While steak is not difficult to cook at home, you should be careful with it. The same applies to leftovers. Don’t just throw it in the microwave if you have extra rib-eye.
It is important to take care of your tender beef. What is the best way to reheat steaks? How can you preserve the steak’s flavor and tenderness? Is it possible for the crust to be preserved or recreated? To determine the best, we road-tested five common techniques, including steaming, searing, and sous vide. You may be surprised by the results. For more meaty details, read on.
A few notes about methodology
Steaks For all of our tests, we used boneless, rib-eye steaks. We cooked them to medium-rare using this stovetop beef recipe. The steaks were kept whole in the refrigerator for 24 hours. They were then taken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before being reheated. Allowing the steaks to rest at room temperature will help to prevent overcooking. This is also important when reheating steaks. We recommend seasoning the reheated steaks, even though none of our methods suggested it. Leftover food can sometimes lack flavor and may benefit from extra salt and pepper.
All tests: All the tests were performed on the same day and back-to-back using the same oven, stove and other kitchen equipment. Each method was taste-tested immediately after being reheated.
Timing – Prep Times: Each method has a predetermined prep time but does not include the required 30 minutes to allow the steaks to reach room temperature.
Ratings We wanted to find a method to heat steaks that taste as fresh as possible. We also took into account appearance and eased when determining our final ratings.
Steak Reheating Method: Stovetop Steam
Men’s Health does not recommend this method. However, insists that there is only one way of reheating steak. That’s steaming it in an oven-proof pan. Place the pan large and heavy over the heat. Add enough water to steam the meat, but not allow it to pool. Steaming takes approximately 10 minutes or until the water has boiled off.
ResultsSteaming leftover steak kept it moist (and didn’t overcook), but the steak was more saturated than juicy. The steak was also dry, possibly due to the additional water. It also had no crusty exterior. The positive side was that the steak was still beautifully pink once we had cut it. Although steaming isn’t difficult, we found it too time-consuming and fussy for just-right results.
Steak Reheating Method: Stovetop Sear
This method: We tried many methods, but this method from Delish was our favorite. Heat some oil in a large skillet and add the steak. Cook until it is cooked to your satisfaction.
Results This simple method is appealing to us, and we think it’s one of the best ways to cook sliced steak. It doesn’t work well if you are reheating larger pieces of leftover steak. To heat the meat to the desired temperature, cook it until it is dry and well-done. This method gives you two choices: slightly warm but still medium-rare to medium steak, or hot well-done meat. Neither of these options is ideal.
Steak Reheating Method: Sous Vide and Optional Searing
This method: Sous vide. Although it sounds complicated, it is quite simple in this case. You place the steak in a zip-top bag. Once it is cooked, you will need to submerge it in 130F water for 5 minutes. The steak can be sliced immediately, or you can quickly sear it in a hot skillet to restore the crust.
The sous vide method yielded succulent, flavorful meat. It was also a great option for those looking for a medium-rare pink inside. The crust is missing, but you can fix that by quickly searing the steak on a hot skillet for approximately 1 minute per side. This is because not everyone has access to a sous vide machine. Although you can still use the sous vide method without a machine, it would be difficult to monitor a pot of boiling water and make sure it remains at 130 degrees F. We found other ways to revive a steak without needing a special gadget.
Microwave Steak Reheating
This method: Although All Recipes has many ways to cook steak, we decided to test their microwave option. The experts recommend placing a damp towel on top of the steak. They also suggest using the microwave’s medium heat setting to heat the steak for 30-second intervals and flipping it every 30 seconds. The time it takes to cook the steak will vary depending on its thickness and size and the microwave you use, but the average time is 90 seconds to two minutes.
Results This microwave method was the surprise winner of our showdown. This microwave method scored high points for speed and ease and produced competitive results. It retained its crusty exterior and retained its juicy flavor. We also tried this method without the paper towel. The meat was slightly dry, so we recommend sticking with the paper towel.
Steak Reheating Method: Heat in the Oven, Sear in the Stove
This method is described in Cook’s Illustrated, which reports that the best way to cook steak and the best way to reheat it. The meat is placed on a wire rack and then heated in a 250F oven for 30 minutes. The meat is then given a quick sear to restore the crust on the stovetop.
Results This two-step process requires more patience and effort, but it is our favorite. The meat will warm up in the oven without being overcooked. A few minutes in a hot skillet gives it that tender, just-cooked texture. This method also browns the meat rather than turning it grey.