I'm learning to cook, and would like to pan-fry a lamb chop. I tried it yesterday, using a tempered chop and some EVOO in my medium-high heat stainless steel frying pan.

The result was kind-of OK -- just a bit rare for my liking. The oil smoked as soon as it hit the pan, and the room was very smoky by the end of it.

So, which oil would be best for pan-frying a lamb chop? Assuming I properly control the pan temperature this time!



2 Answers 2


Any food oil will do, except extremely strongly flavored oils like sesame oil.

You may use olive oil if its flavor will compliment the dish, and is to your taste. You could even use animal fat like clarified butter, lard, or bacon fat if you choose, but each of these will bring a unique flavor.

You may choose a neutral oil if you want less flavor influence from the oil.

See also: What is meant by "neutral" oils?

  • Thanks for the response. Because of the low smoke point of EVOO, should I avoid it for pan frying? Commented Apr 7, 2013 at 15:06
  • 1
    That is a very contentious subject. You will find research from olive oil consortiums indicating that it in fact has a high smoke point. Obviously, refined olive oil will also be an option. In sauteeing, though, you should not really be exceeding the smoke point of any reasonable oil, in my opinion.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Apr 7, 2013 at 15:09
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    Notably that same research rarely also deals with the question of whether there's actually any flavor left. The thing that plenty of people (like Harold McGee) keep saying is that sure, if it doesn't smoke, you can use it, but unless it's a very quick sautee, you'll lose all the good stuff anyway, and you might as well use something cheaper.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 7, 2013 at 16:10
  • @Jefromi I find the olive oil from the consortiums incomplete and biased. What I can say from my own experience is that sauteeing in olive oil is fine as long as it is done with reasonable care.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Apr 7, 2013 at 16:29

You shouldn't use extra virgin olive oil to cook with at higher temperatures. Ghee/clarified butter would be the best in terms of smoke point and flavour.

You can make your own also.


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