How To Cook Steak Without Oil: Michelin Chef’s Guide

As a seasoned chef, I’ve cooked many steaks in my career, with or without oil, and many other strange requests from customers!

Many home cooks may not have oil on hand, or they may want to cook without it for health reasons.

How do you cook steak without oil? To cook steak without oil, use a non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over high heat. Salt the steak, not the pan, to prevent sticking. Cook until desired doneness, flipping once. Remember, leaner cuts may stick more without oil.

Whatever the reason, cooking steak without oil is possible and you can still cook a restaurant-worthy steak!

In this article, I’ll share further tips and tricks for cooking steak without oil.

How To Cook Steak Without Oil & The Benefits

Raw steak in a skillet pan. Credit: Unsplash
Raw steak in a skillet pan. Credit: Unsplash

Cooking steak without oil has its advantages. For one, it’s a healthier option as it reduces the amount of saturated fats in your meal.

Additionally, cooking without oil allows you to create a different kind of crust on the steak’s surface, enhancing the steak’s natural flavor and juices.

Preparing Your Steak

Before you start cooking your steak, make sure it is at room temperature. This ensures even cooking and prevents the steak from seizing up.

If your steak is frozen, thaw it in the fridge overnight and let it come to room temperature before cooking.

Another crucial step is seasoning your steak with salt and pepper.

The seasoning will help enhance the natural flavors of the steak and add a nice crust to the surface.

Be generous with your seasoning, ensuring that both sides are well coated.

Cooking Your Steak

1. Use a cast-iron skillet

A cast-iron skillet is your best bet when cooking steak without oil.

The pan’s heat retention properties are perfect for searing and giving your steak a crispy crust.

2. Heat up the skillet

Preheat your skillet on high heat for several minutes before cooking.

Ensure that your skillet is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water on it.

If the water sizzles and evaporates immediately, your skillet is ready.

3. Add your steak

Once your skillet is hot, use tongs to add the steak to it.

Let it cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes before flipping it over.

Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your steak and the level of doneness you prefer.

4. Add liquid

If you want to add extra flavor to your steak without using oil, you can add a liquid to the pan.

Red wine, bourbon, or even beef broth can be used.

Pour about ½ a cup of liquid into your skillet along with a spoonful of butter and let it cook together with the steak.

This also helps prevent the steak from drying out.

5. Rest your steak

After cooking your steak, remove it from the pan and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing it.

This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring that your steak is juicy and tender.


Can I Cook Other Types Of Meat Without Oil?

Yes, you can. The same method can be applied to other meats such as pork, lamb, and even chicken.

Can I use other liquids besides red wine or bourbon?

Absolutely. You can use any liquid that complements the flavor of your meat, such as beef broth, white wine or even balsamic vinegar.

How do I know if my steak is cooked to my desired level of doneness?

The easiest way to determine the level of doneness is by using a meat thermometer. For rare steak, the internal temperature should be around 120°F, for medium-rare, it should be around 130°F, for medium it should be around 140°F, and for well-done it should be around 160°F.

Do I need to use butter? Can I leave it out?

You can cook a steak without butter if you prefer. However, adding butter can help enhance the flavor of your steak and prevent it from drying out.


Cooking steak without oil is a great way to create a healthy and flavorful meal.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious steak that’s packed with natural flavors.

So the next time you’re out of oil, or you just feel like trying something different, give this method a try.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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