What are the recommendations to minimize the amount of smoke generated when cooking burgers, steaks or other meats in a cast-iron pan?

2 Answers 2


Do make sure you are using a high quality refined oil that is good for high temperature cooking, and has a high smoke point. Grapeseed is nearly ideal, although it can be expensive. I have heard good things about avacado oil, but haven't tried it personally.

You might wish to oil the meat rather than the pan, so that you are not getting smoke from oil away from the food you are cooking, but this unlikely to make a large difference.

Still, if you are searing at high temperatures, some smoke is inevitable. Of course, lowering the temperature at which you cook can eliminate the smoke, but it also changes the result, sometimes for the worse.

In truth, for high temperature searing, you simply need to have good ventillation.

You might also want to temporarily take the battery out of the kitchen smoke detector—just remember to put it back in when you are done.

  • by the way, grapeseed oil can be bought in bulk over the internet, which brings down the cost.
    – smcg
    Nov 8, 2013 at 21:49
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    coconut oil is healthy and has a higher burning point than other oils!
    – user21182
    Nov 9, 2013 at 3:37
  • @user21182 Virgin coconut oil actually has a much lower smoke point than other oils, so be careful about the kind of coconut oil you use. It also can add a distinctive flavor to foods, which many other oils suitable for high-temperature cooking don't. See the Wikipedia article on Smoke Points of different oils: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point Nov 15, 2013 at 18:17

Not sure if this is an option for you but if the goal is to reduce the smoke inside the house, you could use a grill outside. Either on a side burner or on the grill itself is something I have done. Then either bring it back inside to finish it in the oven or just keep it in the grill at a lower temp.

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