The Best Way to Reheat Steak
Last night's steak was juicy, flavorful, and had the perfect crispy bark. But at the end of the night, you have a bit of that tender deliciousness left over. Steak is one of the more troublesome things to reheat. It has a tendency to lose flavor, dry out quickly, and become tough to chew. But that's not the steak's fault. The key to a deliciously tender and juicy reheated steak is the method you use.
Today we'll examine some of the pros and cons of a few different methods of reheating steak you can do at home for excellent, repeatable results. Follow along and we'll show you how to reheat your steak so it's almost as good as it was in the first place.
Tips for the Best Way to Reheat Steak
Before you even get ready to reheat your leftover steak, set it out on the counter for 30 minutes or so. Letting the steak come to room temperature before you start to reheat it will give superior results. You can also choose to reheat your steak whole or to cut it up – it's up to you.
Now, it's important to be realistic here. If your leftover steak is already cooked to medium-well, reheating it is almost certainly going to overcook the steak. When you are preparing steak and you know you'll have leftovers, undercook the steaks for about a minute. This makes reheating an easy process.
In general, using water is not a good idea. Water tends to make reheated steak soggy and flavorless. Some people like using a water bath with the oven method, but we think it's unnecessary.
One of our favorite ways to have leftover steak is to use it in a different recipe. Thin-sliced steak reheated with scrambled eggs is a fantastic way to start any day. Depending on the type of steak you are reheating, you might think about making sandwiches or topping a salad with the leftovers.
The Microwave Method
This is not our favorite way to reheat a steak, but sometimes a microwave is the only option you've got. So it's still important to know how to do it right. This is a simple and quick way to reheat a steak that's guaranteed to make your co-workers jealous once you make the whole break room smell like a steakhouse.
Place your steak in a microwave-safe dish. If you have a little beef broth, add a small amount to the bowl. Place a damp paper towel over the bowl to help avoid overcooking. You'll want to set the microwave to medium power – high power will turn your steak to jerky in no time. Flip the steak in 30 second intervals. This process should take around 90 seconds total to get the steak reheated.
The Pan Sear Method
This is a much better method than microwaving, but it does take a little bit longer. Place a seasoned cast iron skillet on the stove at medium-high heat and let the pan get hot. If your pan is well seasoned and you are reheating a fairly fatty steak like a rib eye or a porterhouse, you won't need to add fat to the pan. Steaks that are more dry will need a little oil or butter to keep from sticking and burning. Avoid olive oil, it's a low smoke-point oil that doesn't add good flavor to a steak.
Place the steak in the pan and cook it for one to two minutes per side. This is a great opportunity to use your Bearded Butcher instant read thermometer. When the internal temp of the thickest part of your steak hits 130 degrees, you know it's done.
This method is one of our favorites because it comes together so fast and the results are almost as good as freshly grilled steak. Quickly pan-searing leftover steak in a cast iron skillet locks in the juiciness and flavor, and it gets the exterior crisp without turning the steak to rubber.
The Oven and Sear Method
Okay, this method takes the longest to reheat a steak but it also gives the best results. It's pretty simple to reheat a steak without overcooking it using the oven and sear method. However, it's crucial to start with room temperature meat for this method to work.
Preheat the oven to 200 to 250 degrees. Place the steak on a rack over a cookie sheet and place it in the oven. A remote meat thermometer is your friend here to keep from overcooking the steak. When the internal temperature reaches 110 degrees you'll want to remove it from the oven. This will take 20-30 minutes.
While the steak is coming up to temperature, preheat a cast-iron skillet as above and quickly sear the steak until the internal temperature hits 130 degrees. This method gives you delicious, juicy, crisp medium rare steak that's almost as good as fresh. The downside is that it'll take more time using this method.
The Best Method for Reheating Different Types of Beef
The methods above all still work, but some of them work better for specific cuts of beef. So, before you head to the kitchen to reheat that leftover beef, let's talk a little about how some of these methods work best for the type of beef you have.
Thick Cuts of Beef
Thick cuts of beef like rib roasts will get nasty real easily. To reheat a prime rib or a similar type of beef, it's essential to reheat it low and slow. If you rush it, the steak will overcook. If you don't want to wait, thin slice prime rib and quickly pan sear it just until it gets warm. Thin sliced leftover prime rib quickly seared makes an excellent carne asada burrito.
Bone-In Cuts of Beef
Bone-in cuts like T-bone can be reheated in the oven at low temps, but the meat may turn grey. Definitely use a meat thermometer and do not let the meat get over 117 degrees. We prefer to reheat bone-in steaks in a skillet over medium heat, covered. Bone-in steaks are some of the most difficult to reheat as leftovers. You might have the best success removing the bone and reheating the meat in a pan.
Thin Cuts of Beef
Cuts of beef that are thin are best not reheated at all. Thin steaks will overcook quickly and you'll be left with something you don't want to eat. The best way to use thin steaks is in recipes like salads where room temperature steak is tasty.
Lean Cuts of Beef
Lean cuts of beef like top rounds and London broils should be thin-sliced if you are going to reheat them. These cuts get very tough and chewy when overcooked while reheating. I'll be honest here, one of my favorite recipes with leftover London broil is to thin slice it, sprinkle some Bearded Butcher Seasoning Blend Chipotle on it, then roll it around a pepper jack or mozzarella cheese stick. Such a delicious and tasty snack!
Whatever You Do, Take Your Time
The best way to reheat leftover steak is to do so gently. Most of the time that reheated steak is gross is because the process was rushed. By taking things slow and letting the beef heat even you'll get a more tender and tasty result. Following the tips in this article will help you reheat steak so it's nearly as good as the first time it was cooked.
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