Searing Steak Sans Smoke

Dear Nell, 

How do you keep your house from filling with smoke when you sear meat?  I have to use my exhaust fan AND another fan to prevent smoking up the place!

Thanks, Linda


Thanks for your inquiry!  Try the following suggestions: 

  • Make sure you're using a very hot cast iron skillet (remember, for filet in particular, you needn't use oil.  One culprit of loads of smoke is using an oil with a low burn point).
  • You CAN actually do this type of prep, covered with a lid, just keeping in mind it will shorten the cook time as the heat has nowhere to escape to.   I've tried it this way in the past and it warrants an equally delicious steak.   After 2 minutes, shake the pan while wearing a pot holder mit and if the meat loosens off the pan, let it cook a minute or two longer.
  • Alternatively, you can start the sear in the skillet and finish it in the oven, preheated to 500, still keeping a close eye to not overcook it.
  • Finally, if all else fails, and you have access to an outdoor grill, that's always a good option, too.