I live alone, so I cook for myself. And often times I cook steaks/burgers on a pan, and later in the same day would return to use the same pan/oil without washing/using new oil.

Is this safe, or should one wash and use a new pan before cooking every steak/burger patties? I've actually done this for more than a day once (cooked burgers in the morning, steaks later that afternoon, and then burgers for the next morning).

  • You eat burgers for breakfast? And my friends thought that my breakfast habits are strange...
    – rumtscho
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 11:25
  • @rumtscho well, bachelor lifestyle and they say keto works! not really doing the latter though - just wanted to eat more meat.
    – kamziro
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 17:14
  • We actually keep frying oil on the back of the stove pretty regularly... We've never had problems...
    – Rikon
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 21:23
  • The answer is NO, it is not safe. But my answer that had relevant links has been deleted. Feel free to poison yourself then.
    – Nakilon
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 10:28
  • I think it would also be important to cover the pan with a tight fitting lid when still hot. The contents will then remain somewhat 'heat sterilized'. Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


If you preheat the pan then you should be perfectly safe as the high heat should kill anything 'dangerous' before you add your meat for the second meal.

That said, I would point out that those oils left out are likely to begin to degrade immediately, causing your steak to take on some potentially undesirable FLAVORS.

  • 1
    Also importantly, there won't be any water in the pan, so basically nothing will grow. I'd suggest if you are going to do this, at least wipe the pan out with a paper towel shortly after use—both to eliminate any meat bits which may contain water, and to help with off flavors.
    – derobert
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 16:17

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