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  • "Oil"

    Reading Mark's article on cooking the perfect steak today I ran across a pet peeve I get from his recipe books, and that is when a recipe calls for "oil."

    Steak article: How to Cook the Perfect Steak | Mark's Daily Apple

    Back in the day, I just used canola or vegetable oil on the steaks because of its mild flavor. Those oils are out now. I was going to use olive oil this time but the article advises against it.

    So what sorts of oils can we use?

    I have olive, coconut and macadamia nut available, as well as butter and ghee (which I haven't used yet but am beginning to suspect is another name for butter). I also have a can of bacon grease.

    So what sort of oils are most handy in a primal kitchen and what situations do you use them? I generally don't like coconut oil for meat because of the heavy coconut taste and sweetness. Meat should taste like meat and never sweet. Even before going primal, I never really cared for things like honey glazed ham that people often eat on Easter.

    I think I will just use butter this time around, but am looking for advice for the future, both for steaks, and other meats.

  • #2
    Extra Light Olive oil can do anything that canola can do. Most of the same health benefits of EVOO. I use it for lots of things when you don't want any oil flavour.


    • #3
      IIRC, Mark said he frequently cooks with macadamia nut oil. I would tend to use the ghee or bacon fat for steaks. Ghee is clarified butter so it has hardly any milk protein (for those that are sensitive) and it can take a higher heat than regular butter.


      • #4
        I use olive oil, duck fat, or goose fat (would use lard or butter or bacon fat but can't because of kosher rules).


        • #5
          Meat absolutely should taste like meat! And the taste is in the fat, so if I'm cooking beef, I use beef tallow or dripping. If cooking a pork chop, lard. And so on.

          Except I will fry chicken in ghee. Ghee, as you suspect, derived from butter. It is butterfat with all the water evaporated off and the milk solids browned and removed (much like clarified butter, except the milk solids aren't browned in a typical butter clarification).
          "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen


          • #6
            Um... I grill my steaks. So no oil. Except for a dollop of herbed butter as a finishing treat.

            As for other meats, butter, butter/olive oil mixture, or bacon grease.
            The more I see the less I know for sure.
            -John Lennon


            • #7
              I have at all times:

              Butter: used for eggs, steaks, veggies
              Lard: used for eggs, steaks, chicken, veggies
              Coconut: used for steak occasionally, sweet potatos, other veggies
              Palm oil: still trying to decide what to use this for. So far mostly deeply spicy meat stuff.

              Olive oil: used for salad dressing, drizzling on veggies, and making spice-based marinades
              Mac nut oil: salad dressing, mayo
              Sesame oil: salad dressing, drizzle on fish and veggies

              I think that's it...


              • #8
                For high temperature cooking, I use either ghee or refined coconut oil - all the coconut goodness, with none of that sweet coconut flavor. It's incredibly versatile.
                The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

                You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout