When to Use Oil or Butter for Sautéing

When to Use Oil or Butter for Sautéing

When you sauté something, even in a non-stick pan, you need to use some type of fat. But which one – butter or oil? Each of them is best suited for different types of distortion:
When cooking over a very high heat, use oil, which is less likely to burn.
When sauté at medium to high heat, you can choose butter, which adds a nice flavor. However, the milk solids in butter can burn, or turn brown, affecting the color and taste of your food.
Meat is usually sautéd in oil because it needs a higher heat, while vegetables are fried in butter to give it a nice buttery flavour. Seafood can be stirred into either. Many chefs choose to use half butter and half oil when frying seafood: they benefit from the flavor of the butter, but the added oil helps prevent the butter from burning easily.
Just like the pros do, you can prevent the butter from burning in a frying pan by adding a few drops of vegetable oil or any oil that has a neutral taste.

If you decide to use oil for frying, it is helpful to know that some oils have a higher smoke point than others, which means that they start to smoke at a higher temperature (and are therefore preferable for frying). Good oils for frying include canola, corn, and peanut oils. If the recipe doesn’t specify what type of oil to use, use one of these three neutral-flavored oils.
The oil alone should be hot but not smoking in the pan before adding the food. The butter alone should foam at its edges but not brown.
When frying in oil, use a small amount of oil. The steam from the hot oil in the pan helps the food cook inside while the outside is browning. Without steam, fried foods will taste greasy and be pasty, not crunchy.
Care must be taken to keep the cooking oil hot enough. Nonstick pans work best; However, a well-oiled cast iron skillet can do the job as well.