Lately I've been trying my best to learn how to pan-sear a steak at home and the main takeaways I've gathered from my research and distilling tips from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver etc. are:
- the pan has to be really hot and not made of a material that may have its coating disintegrate as a consequence, so steel is cool while non-stick materials aren't
- we put some oil in it
- we sear the steak
I won't get into what point #3 branches into but the problem is, every single time I have problems with the first two points alone. I'm using an old steel pan, kinda like this one:
So I put it on high heat for literally a minute, pour literally a tablespoon of oil and within seconds there's either A LOT of grey smoke which lets me know that I'd better turn off the heat or I'm going to have an emergency or the oil just plainly catches fire (this thankfully only happened once so far but still - it did).
Why is that so? I've been using regular refined canola oil, I also tried extra virgin olive oil (that one was pretty dumb I have to admit as the smoking point on this one is pretty low but I didn't know it then - and I only did this once) but it doesn't matter to be honest. And I'm keeping the pan on high heat for literally under a minute, not 10 minutes to reach steel beam melting temperature like some people on YouTube seem to advocate.
What am I doing wrong? Is the pan wrong? The oil? The temperature? I just have no idea, especially since the temperature definitely isn't anything to write home about and the oil is the most run-of-the-mill type you could think of, not some experimental type or brand.