All questions

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

10 answers 13661 views
Sam1148
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added almost 6 years ago

Clarified butter.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Bill F
added almost 6 years ago

Sesame oil

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

FutureChef
added almost 6 years ago

Grapeseed oil or better yet bacon fat!

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 6 years ago

I agree on grapeseed oil. High smoke point so that you can your pan sizzling hot.

fredcipes
added almost 6 years ago

Did you ever try them without oil? Make sure the surface is dry and dust with a little flour (rice flour is great) salt & pepper, place in your very hot pan and don't move until ready to flip, about 2 minutes.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

bigpan
added almost 6 years ago

I use half and half, grapeseed oil and unsalted butter - that allows for a higher temp on the butter which adds to flavour and crispness. Start with a hot pan. Turn once. Don't have to turn until you see a bit of golden on the edge and the scallops move easily on the pan. I use a non-stick.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

ChefOno
added almost 6 years ago


Unfortunately, adding another oil will not raise butter's smoke point. It's the milk solids that burn first; clarifying is the only solution.

ChefOno
added almost 6 years ago


The term "best" is open to interpretation. One approach, and I will argue the best and overriding one, is from the perspective of flavor. Personal preference comes into play as well as the flavor profile you're aiming for. Clarified butter is an excellent choice.

If you're scared of saturated fat -- not that you should be, but many people still are -- you might want to skip the scallops entirely because they'll give you a good dose of cholesterol. Or eat them raw. Or, poach them.

Grape seed oil is mostly polyunsaturated and almost all of that is linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. High consumption of omega-6 oils has been shown to inhibit the body's ability to process alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) fatty acids.

Additionally, grape seed oil oxidizes quickly releasing carcinogenic free radicals in the process. That is an important attribute for storage (keep open bottles in the refrigerator) and it also indicates the product is unstable at high temperatures (not a good frying oil despite its high smoke point).

Extra light olive oil would be a much better choice.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

thebunalsorises
added almost 6 years ago

I second bacon fat. You really can't go wrong there! Plus, it counts as recycling, right?

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Barton Seaver
Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver is a chef and author of Where There’s Smoke. He is a Fellow with National Geographic Society and the New England Aquarium.

added almost 6 years ago

I only sear scallops on one side so you get the most texture while maintaining control over the doneness. I prefer a light coating of canola oil on the bottom of the pan and then when 2/3 done, add in a pat of butter to help in the browning.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

These Impossibly Fudgy Chocolate Cakes Have One Big Secret

No butter, no oil -- just one magical ingredient.

Genius Chocolate Cake

Inspired by Chef Bryant Ng's creamy classic.

30-Minute Chickpea Curry

Let's settle this once and for all, shall we?

The Best Carbonara, According to an Italian Chef

What's New in the Neighborhood

Holiday recipes from The German-Jewish cookbook

Break the Yom Kippur Fast with Salad