If you’ve ever wondered, how long should you let steak rest? Then this post is for you.
We go through everything you need to know about resting your steak and why it is important.
Letting your steak rest is an important part of the cooking process. The process is less about “resting” time and more about allowing the temperature to even out.
By letting your steak rest, you are allowing the temperature of the meat to come down gradually rather than all at once when you cut it open to check for doneness.
Let’s get to it…
Why It Is Important To Let Steak Rest
Allowing your steak to rest is super important, this is because the temperature of the steak will continue to rise while it’s resting.
This means if you leave your steak sitting on a plate for five minutes when you cut into it and eat it, the center will be cooked more than you may have anticipated.
This is because the heat of the meat continues to cook it even after being removed from heat and is one of the reasons why meat needs to rest.
Allowing your steak to come down in temperature gradually is essential for juicy, tender meat.
There are three main reasons why you should allow your steak to rest:
- The first reason is to let the meat continue cooking evenly and because of this, it will be more tender and juicier.
- The second reason why you should allow your steak to rest is that it also allows any fluid or blood in the steak to redistribute inside the meat which keeps the steak moist.
- Finally, as all of the juices are stored in the center of the steak, if you immediately cut it open after cutting then you’ll lose all of the juices and it will look unappetising.
By allowing your steak to rest before eating it, you ensure that the constricted muscle fibers begin to relax and you achieve an evenly moist and perfectly cooked steak that will wow your guests.
How Long To Let Steak Rest Before Cooking
Now that we know why it’s important to let our steak rest, how long should we let the steak rest before cooking it?
If you’re taking your steak out of the freezer, you’ll first want to thaw the steak before cooking it.
However, if you do decide to cook your steak from frozen (which is entirely possible), it will need longer than usual to cook. Try cooking your steak for an extra 10 minutes on each side.
This should be enough time for your steak to thaw and heat up.
The general rule of thumb is to thaw your steak for one hour per kilogram. Once you’ve taken the steak out of the freezer, pat it dry with kitchen roll before cooking it.
You’ll need to ensure that your steak is fully defrosted and has come down to room temperature before cooking.
If your steak is straight from the fridge, allow an extra 20 minutes or so for your steak to come to room temperature before cooking it.
This is important as you don’t want to put a cold steak in a hot pan as this will result in a tough and dry steak.
Once your steak is at room temperature, pat it dry with kitchen roll before cooking it.
How Long To Let Steak Rest Before Eating
Once your steak is cooked to perfection, you’ll now need to rest the steak to ensure it’s as flavorful as possible.
This is not only true for steak but chicken, pork, lamb, and many other types of meat.
Follow the below rules to ensure you rest your steak for long enough:
- Rest the steak for around 5 minutes per inch of thickness.
- At a minimum, rest your steak for 7 minutes before cutting.
- Thick cuts of steak should be allowed to rest for 10 – 20 minutes.
The goal of resting steak is to ensure that the juices are distributed equally throughout the meat.
After cooking, you’ll notice that the steak is fairly moist on the outside and fairly dry in the middle.
By resting your steak, it allows the heat within the meat to distribute itself much more evenly so when you do cut into it, all of your beautiful steak juice flows out and pools around your steak evenly. This way, every bite is as juicy as possible.
For steaks that are 1 inch or less in thickness, let them rest for 5 minutes per side.
For thicker steaks, give them at least 7 minutes of resting time before you cut into it.
Some people will recommend letting your steak rest for 30 minutes but this is completely unnecessary and if you are pressed for time is impractical.
I recommend allowing your steak to rest for 10 minutes per side or at least 5-7 minutes per side if they are thick (1 inch or more in thickness) before you cut into it.
This will ensure that every piece of meat is as perfectly cooked as possible.
How To Rest Steak Properly
Now that we know how long to rest steak, it’s important that you understand how to do it properly to ensure the process is optimal.
Here are some steps you should follow to rest your steak:
- Remove the steak from the skillet or oven
- Transfer the steak onto a chopping board, warm plate or other flat surface
- Wrap the steak in tin-foil to help retain the heat and moisture
- Remove the foil when the steak is fully rested
- Serve promptly and enjoy you’re juicy steak!
Resting steak is crucial but there are other considerations that you should take into account.
For example, how thick the steak is will influence exactly how long it needs to rest. A thicker cut of meat will need more time than a thin one.
The same is true if the steak has been pre-cooked in any way, for example, if you’ve ordered a steak from a restaurant and it’s been sitting under a heat lamp for some time.
If you’ve used any marinades, brining solutions, or rubs, be sure to allow extra resting time as these will all change the flavor profile of the meat.
You should also bear in mind that certain things might speed up the resting process, for example, if you’ve cut the meat into smaller pieces it will cool down more quickly and this will mean less resting time is necessary.
There’s also the fact that as meat rests, juices redistribute throughout the flesh and it becomes more tender.
This means that even if you take a steak straight from the grill and serve it, letting it cool down slightly will make it more tender still.
Until the steak cools down to around 120°F, there’s a chance that you might be getting some carry-over cooking, even if your grill or skillet is off the heat.
If this happens and there’s no longer any danger of food poisoning, you can safely eat the steak as long as you take the above precautions.
Carry-over cooking is why you should never cook fish and rice together in a microwave or any dish where the fish cooks for much longer than the rice.
While it’s important to let meat rest, beware of letting it cool down too far. Remember that carry-over cooking will continue until the temperature drops to about 120°F, so it’s important to let the meat rest close to the final serving temperature.
If you let your steak sit for too long, it can drop below 130°F and start becoming tough again.
In conclusion, resting steak is just as important as cooking it properly, and you should always let your meat rest to redistribute the juices.
Just be sure not to let it sit out too long or it can overcook due to carry-over cooking.
Allowing your steak to rest before serving it ensures that your steak remains juicy, and this is a sure way to wow your friends and family when they come round for dinner.
Hopefully, this post has answered the question, how long should you let steak rest? And now you know how important resting is, how to rest steak properly and why it’s a crucial part of the cooking process.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and feel free to share it with someone who may find it of value!