The Right Way to Reheat Steak So It's Still Moist and Delicious the Next Day

There's more than one way to warm up that prized cut of beef.

Johnny Fogg
Johnny Fogg

If you've ever found yourself with a windfall of leftover filet mignon or Porterhouse, courtesy of, say, a massive family barbecue, a lavish dinner party, or perhaps a doggie bag from an upscale restaurant, chances are you've considered how to reheat steak. It is, of course, important to make the most of this delicious opportunity. While yesterday's steak tidbits can be eaten cold, serving the steak hot lends more sizzle to next-day lunchtime salads or sandwiches. But you don't want to turn it into leather. We spoke to a chef and cooking teacher to learn how to reheat steak so it's still delectable the second time around.



Meet Our Expert

Hervé Malivert, director of Culinary Affairs at the Institute of Culinary Education



Related: The Right Way to Season Steak, According to a Chef and Butcher

How to Reheat Steak

Put that sous vide machine or cast-iron skillet to work.

Think Ahead

Before you get down to the business of reheating your cooked steak, take it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Hervé Malivert, director of culinary affairs at the Institute of Culinary Education, says that you should allow it to sit for about 45 minutes before reheating so that the inside of the meat won't be cold.

Reheat the Steak in the Oven

One way to reheat steak is to pop it into the oven, using low heat, then finish it on the stovetop (more on that topic soon). Here's how to reheat steak in the oven:

Slow and low: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the steak on a wire rack over a baking sheet. The rack allows the air to circulate and heat all sides of the meat.

Time it right: Heat the steak until the inside temperature reaches about 110 degrees Fahrenheit, or around 20 to 30 minutes. The length of time depends on the size and thickness of the steak.

Reheating the steak in the oven is a convenient approach, but it's not necessarily a universal technique. Malivert, for one, isn't a major fan. "The oven isn't my preferred method for reheating steak because it doesn't have good heat transfer and will take longer to reheat the steak," he says.

Use the Sous Vide Method

"My preferred method would be sous vide," says Malivert. Sous vide, a French technique that slowly cooks vacuum-sealed food in a water bath at a low temperature, has the advantage of concentrating food's juices and flavors without overcooking it. It typically requires a special sous vide machine, though there are workarounds.

When using the sous vide method, Malivert reheats the steak to a 135-degree Fahrenheit internal temperature, then opens the bag and finishes it quickly on the grill or stovetop. "If you don't have access to a sous vide, then I'd recommend using a cast iron pan on the stove," says Malivert.

Reheat the Steak on the Stovetop

The trusty cast-iron skillet is, of course, one of the most essential tools in any home cook's arsenal, tackling everything from reheating steak to preparing the meat the first time around.

Whether you're slowly heating the steak in the oven as an initial step or just reheating the room-temperature steak on the stovetop, it's important to fire up your cast-iron pan first before it comes in contact with the meat. Here's how to reheat steak using a cast-iron pan:

Smoking hot: Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil or grapeseed oil in the pan for around two minutes until it's intensely hot and just begins to smoke.

Sear quickly: "Cast iron retains heat better and longer as it can get to a higher temperature," says Malivert. "Cook the steak over medium heat, turning every minute until the desired doneness is reached."

Crust counts: "You'll get a good crust on the outside if you use this method," says Malivert, noting that the stovetop is a much better heat conductor than the oven. "It will reheat faster with a better crust without drying or overcooking the steak."

Tasty Results

After you've reheated the cooked steak, let it rest for a few minutes on a cutting board before slicing.  You can serve it, for example, with a chimichurri sauce and corn on the cob, stack slices into tacos, or nestle that prized cut of beef next to a big baked potato.

Whatever the recipe, can you expect the reheated steak to taste as delicious as it did the first time you served it? "Probably not, but it can be close," says Malivert. "The reason is that as cooked steak cools down, it will release some of its moisture, and there's nothing you can do to replace it."

Read the original article on Martha Stewart.