Should You Put Olive Oil on Steak Before Grilling?

  • By: Brendan

I often get emails from readers with burning grilling questions, and this one I thought was enticing—should you put olive oil and steak before grilling?

Should You Put Olive Oil on Steak Before Grilling

Should You Put Olive Oil on Steak Before Grilling?

The answer is olive oil is a great addition to steak before grilling for several reasons, most notably because it adds flavor to the steak and keeps it tender during the grilling further.

However, read further to find out the right amount of olive oil to add to your steak otherwise you risk flare-ups and burning your steak.

Why Put Olive Oil on Steak Before Grilling?

Have you watched those chefs on TV recommend steaks be oiled before grilling? Well, you’re probably wondering why you would oil steaks before grilling when this type of meat is already laden with fat.

Rubbing olive oil on lean steaks not only adds flavor but also prevents the steak from sticking to the grill grates.

Adding to this, rubbing olive oil on your steak results in a crisper crust, and helps keep the salt, pepper, and spices on the steak.

But that’s not all, olive oil also helps provide a layer of even heat on the surface, which is why you rub vegetables with oil before grilling.

How Much Olive Oil to Put Over My Steak? 

This is where you need to pay attention because adding too much olive oil can result in flare-ups or result in charred steaks. Brush each side of the steak with no more than one teaspoon of olive oil.

How to Put Olive Oil on Steak Before Grilling?

There’s a right way of applying olive on your steak. Before applying olive oil, make sure the steaks are at room temperature.

You should apply olive oil twice to your steaks—when you marinate the meat, so that it absorbs the spices and; when the meat is almost done on the grill.

Apply the oil along with salt evenly on both surfaces to get the most out of your marinade. And remember, add just one teaspoon of olive oil for every pound of meat.

Does Olive Oil Tenderize Steak?

Yes, olive oil can help tenderize steak, as well as make the meat juicy and loaded with flavor. Wondering how olive oil can tenderize meat? Olive oil marinades add moisture to your steak and help lock in the flavor.

Adding to this, both olive oil and garlic oil penetrate meat much better than other oils, making them a great solution to marinate your steak quickly.

Olive offers twofold benefits—tenderizes your steak and prevents the meat from sticking to the grill.

What is Better to Put on Steak Before Grilling? Vegetable Oil, Olive Oil or Butter?

The answer completely depends on your preference, where some chefs like me prefer butter, and others are happy with vegetable oil or olive oil.

I like to use butter for my steak for several reasons, most notably because it has a low smoke point, and gives a tantalizing finish to the steak.

Furthermore, butter smells good too and keeps the steak moist throughout the cooking process.

By using butter, your steak browns nicely too, and makes is easier to achieve a charred finish.

Many pro chefs claim that it doesn’t matter what you dip your steaks in, as long as the meat is of good quality, but I’ll have to disagree with that statement.

Cooking your steaks in butter, olive oil or vegetable does indeed add a notch of distinct flavor to your meat—a flavor that even your marinade will fail to provide.

Would You Marinate a Ribeye Steak in Butter or Olive Oil Before Cooking?

A ribeye steak doesn’t need either butter or olive oil, because it is rich in marbled fat to keep it moist and juicy.

Instead, you can marinade a ribeye steak in bourbon and honey for an hour before tossing it on the grill. You can also use a grilling spice and rapeseed oil, along with a little clarified butter added during the cooking process.

Does Olive Oil Change the Flavor of Steak?

If you’ve added olive oil to your salad or other food items, you already know that it gives a distinct taste. So, if you like this flavor, then it’s worth adding olive oil to your steak.

When cooking your steak in olive oil, you also have to keep tabs on the temperature, cooking duration, and resting period.

Is it Okay to Cook Steak in Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

I don’t recommend cooking steals in extra virgin olive oil, because steaks need to be seared at a very high temperature. Further, extra virgin olive oil will probably burn your steak, so it’s best to use regular olive oil.

Best Olive Oil to Put on Steak before Grilling

When shopping for the best olive oil to put on the steak before grilling, you’ve got a sea of options to choose from, but here are my 3 top choices.

1. Pompeian Mild Taste Olive Oil

Pompeian olive oil can be ordered in several different size bottles and is great for steaks as well as any other meats. It is a healthy swap for butter and is also a great choice for roasting and sauteing.

2. Filippo Berio Olive Oil

The Filippo Berio is multifaceted olive oil in that it can be used for steaks, drizzling over fruits and vegetables, and sauteing meats and pizza dough.

It is exquisitely balanced and features a mild flavor with gentle hints of olive. The Filippo Berio olive oil is free from trans-fat, cholesterol, gluten, sugar and sodium and is backed by 150 years of perfection.

Final Thoughts

Getting back to your big question—should you put olive oil on steak? If you like the taste of olive oil, then go right ahead. You can even mix olive oil with other spices when creating a marinade or add garlic oil.

Adding olive oil also adds moisture to your steak, and prevents the meat from sticking to the grill.

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