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Do you heat the pan first, then add oil? Or put the oil in and heat up with the pan?

When sauteing food with oil, how do the following two sequences differ in the final taste of the food?


  1. Place oil in skillet.
  2. Turn on stove and wait for oil to heat up.
  3. Place food in skillet.


  1. Turn on stove and wait until it's hot.
  2. Place oil in skillet. Oil should heat up in a few seconds.
  3. Place food in skillet.
  • Although the earlier question doesn't really go into the taste difference between the two methods. – Ward - Reinstate Monica Jul 9 '11 at 19:50
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    I think that the taste difference is exactly what is meant by "degrading the oil" which a number of the answers referenced. – Ray Jul 10 '11 at 12:59
  • While the question may be subtly different, I think that the answers in the linked question already suitably answer this one. – Aaronut Jul 10 '11 at 16:25

Version B runs the risk of overheating the pan and damaging the coatings on it. I've always been told to put oil in the pan before heating for that reason - nothing to do with taste. I'd seriously doubt you could detect any difference in taste.

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  • A Sauté doesn't have a coating. I always use method two as the oil will not burn if you leave the pan unattended. I don't think, as you do, that there will be any difference in taste. – BaffledCook Jul 10 '11 at 9:05
  • A Saute might have a coating. However, people would have read "saute" as a verb and in that case it's a process done in whatever pan is to hand in your normal house - meaning a normal frying pan which probably does have a coating. – Rincewind42 Jul 10 '11 at 16:25

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