Steak is easy to overcook when reheating, and you can quickly go from medium rare to well done. The problem with leftover steak is it can get chewy and dried out if it's not reheated properly. In this post, you'll learn how to reheat steak to keep it tender, juicy and delicious. including microwaving, air fryer, oven, and even sous vide. The results may surprise you. Read on for the meaty details.
The Problem with Reheating Steak
The biggest issue when reheating grilled steak or pan-seared steak is that it becomes dried out. But the reason it usually dries out is that most people focus on heating up their steaks quickly rather than taking the time to warm them up again correctly.
Another issue is that, when you reheat leftover steak (or any food) the wrong way, it can actually make you sick. Food poisoning can happen when your food stays at room temperature too long, which might occur when it's not reheated correctly.
It's essential to take a little extra time – and follow these helpful tips – to learn how to reheat steak the right way and get the flavour and texture you want.
Use a Thermometer
The best way to check the temperature of a steak is with an instant-read thermometer. The idea that poking a steak with a meat thermometer will cause it to lose juices is widespread. But the fact is, a steak isn't a water balloon. Yes, you'll lose a bit of juice at the point of the puncture. But overcooking causes loss of juice throughout the entire steak. So ultimately, the best way to preserve a steak's juiciness is by not overcooking it, even if that means poking a little hole in it.
7 Ways to Reheat Steak
Here are six reheating methods you can use to keep your steak flavorful, tender, and juicy.
1. How Do You Reheat a Steak without Drying It Out?
Low and slow is key here: If you zap your steak with super high heat (like in the microwave), it's more likely to overcook and dry out. To keep your steak moist, you can also splash a little beef broth or water on the meat before you put it in the oven. Of course, it will never be quite as juicy as when you first cooked it, but it will still be delicious!
2. How to Reheat Steak on the Stovetop?
Panfrying steak on the stovetop makes a well-seared steak with excellent flavor.
To reheat the steak in a saucepan, place the steak in the pan over medium heat, combined with a teaspoon of butter and oil. Cover the pan with a lid.
Wait a few seconds for the meat to heat up, and then flip your steak every minute until you reach your preferred doneness. If you like your steak medium-rare, this should take 2 – 3 minutes.
While it may not be as juicy as when first cooked, your steak will still be tender and flavorful. Eat it on its own with a delicious pan sauce or dice up bite-sized pieces to use in fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas, or steak and eggs.
3. How to Reheat Steak on the Grill?
This method will give your steak a bit of BBQ flavor, especially if you're using a charcoal grill. Heat the grill to 400°F. Once hot, sear the steak on direct heat at medium-high for one minute on each side. After that, move the steak away from the flame so that the heat is indirect. Close the grill for a few minutes and cook the steak until the internal temperature reaches 110°F.
4. Best Way to Reheat Steak in Oven
A great way to maintain a juicy steak is reheat it slowly in the oven first and then finish on the stovetop. Preheat your oven to 275° and place a wire cooling rack over a large baking sheet. Cooking your steak on a cooling rack allows the hot air to circulate around the steak, giving you more evenly heated meat.
Place your steak on top of the cooling rack and warm in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 110°. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steak.
Next, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add your steak and sear for about 1 minute on each side. This should heat your steak to about 130°, or medium-rare. Keep flipping your steak if you prefer steak that's a bit more "done."
5. Best Way to Reheat Steak in Air Fryer
Most people have an air fryer these days. It's become a very popular kitchen appliance that helps you avoid the oven all together. It works by circulating air around the food to crisp it up on all sides as it cooks evenly.
You can see why this would be a fantastic way to reheat your steak. You can essentially get the oven and searing method in one go!
To reheat your steak in the air fryer, first start out with steak that has been brought up to room temperature. Place the steak in the air fryer basket. Spray or coat the steak with cooking oil. For extra goodness, add a dollop of butter on the top of each steak.
Cook at 350°F until the steak reaches 110-130°F, depending on your desired doneness. This will take about 3-8 minutes. Check it every 2 minutes to prevent over cooking.
6. Best Way to Reheat Steak in Microwave
You may also heat your leftover steak in the microwave. However, you need to take great care to ensure you don't dry it out by heating it for too long.
Dampen a paper towel and loosely place it over your cooked steak on a microwave-safe plate.
Ensure that your microwave is set to medium heat, and cook the steak for 30 seconds. Then flip it and cook for a further 30 seconds. Do this for a total of 90 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the thickness and size of your steak. This incremental heating prevents you from overheating the steak and ensures that you get a juicy result.
7. Reheat Steak Sous Vide
The Sous Vide method is just as great for reheating steak as it is for cooking it. Start by placing your leftover steak in a sealable freezer bag with a small pat of salted butter. Squeeze out as much air as possible and allow the steak to come to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. Once the refrigerator's chill is off the steak, the less time it will take for the beef to reheat.
Next, fill a large stockpot with water and attach a Sous Vide according to the machine's instructions. The water should be about 120°F to 130°F—warm enough for some steam to rise from the pot (note that the water should not reach a simmer). Place the airtight bag in the pot away from the edges and cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until the meat is gently warmed through. This gentle cooking method will keep your meat juicy, and prevent it from overcooking.
If you want a crisp exterior, thoroughly pat dry and pan-sear your steak for about 60 seconds on each side.
Tips for Reheating Steak
● Bring the steak to room temperature before reheating: You can do this by having it sit on the counter for 10 to 30 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of your meat).
● Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness: Your steak is done when the internal temperature is 110°F.
● 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% power or lower.
● Avoid overcooking: Check your steak frequently to keep it moist and tender.
Butter and Toppings for the Perfectly Reheated Steak
When it comes to reheating a steak, the best option will always be the one that is best for you! Regardless of which method you choose, you can ensure a delicious meal by adding your favorite steak toppings.
Use the same toppings you would for a freshly cooked steak. A slab of grass-fed butter that melts perfectly on top of your favorite steak, or steak sauce on the side. You may even choose to add a few extra seasonings during the reheating process.
Just because the steak is being reheated doesn't mean it can't get the same special attention as the first go around. Save some of the side dishes from the first time or make something new and fresh to serve with your steak.
How to Store a Steak
For raw and unopened steak, make sure to store it in the fridge in its original packaging, until you're ready to use it. However, if there's a gap in the packaging from where air can enter, make sure to replace the steak in an airtight glass container.
If you want to extend its life, place raw steak in your freezer. Make sure to overwrap the original packaging with plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer paper to prevent freezer burn. If stored properly, raw steak will retain its quality and taste for around 6 to 12 months.
As for cooked ground beef or steak, refrigerate it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with a heavy-duty plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It will easily last for about 3 to 4 days in your fridge if stored properly.
To extend its life even further, make sure to freeze cooked steak. Put it in a freezer bag or an airtight container and place it in the freezer. If stored properly, it will retain its taste and quality for around 2 to 3 months.
You can reheat leftover steak safely and conveniently when you handle it correctly. Whether you have a whole steak to reheat or just a few pieces, you can do so in the oven, air fryer, or on a pan and it will turn out great. Just follow our guide above to get it done!
Additionally, take proper care to store your steak the right way and discard refrigerated cooked steak if you haven't eaten it within 3 to 4 days of preparing it.