How Long To Let Steak Rest?

Want to Know How Long to Let Steak Rest?

If you’re cooking steak, then you’ve got an idea of the approximate cooking time for the type and weight of your chosen steak. That’s all well and good, but do you know how long to let it rest for that perfect steak experience? First, decide on how you’re going to cook your meat. Skillet or grill? Both are ideal, as a well-seasoned skillet has that ‘built in’ flavor but then again you can’t beat steak done on a BBQ.

Are you looking to cook a full course steak meal? Do you want to prepare a single piece of steak for a delicious dinner? Whether you prepare a big piece or a small one, you may wonder about how long to let steak rest to get the best result.

Perhaps you are concerned that the taste will ruin if you leave the steak to rest at room temperature.

Read on to find out all the information about letting the steak rest. It includes before and after cooking, along with the exact duration required.


Should You Let Steak Rest Before Cooking or After?

You may have heard that you need to let your steak rest, but is it before cooking or after? The answer is—both, before and after.

You must let the piece of meat rest before cooking so that it becomes soft. Most often, the center area of the meat stays frozen even if the ice has melted from the entire chunk. Consequently, it will take longer to cook, or the center area will be left raw.

Leaving the steak to rest after cooking is imperative to get a juicy chunk of perfectly-cooked meat. If you cut the meat right after taking it off the oven or pan, you will notice juice on your plate. Resultantly, the beef will be left dry.

On the contrary, if you let the steak rest for a while before cutting, it will absorb the juice. Therefore, you can enjoy a juicy chunk if you let it rest. Let us read about the same in detail.


Why Do You Let Steak Rest?

If you want a flavorful, juicy, and well-cooked steak, you need to leave the beef to rest before and after cooking. Here’s why.

Before Cooking: When you remove the beef from your refrigerator, it is at a quite low temperature. While the outer surface will be soft and easier to let moisture evaporate, the center will be left with plenty.

Resultantly, when you set it to cook, maximum energy will go into removing the chills from the meat instead of cooking. The piece of meat will not start to turn brown until every drop of moisture has evaporated.

That is because the moisture from the center evaporates and goes to the outer surfaces. Consequently, it may take about 2 hours or more for the steak to cook.

After Cooking: You need to let the steak rest after cooking to let its muscle fibers absorb the juice. That is because when you heat the meat, its fibers constrict. As a result, they push the meat juice towards the center.

Therefore, when you cut the meat from the center, right after pulling it off the grill, the entire juice pours out. It also carries out the maximum flavor of your steak, leaving a piece of dry and flavorless meat.


What Happens If You Let the Steak Rest?

Before Cooking: When you let the steak rest long enough before cooking, the moisture will evaporate from the entire chunk.

That is, even from the center—the part which loses moisture with maximum difficulty. Thus, when you cook the meat, it will turn brown and start cooking in the estimated time, instead of 2 hours.

After Cooking: When you let the steak rest for a short while after cooking, its constricted muscles will start to relax. As this happens, the juices will not feel the pressure to stay at the center.

Therefore, they can spread out all around the meat, carrying flavor as they redistribute. You will get a piece of well-cooked meat with evenly-distributed juice and flavor.


When to Remove Steak from the Grill?

Now that you know why you have to let the steak rest, you must remember it keeps cooking even after removing. Yes, the piece of meat will carry forward the heat from the grill or stove, and therefore, keep cooking. The process is known as carryover cooking, and you may see it in every cooked food.

At the same time, remember that its temperature will slightly lower down as you remove the steak. Your steak requires a temperature of about 120-125 F to let the muscle fibers relax and absorb the juice. Therefore, you must cook accordingly.


How to Let Steak Rest?

Before cooking: If you leave the meat chunk to thaw in the refrigerator for a night or two, its moisture will evaporate sooner. Plus, you can also add salt to the piece during this process. Other than that, wipe it with paper towels before starting to cook to remove any remaining moisture.

After Cooking: Leaving the steak to rest for too long will lead to the meat getting colder. You certainly do not want to let it get cold. The correct way of resting the steak is by placing it in a serving platter and covering it with foil. In this way, you can let the meat rest without going overboard.

How Long to Let Steak Rest?

The duration of resting the steak is quite essential. If you let it rest for a prolonged period, the steak will get colder and more rigid. On the contrary, it may not absorb the juice and flavor if the resting time is too less. Here are a few guidelines for how long to let the steak rest.

  • Let it rest for 5-7 minutes.
  • Allow the beef to rest for 1 minute for every 100g.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes/pound.
  • Leave the meat to rest for 5 minutes for every inch of its thickness.

You may choose any of these options as all of them are suggested by professional chefs. On average, 5-7 minutes is an optimum time to let the steak rest.


Summing Up

Leaving the steak to rest after cooking is imperative to let the juices distribute evenly. The fluid carries flavor with it and may leave a dry, flavorless chunk of meat if you cut the piece without resting. Apart from that, make sure to let it rest enough even before cooking, allowing the moisture to evaporate.

Though everyone’s definition of a perfectly-cooked steak is different, it must be flavorful, ultimately. Therefore, make sure to let it rest for optimum time, preventing it from getting cold or losing juice and flavor!

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