After a fun BBQ party when everyone happy and feel full, there still a chance a yummy steak left in the table. No-one able to finish it, but it is too delicious to be thrown to the bin.
Best is to wrap the leftover steak with an aluminum foil so we can reheat and enjoy it for later, just like you would when planning to grill frozen burgers. But wait! Some of you would think that it will be the same steak again once you reheat it.
Well, that is not 100% true. There are some best methods we can follow to reheat the steak perfectly. Let’s find out!
Common Methods to Reheat Leftover Steak
Here are some methods that you can follow in order to reheat the leftover steak without losing it juiciness and tenderness:
1. Reheat with Microwave
Cutting right to the chase: yes, it is possible to pop your steak into the microwave to warm it up. However, it’s not as simple as just opening the fridge, throwing in the leftover steak in its Styrofoam takeout container, and hitting a button – unless your goal is to dry out the meat.
The best way to retain moisture and evenly reheat a steak in the microwave is to take the steak out of its container, place it into a deep microwave-safe dish (a casserole dish works well), and add enough stock or beef broth to coat the meat.
If you’re feeling fun, you can add a splash of red wine or herbs for extra oomph! Cover the dish with plastic wrap, ensuring a tight seal around the rim so that the liquid does not evaporate and escape.
Place the covered dish in the center of the microwave, then select a low-to-medium temperature setting. Set the timer to 10-15 seconds, then check on the steak.
If the container and liquid are barely hot to the touch, the steak is likely warmed up enough. Remove the dish from the microwave and replate the steak and you can dig in!
2. Using Baking Method
Got more time to spare or have several steaks that need reheating? The baking method may be something you will want to try. Similar to the microwave method, use leftover steak juice or broth to coat and re-hydrate the meat.
Use a bit more liquid in this method because ovens tend to evaporate water rapidly. Place the steak on a rimmed baking sheet then add the liquid. Preheat the oven to 175 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, for about 5 minutes.
Carefully place the baking sheet with steak in the oven and let it bake for about 10 minutes. Remove the steak from the oven and allow it to rest for several minutes before serving.
3. Reheat Steak with Stovetop
For this method, you will need a skillet or pan (preferably non-stick or cast iron) – a thicker-bottomed pan will prevent uneven heating or “hot spots”.
Place some broth in the pan and turn on the burner to medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil or butter into the pan if you’re not using non-stick. Once the broth starts bubbling, add the steak to the pan, and then lower the heat to low-medium.
Allow the steak to simmer for about a minute on both sides, making sure the steak is thoroughly warmed. Remove the steak from the pan and enjoy it with some side dishes.
4. Hybrid Method
Alternatively, you can also do a cross between the baking and stove-top method. Begin with the oven, preheating it to 100 to 125 degrees (note: this is lower than the temperature indicated in the aforementioned baking method).
Instead of using a regular baking tray alone, you will need to add a sturdy wire rack. With the steaks on a wire rack, the heat from the oven can freely circulate over and under the steak, which quickly and evenly warms it up.
After 25 to 30 minutes, check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer (just above boiling point). If you don’t have a meat thermometer, just check closely for steam. The moment you see a light mist, turn off the oven and remove the steak.
Now time for the stove-top phase. While waiting for the steak to bake, heat a pan with some oil or butter. To avoid some unwanted splattering, dab the steaks with a clean paper towel before placing them into the heated pan.
Sear both sides of the steak on medium-high heat for a minute or so. You will notice a nice brown crust develop. Place the steak on a plate and allow it to rest for five minutes. This will allow the juices to settle and gradually heat the steak’s inner core.
Serve it up with some garnishes and a glass of wine and voila! you have yourself a picture-perfect dinner!
5. Sous Vide Method
If you’re not already familiar with the sous vide method of cooking, it is a technique of cooking that utilizes plastic bags that vacuum-seals ingredients and is cooked in a water bath.
It translates to “under vacuum” in French— in case you were curious.
This method of cooking may sound highfalutin and impossible to achieve at home, but it’s actually quite the opposite. There are water circulating tools and vacuum-sealing machines available, but not essential.
If you have good quality zip-seal plastic bags, a large pot, a stove, and water, you’re good to go!
Sous vide steak is renown for creating tender steaks with minimal supervision and guesswork involved. Unlike the more traditional pan-searing, which requires impeccable timing and some experience to get that perfect medium-rare doneness, sous vide allows more room for error.
Also, since the steak is sealed air-tight within the plastic bag, all the juices and moisture are retained regardless of the length of time it is cooked.
The downside is that the cooking time is extensive and you will not achieve a nice brown crust using this method alone.
Regardless of which method you decide to use for reheating steak, it is ideal to let a cold steak reach room temperature.
If you heat the steak straight from the fridge, you run the risk of cutting into a steak that is cold in the center despite exerting effort to heat it properly.
Cold steak is no fun and clearly misses the goal of these reheating methods.
What Should be Avoided?
First of all, to have a juicy leftover steak, it’s important that the original order was cooked to medium-well to rare.
If you ordered a steak well-done the night before, there won’t be as much steak juice and moisture to work with after you reheat the steak and have a higher risk of making your steak dry.
If you ordered a well-done steak, or unfortunately were not able to successfully reheat the steak without overcooking it, a good option would be to partner the steak with gravy to make the meat moist or utilize the meat for recipes like salad, stews, or pies.
To properly cook and reheat steak without drying it out, it’s important to remember 2 major enemies: wrong temperatures and thinly sliced meat!
Cooking at high heat may be counter-intuitive to some, but there is a method to the madness.
By cooking a steak at a higher temperature, the amount of time it needs to stay on the pan is reduced. Heat needs to penetrate the outer layer of the meat to cook it from the outside going in.
At a low temperature, the outer layer or meat gets cooked more slowly, but the heat still dissipates toward the center, also cooking the inner layers of meat.
As a guide, “slow and low” is for tender beef in stews or pulled BBQ, but, “hot and fast” is the name of the game when it comes to juicy steaks!
Although if you choose to use the microwave or sous-vide method, lower temperatures are essential.
If lean, thin cuts are used, such as flank steak or skirt steak, there is an additional challenge because heat can penetrate the center more quickly.
A thick cut of steak may take around 5 to 7 minutes on each side to achieve medium-rare consistency, but a thin cut would likely be overcooked in that same amount of time. A thinner cut cannot hold onto as much moisture, which also contributes to dry steaks.
There is no single best method for reheating steak because it all depends on what you have at home and what you’re willing to do. But for the sake of choosing, the hybrid method is touted to restore your steak to its former glory and deliciousness.
Heating the steak in the oven will evenly warm it up, while a quick sear will give the steak a nice crust and seal in moisture without overcooking it.
If your kitchen is already well-equipped and you are experienced with cooking your steaks at home, then this method will be a cinch!
Otherwise, the quickest and easiest method for most people is the microwave method.
This is ideal for those of you who decide to pack your leftovers as your lunch at the office or just have a small piece of steak and don’t want to take all the effort of heating pans and ovens—and of course, having to deal with all the extra things to wash in the sink afterwards!
Just be sure to always use a microwave-safe dish and go with multiple, shorter intervals to avoid overcooking the meat.
Whatever method you choose, you will end up with a tasty leftover steak that won’t break the bank (or your jaw)!
I spent most of my life fascinated by food, and the outdoors. I can’t think of a more fitting combo that leads to mastering the art of BBQ one day. I ended up decent enough to grill the perfect burger and choose the best equipment after years of improvement. I create this website for outdoor cooking enthusiasts, who are fueled by interest but lacking in help, feel educated when they leave because I see my past clueless self in them.