How Long To Let Steak Rest After Cooking

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Have you ever eagerly cut into a perfectly cooked steak, only to have it release a flood of precious juices onto your plate? To avoid this disappointing scenario, it’s crucial to let your steak rest after cooking.

Resting allows the meat to reabsorb those flavorful juices, resulting in a tender and juicy bite. In this article, we’ll delve into the science behind resting meat, explore the factors that affect resting time, and provide recommended resting times for different cuts of steak.

So, grab your tongs and get ready to master the art of resting your steak like a pro.

Key Takeaways

  • Resting allows juices to redistribute and meat to become tender
  • Resting time varies depending on the type of meat being cooked
  • Thicker cuts require longer resting time for even heat distribution and juice redistribution
  • Recommended resting times for different cuts of steak:
  • Rare steak: 3 to 5 minutes resting time
  • Medium-rare steak: 5 to 7 minutes resting time
  • Medium steak: 7 to 10 minutes resting time

The Purpose of Resting Steak

You should let the steak rest after cooking so that the juices can redistribute and the meat can become more tender. Resting the steak is crucial for both flavor and tenderness.

When you cook a steak, the heat causes the juices to move towards the center. By allowing the steak to rest, these juices have time to redistribute throughout the meat. This redistribution helps to ensure that each bite of steak is moist and flavorful.

Additionally, resting the steak allows the meat to relax and become more tender. The proteins in the steak have a chance to reabsorb some of the moisture, resulting in a juicier and more tender final product.

The Science Behind Resting Meat

Once the meat is cooked, it’s important to understand the science behind letting it rest before serving. Resting meat allows the muscle fibers to relax, ensuring a tender and juicy steak.

When you cook meat, the heat causes the muscle fibers to contract and squeeze out the juices. Resting the meat allows the fibers to reabsorb some of these juices, resulting in a more flavorful and moist steak.

Additionally, resting meat allows for enzymatic activity to occur. Enzymes break down proteins, making the meat more tender. This enzymatic activity continues even after the meat is removed from the heat. By allowing the meat to rest, you are giving the enzymes time to work their magic, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Factors Affecting Resting Time

To ensure optimal results, it’s essential to consider various factors that can affect the resting time of meat. Here are four important factors to keep in mind:

  1. Resting time for other types of meat: The resting time required may vary depending on the type of meat you are cooking. For example, a tender cut of beef like a filet mignon may only need a few minutes of resting time, while a tougher cut like a brisket may require up to an hour.

  2. Resting time for different cooking methods: The cooking method used can also impact the resting time. For instance, if you’re grilling a steak, it’s best to let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. On the other hand, if you’re roasting a whole chicken, it may need to rest for 15-20 minutes.

  3. Meat thickness: Thicker cuts of meat generally require longer resting times to allow the heat to distribute evenly and the juices to redistribute.

  4. Desired doneness: If you prefer your meat cooked to a higher level of doneness, it’s advisable to have a slightly longer resting time to ensure it remains juicy and tender.

Recommended Resting Times for Different Cuts of Steak

For optimal results, it’s important to consider the recommended resting times for different cuts of steak.

The optimal temperature for resting steak is around 120°F to 130°F. This allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.

The resting time for different levels of doneness can vary. For a rare steak, a resting time of 3 to 5 minutes is recommended. For medium-rare, 5 to 7 minutes is ideal. If you prefer a medium steak, let it rest for about 7 to 10 minutes. For well-done steak, a resting time of 10 to 15 minutes is recommended.

Tips for Properly Resting Your Steak

When resting your steak, remember that the thickness of the cut determines how long it should sit before slicing. Thicker cuts will need more resting time to allow the juices to redistribute and the steak to reach its optimal tenderness. As a general rule, you should let your steak rest for about 5 minutes per inch of thickness. However, it’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to ensure that your steak is cooked to your desired level of doneness. By checking the internal temperature, you can be confident that your steak is cooked perfectly. Using a meat thermometer has several benefits, including accuracy and consistency in cooking, ensuring food safety, and preventing overcooking or undercooking. So, make sure to invest in a good meat thermometer to achieve the best results every time you cook steak.

Desired Doneness Internal Temperature (°F)
Rare 125-130
Medium Rare 130-135
Medium 135-145
Medium Well 145-155
Well Done 160+

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I skip the resting step and serve the steak immediately after cooking?

To fully enjoy the tenderness and juiciness of your steak, it is recommended to let it rest after cooking. Resting allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and moist bite. Serving the steak immediately may result in a less enjoyable eating experience.

Does the size of the steak affect the resting time?

Resting time for steak is influenced by its size. Larger steaks need more time to rest to allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful final product.

Can I use a meat thermometer to determine when the steak has rested long enough?

Using a meat thermometer to determine steak’s resting time is the ultimate steak master move. However, if you don’t have one, fear not! A perfectly rested steak will feel tender to the touch and will have a juicy, flavorful bite.

What should I do if I accidentally over-rested my steak?

If you accidentally over-rested your steak, don’t fret! To salvage it, simply reheat the steak in a hot skillet for a couple of minutes on each side. This will help to revive the flavor and restore its juiciness.

Are there any specific techniques to follow when resting a steak to ensure it remains juicy and tender?

To ensure your steak remains juicy and tender, follow these tips for marinating steak before cooking and properly seasoning it before resting. Learn the secrets to creating a mouthwatering steak that will leave you wanting more.


In conclusion, when it comes to allowing your steak to rest after cooking, it is essential to give it the respect it deserves. By giving it the necessary time to relax and settle, you are allowing the flavors to harmonize and the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and delectable dining experience.

Remember, each cut of steak has its own unique resting time, so be sure to consult our recommended guidelines for optimal results. By following these tips, you can ensure that your steak will be perfectly rested, leaving you with a truly exceptional meal.