Flat top grills have always been used in commercial kitchens and for good reason. They offer a versatile cooking surface that can be used for everything from searing steaks to frying eggs, making it a valuable tool for any chef.
Now there is an outdoor flat top grill available for home use, one of the most important aspects of using a flat top grill effectively is choosing the right oil.
Benefits of Using the Best Oil for Flat Top Grills
As an old grill cook, I’ve found that using the best oil for my flat top grill makes a significant difference in my cooking experience.
Here I share the benefits I’ve discovered by selecting the right oil for my flat top grill based on my restaurant and home cooking experience.
Using an oil with a high smoke point, like canola oil, helps create a non-stick surface on my flat top grill. A non-stick surface is essential for several reasons:
- It reduces the need for constant scraping and cleaning while I’m cooking, making the process more enjoyable.
- It makes flipping and turning food easier, allowing for even cooking and a beautiful presentation.
- It prevents food from sticking, so my dishes turn out better and I avoid unnecessary frustration.
The right oil do enhance the flavor of the dishes I prepare on my flat-top grill.
For example, coconut oil can impart a subtle tropical taste that goes well with a variety of dishes.
On the other hand, a neutral-tasting oil like canola allows the natural flavors of my ingredients and seasoning to come out better.
Safety And Convenience
Lastly, using the best oil for my flat top grill improves safety and convenience in my outdoor cooking.
Let me tell you why!
An oil with a high smoke point reduces the risk of creating excessive smoke and flare-ups, protecting me and my guests from potential hazards.
It’s also easier to monitor and control the grill temperature when I’m not concerned about the oil breaking down and compromising the quality of my dishes.
The benefits I’ve experienced when using the right oil for my flat top grill have greatly improved my cooking, both in terms of the final results and the overall process.
Top Oil Options for Flat Top Grills
As an experienced grill master, I’ve experimented with various oils to find the best options for my flat top grill.
Coconut oil is a popular choice for flat top grills because of its high smoke point. It is also known for providing a rich, tropical flavor to the food. Moreover, coconut oil doesn’t generate harmful fumes when heated, making it a safer option for grilling.
TIP: Do keep in mind that its distinctive taste may not complement all types of dishes.
Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, is praised for its health benefits and is often used for grilling. However, it has a low smoke point, which means it might not be the best option for high-heat cooking on a flat top grill.
TIP: If you still prefer using olive oil, make sure to keep the grill temperature low to avoid burning the oil.
Canola oil is an excellent option for grilling due to its high smoke point (470°F) and neutral flavor. Its subtle taste allows the natural flavors of the food to shine through while also providing a non-stick surface.
TIP: Canola oil is affordable and widely available, making it a popular choice among grillers.
Peanut oil is another high smoke point oil that works well on flat top grills. It is heat-stable and imparts a mild, nutty flavor to the dishes. However, if you have a peanut allergy or are cooking for someone with one, avoid using peanut oil.
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and offers numerous health benefits. Nonetheless, it might not be suitable for flat top grills due to its low smoke point, which may cause the oil to break down quickly at high temperatures.
TIP: If you’re looking for a healthier option but want a high smoke point oil, consider avocado oil or sesame oil.
In conclusion, the oils I have discussed above are some of the best options to consider when choosing an oil for your flat top grill.
Always have fun experimenting with different oils to find your favorite!
Importance of Smoke Point in Cooking Oils
When selecting the best oil for using on my flat top grill, I understand that it’s essential to consider its smoke point – the temperature at which an oil starts to break down, smoke and produce toxic compounds.
The right oil makes my cooking experience easier, healthier, and more enjoyable.
High Smoke Point Oils
I find it essential to work with high smoke point oils when grilling, as they can endure high temperatures without breaking down.
Such oils are ideal for creating non-stick surfaces and ensuring the food has a pleasant flavor without burning or smoking.
Examples of high smoke point oils include:
- Avocado oil
- Peanut oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Canola oil
These oils also have a neutral taste, which is preferable when I want the natural flavors of my ingredients to shine through in the final dish.
Low Smoke Point Oils
In contrast, low smoke point oils break down quickly when exposed to high heat, making them less suitable for grilling on a flat top.
Low smoke point oils can release harmful compounds and give the food a burnt or off flavor.
Common low smoke point oils include:
- Unrefined oils (like extra virgin olive oil or unrefined coconut oil)
- Sesame oil
- Flaxseed oil
I avoid using these oils when grilling, as they could ruin my dishes’ taste and texture. Instead,
I reserve them for other cooking techniques, such as light sautéing or as a finishing oil for dipping and dressing.
Flat Top Grill Oils – What Most Restaurants Use
In a small family restaurant as I use to have it is important to look at the bottom line.
Flat top grill oils I mentioned above are great for use at home but would be too expensive for use in most restaurants.
In most place I worked and in my own restaurant, I used Pan and Grill oil. Very versatile and affordable.
In my quest to find the best oil for flat top grills, I have come across several options that stand out for their performance.
For example, canola oil is often praised for its high smoke point and neutral flavor, making it an excellent choice for high-temperature grilling.
On the other hand, coconut oil offers a plethora of health benefits and can provide a unique taste to your dishes, but it may not be suitable for some high-heat applications due to its lower smoke point.
It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each oil and consider your cooking needs when making your selection.
All or some of the oils I mentioned here can also be used for grilling vegetables because they are grilled only for a short while.
Eddie van Aken
Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he is able to find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews and the outdoor cooking tips he is writing about. You can read more on the about page for Eddie van Aken