Proper Sautee Technique
First off let me start by saying that my studio apartment has no exaust vent over the stove. I keep the kitchen window open. However I do a lot of intense sauteeing and pan frying of vegetables, meats and fish. My problem is that after 3 minutes the oil in the pan starts to burn and you get a burnt oil smell and taste. I'm even using canola oil here which has a high smoke point. I even heat the pan up first and add the oil last minute. How can you fast fry, sautee, or sear over high heat without decomposing the oil after 3 mins?
are you using very high heat which burns the oil ? that could be a problem. plus what kind of a pan are you using ? that may also be a factor .
I think heating the pan first and then adding the oil might be part of your problem. One thing to realize is that burning the oil is not so much a factor of time but of temperature. If you heat the pan first you are likely going to add the oil too late when it is already too hot and you've already lost the game. Besides, it is much easier to regulate the temperature, or at least keep the pan from overheating, with something in it. Add the oil first, use medium high heat, and then adjust up once you've got the foot added.
I would think it's a "shock" to the room temp oil when you add it to a really hot pan. I always let the oil and pan warm up at the same time, then add the food.