temperatures. This cloudiness does not affect the flavor or quality of the oil. The cloudiness can be resolved by placing the bottle of oil in a hot tap-water bath (not boiling water) until the cloudiness dissipates. The oil will then remain in that state if kept at room temperature.
  • GREAT FOR COOKING: Our naturally refined avocado oil is the perfect all-purpose cooking oil. It is great for fried dishes, and it makes a nice base for a homemade salad dressing when cold
  • HIGH SMOKE POINT: With a high smoke point, this cooking oil is useful for just about anything, making it olive oil's match in every way. Use it for frying, sauteing, baking, and more
  • LIGHT FLAVOR ENHANCER: This useful cooking oil has a subtle and smooth flavor compared to traditional vegetable oil, enhances the flavors of food, and has only 10 g of monounsaturated fat per serving
  • NATURALLY REFINED: Non-GMO and gluten-free, this oil contains no additives. It delivers a clean flavor because it's made from clean ingredients, and it is perfect for keto and paleo diets

Hopefully you now know which oil to use when searing your steak. Let’s move on to the next method now.

Preheating the Pan

Preheating the pan can be another effective way to reduce smoke and sear your steak. Do it either on the stovetop or in the oven.

However, you should not use oil to lubricate the pan when cooking or searing a steak. Since the oil will create smoke if it touches a heated surface for an extended period.

That’s why place your pan on high heat for 3-5 minutes to warm it on the stove. The water drop method can be used to determine whether or not the pan is ready.

You’ll need to drop some water drops in the pan for this. If the water drops clump together and skitters across the pan surface before evaporating, it’s ready. You can start searing your steak now.

You can also preheat the pan using an oven. Put the pan inside the oven at around 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. Heat it for around 30 minutes. Make sure it’s an ovenproof pan and it’s not greased or oiled.

Additionally, preheating the pan in the oven ensures a consistent temperature. Place the steak in the prepared pan and cook it over medium-high heat on the stove.

But be sure to give it enough time to be cooked thoroughly. Otherwise, the steak might be undercooked.

Even after all this, overcooking or over-smoking your steak can ruin the taste of your steak. Let’s find out if smoke ruins the taste of the steak and how to fight that.

Does Smoke Ruin the Steak’s Taste? [Fixes]

Smoking is a cooking technique that has been used by mankind for hundreds of years. It may not ruin the taste of the steak instead it gives your steak a different aroma.

You see, smoking your steak can give your food an earthy, smoky, and pleasant flavor. But over-smoking your steak can easily ruin that and make your steak taste bad.

The same can happen if your steak gets burnt. But it can be made better with a trick. You may do this by stir-frying the steak.

Also, adding spices immediately to it can be a very good way to reduce the burnt taste. In fact, it will enhance the taste even further.

You can add veggies like tomatoes, carrots, onions, etc, and slow-cook the steak for a more pleasant flavor. Use alternatives of green tomatoes for a different taste.

Eliminating the Smoke And the Smell

The smoke itself can be as problematic as the smell that lingers around afterward. It can be quite bothersome. But there are a few ways to fight that. Let’s look them up now.

Light Scented Candles

You can use light-scented candles to reduce the smoke and eliminate the smell of the smoke. It also fills your room with a pleasant smell after you are done cooking.

Baking Soda and Coffee

Keeping baking soda or coffee in an open container can also solve this issue. It will absorb the bad smell. Also, make sure to keep the exhaust fans turned on if you have one in the kitchen. Exhaust Fans are great at eliminating any smell or smoke from the kitchen.

Lemon and Water

Cut 4-5 slices of lemon and boil it on the burner with three cups of water. SImmer it for 30-60 minutes to eliminate the burnt smell quickly and effectively.

Vinegar and Water

Create a mixer of one cup of vinegar and three cups of water. Boil it on the burner and let it simmer for 30-60 minutes.

These were the ways you can deal with the smoke and its smell. Next, let’s check out some frequently asked questions on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Can smoke be harmful or deadly for me?

Yes. It certainly can. If you don’t let the smoke pass it may cause suffocation for you. Also smoke contains harmful elements. Be careful to keep the windows open or the exhaust fan turned on.

Do I cook steak on high or low heat on the stove?

You should cook the steak on high heat on a stove to brown it. Once it’s brown turn down the heat to a medium level to cook the steak thoroughly.

Should I use a non-stick pan to cook a steak?

You can but it’s better not to. Steaks require a high amount of heat but non-stick coating acts as an obstruction to that. Additionally, you may damage your non-stick coating.


That’s all for this guide! Hopefully, now you know how to reduce smoke when searing steak. If you are still confused about any part of this article do let us know.

Also, remember that eliminating smoke completely isn’t possible but to reduce it.

Good luck and see you in the next guide!