- A low-temperature oven is the best way to reheat steak without overcooking it.
- For the juiciest results, bring leftover steak to room temperature before reheating.
- Finishing the steak with a sear in a hot skillet adds great texture.
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Good steak should never go to waste, but sometimes you’ve eaten your fill and there’s still meat on your plate. Don’t toss it out – you can revive your leftovers if you reheat them properly.
But here’s the only rub: Steak is easy to overcook when reheating, and you can quickly go from medium rare to well done.
“If you order a steak rare or medium rare at a restaurant, you’ll have a hard time keeping it that temperature when reheating,” says Tim Cardenas, sous chef of the Los Angeles restaurant Caldo Verde. Regardless, there’s a proper way to reheat steak to maintain it’s flavor and texture.
Whether you’re using an oven or a skillet, Cardenas has a few tips and tricks to ensure leftovers are almost as good as the freshly-cooked version.
Oven method: The best way
Cardenas says the biggest pitfall for reheating steak is using high heat, and his favorite method for reheating is low and slow in an oven. By heating it very slowly on a wire rack, the meat will retain its juices and any additional cooking will be kept to a minimum.
1. Remove steak from the fridge. Let it sit on the counter for 10 to 30 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of your meat) so that it comes closer to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven. As your steak rests, heat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Prepare the pan. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and set the steak on top. This will help the meat heat evenly on top and bottom.
4. Bake. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the steak is heated through and registers 110 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer. Cardenas notes that the timing will depend on the thickness of the steak, and this method takes about 30 minutes per inch of meat.
5. Sear it (optional). If you’d like a nice crust on your steak, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add a couple of teaspoons of oil. Sear the steak on each side for about one minute, until crisp.
6. Rest it. Let the meat rest for about five minutes before serving.
Microwave method: The quickest way
While the microwave isn’t the best way to reheat steak, it is by far the quickest. To avoid dry, over-cooked steak, Calderas recommends adding some pan drippings or stock before heating.
1. Remove steak from the fridge. For the best results, let the steak sit on the counter for several minutes so it isn’t so cold.
2. Add moisture. Place the steak in a microwave safe container and add any jus (pan drippings). If your steak doesn’t have any juices leftover, add a splash of beef stock to keep it from drying out.
3. Cover and microwave it. Cover the container with plastic wrap or a microwave-safe lid. Set the microwave to 50 percent power and heat in 30-second increments just until warmed.
4. Rest it. Let the meat rest for about five minutes before serving. This will help the meat retain its juices.
Skillet method: The convenient way
If you have some time to spare but don’t want to turn on the oven, you can reheat steak on the stovetop with your skillet. As with the other two methods, low and slow is best.
1. Remove steak from the fridge. Let the steak sit on the counter for several minutes so it is closer to room temperature.
2. Preheat the pan. Place a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.
3. Add moisture. Once warm, add the steak and any jus. If your steak doesn’t have any juices leftover, add a splash of beef stock.
4. Cover it. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Check every three to five minutes until the meat is 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the pan and empty out any juices.
5. Sear it. Wipe the pan clean and add a couple of teaspoons of oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the steak and sear on each side for about a minute, until crisp.
6. Rest it. Let the meat rest for about five minutes before serving. This will help it retain its juices.
Tips for the reheating steak so it stays juicy and tender
- Don’t reheat straight from the fridge. Heating cold meat takes longer and makes it easier to overcook. “The best thing you can do is allow your leftover steak to come up to room temperature before reheating it. This will allow it to reheat quicker and more evenly,” says Calderas.
- Go low and slow. If you rush reheating your steak, you’ll end up with dry, rubbery meat. Even if you’re using a microwave, make sure it’s at 50 percent power or lower.
- Add a sear. To give your steak a freshly-cooked texture, consider giving a quick sear in a pan after reheating. Note that this method is best for whole pieces of steak, not sliced or cubed steak.
- Don’t skip the resting period. Allowing your reheated steak to sit for just five minutes before cutting in will help it retain any juices when you slice into the meat.
While it’s hard to beat a freshly-cooked steak, leftover steak can be almost as good if reheated properly. A low and slow oven is the best method, but the stovetop also works well and, if you’re short on time, so does the microwave. Be sure to let your meat rest before and after cooking to ensure a juicy steak.