No More Hockey Pucks! How to Reheat Steak the Right Way

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steak reheated

Source: Bob Peters via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

You prepared a delicious steak dinner, but, to your surprise, you have some tender, juicy steaks leftover. Your first thought is that you don’t want it going to waste, but if you’ve ever tried to reheat up steaks, you know they don’t taste the same once you reheat them to the right temperature. The dilemma: pitch it or eat dry, virtually flavorless steaks for leftovers (or feed it to the dog)? Fortunately, you don’t have to make that tough choice because – believe it or not – you can reheat steak in ways that lock in its flavor and tenderness to bring it back to life in just a few minutes.

The Problem with Reheating Steak (and How to Do it Right!)

The biggest issue when reheating grilled steak or pan-seared steak is that it becomes dried out. But the reason it usually dries out is that most people focus on heating up their steaks quickly rather than taking the time to warm them up again correctly. Quick cooks that only focus on temperature are a surefire way to turn your beautiful filet mignon into a meaty hockey puck. 

Another issue is that, when you reheat leftover steak (or any food) the wrong way, it can actually make you sick. Food poisoning can happen when your food stays at room temperature too long, which might occur when it’s not reheated correctly.

It’s essential to take a little extra time – and follow these helpful tips – to learn how to reheat steak the right way and get the flavour and texture you want.

How to Reheat Steak in the Oven

Smoked steaks cooked on a smokerThe reverse sear method is an excellent way to reheat ribeye and other cuts of steak that are just too good to turn into dried out chunks of meat. But, it does take some time so make sure you give yourself about an hour to heat them before you’re ready to eat! For this method, set your oven to 250-degrees Fahrenheit. Get a baking dish or baking tray and set a wire rack inside. Place your steaks on top of the wire rack and cover loosely with aluminum foil. The aluminum foil keeps the heat trapped inside the dish to cook your steaks faster without drying them.

Once your oven is fully preheated, put the steaks on the middle oven rack and heat until they reach about 100 to 110-degrees Fahrenheit. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes and keeps your steak from cooking any further. While your steak warms up in the oven, heat up a skillet with some butter or oil. Once the pan is warmed up and your steaks are out of the oven, sear them on each side for a minute or so until browned. This reheating method keeps most of the tenderness and flavor intact and makes the outside perfectly crispy!

How to Reheat Filet Mignon on the Stove

If you want to reheat filet mignon, ribs, and other super tender steaks, you can do so using just your stove. This method uses a sous vide style of cooking, in which food is placed in a plastic cooking bag and steamed in a pot of water on the stove. Sous vide cooking can get your leftover steaks heated while cooking them evenly and is the best way to ensure that your medium rare steak retains its moisture and juices.

First, find a brand name plastic bag made especially for withstanding heat from cooking and make sure it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals like phthalates or BPA. Before you get ready to reheat a steak on the stove, you should allow it to come to room temperature. This usually takes about a half an hour and can get your steak reheated more quickly, so it doesn’t overcook.

Put your steaks in the bag, getting as much air out as possible before sealing it. Your pot of water should be warmed to a low temperature, but not boiling, to no more than 140-degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the bag in the water until your steak is cooked through. You may need to hold the bag up with tongs, so it doesn’t touch the sides of the pot and heat the steak unevenly. The process usually only takes between 5 and 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steak. Once you’re done reheating it, you can give it a quick sear on the stove if you’d like.

How to Reheat Steaks in the Microwave

Red Wine and steak pairing

Reheating steak in the microwave should be the last resort when you’re in a time crunch, but it can be done. The trick is to save the juices from your cooked steak from the night before and store them in a freezer bag or airtight container with your leftover steaks in the fridge. When you’re ready to warm your steaks, place them in a microwave-safe dish and pour the juices over them. 

If you didn’t save your juice, you could use a small amount of steak sauce, Italian dressing, or a thin gravy as an alternative. Cover your dish with plastic wrap to keep the moisture in. Switch the heat to low or medium and heat in 30-second increments, checking consistently for proper temperature. Reheating a steak in the microwave will quickly dry out your yummy steak if it’s in there too long.

Storing Your Steak for Success

The way you store your steak in the fridge can also affect its quality when you reheat it. A perfect steak can lose its texture and flavor if you fail to store it properly in the fridge. The best way to keep leftover steak is in a vacuum-sealed bag that prevents air from penetrating it, but if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use an airtight storage container instead.

No container? Wrap your leftover steak tightly with plastic wrap, and then place it on a plate. Wrap the full plate with steak with plastic wrap, too, to seal out more air. You can also brush the steak with olive oil before wrapping it with plastic wrap to hold in some moisture.

Don’t Waste It! Reheat Leftover Steak

As you can see, there is no reason ever to waste a leftover steak now that you know how to reheat it in the oven, on the stove, and in the microwave! When you order from Chicago Steak Company, you’re already getting some of the best steaks in the business, so the quality part is already there. Your delicious steaks can withstand some leftover days when you understand the best methods for reheating foods to the proper temperature. 

Need more steak cooking tips and inspiration? Join us in our test kitchen on Steak U TV!