Steak & Lamb Cooking Tips - Pan-frying: How To Get The Perfect Crust

1. Sear in the right oil. 

  •  Peanut oil, canola oil, and extra light olive oil have smoke points above 400°F / 204 °C.  

  • Butter has a smoke point of just over 300°F/ 148 °C.  

  • Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 300°F/ 160 °C.   

Because extra virgin olive oil and butter have a dramatically lower smoke point, they will likely burn up before you can heat your pan to a temperature hot enough to sear your lamb chops or steak.  Peanut oil, canola oil, or extra light olive oil are better choices.  

Rather than using it as cooking oil, adding butter to the pan just a minute or two before you finish cooking is not a bad idea. This adds a buttery flavor and texture to coat the meat, but not so long that it will burn excessively.

2. Choose the right thickness of steak/lamb chops

If you put a steak or a lamb chop that is too thin into a hot pan, the high heat penetrates through your cut straight away. Your steak or lamb chop can easily become overdone before you even have a chance to remove it from the heat. 

In general, go for steak or lamb chops that are at least 1inch / 2.5cm thick, such that your meat remains quick and easy to cook, getting the pink and tender center, without being too easy to overcook.  Our lamb double loin chops offer an excellent cut for this purpose.