Why It's So Important to Let Steak and Other Meat Rest After Cooking

The rule applies to poultry and pork, too.

<p>Lennart Weibull</p>

Lennart Weibull

Whether you're grilling pork loin, roasting a leg of lamb, or pan-frying a porterhouse steak, a few basic rules apply to cooking meat. One of them is letting it rest after it has been cooked—it's a simple step that often gets overlooked. Learn why it's important to let meat rest, how long to rest a steak and other cuts of meat, plus how to do it. Never skip this essential step again—and your meat will always be juicy and flavorful.

Meet Our Expert

Angie Mar, co-owner and executive chef of Les Trois Cheveux in New York City

Related: The 23 Best Side Dishes to Serve with Steak

Why You Should Let Meat Rest

Just as it's important to bring a piece of meat to room temperature before cooking it, it's just as important to let it sit after it's finished cooking. "When meat is hot, the juices are more liquid. When you cut into a very hot piece of meat, all of the liquid is going to come out. If you rest it, it allows everything to relax and redistribute the juices, which creates a more tender, juicier cut," says Angie Mar, co-owner and executive chef of Les Trois Cheveux in New York City.

How to Rest Meat

Properly resting meat couldn't be easier.

  • When the meat is done cooking, let it sit in a warm area, such as the top of the stove.

  • Don't cover smaller cuts with aluminum foil, which will trap the heat and accelerate the cooking process.

  • Larger cuts, like roasts, should be covered with foil.

How Long to Let Meat Rest

Whether you're using a bone-in or boneless cut, Mar says that you should let the meat rest for half the time it cooked for: "If it took 20 minutes to cook a rib-eye, it should rest for 10 minutes."

This rule doesn't only apply to steak or even just to beef. From pork chops to poultry, all meat should rest once it's done cooking.

A good rule of thumb is that any thick cut of meat, such as pork chops or lamb shoulder, should rest for 10-15 minutes. Large cuts of meat, such as roast chicken or lamb roast, need more resting time. Let the meat rest for 15-30 minutes, depending on the cooking time and the size of the roast.

Getting the Temperature Right

Whether you prefer a medium-rare or well-done steak, it's important to take the meat off the heat a few minutes before it has reached the ideal temperature. This is because the meat will retain some heat and continue to cook as it rests. A perfect medium-rare steak should register at 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit, but Mar recommends taking it off the pan or grill around 115 degrees to ensure that it doesn't overcook. Use an instant-read thermometer for the most accurate temperature.

Read the original article on Martha Stewart.