How To Reheat Steak Without Overcooking
(And Make It Tender)
That barbequed steak you grilled for dinner yesterday was delicious and tender – now you’ve got a piece or two left over for dinner tonight.
What to do with leftover steak?
There’s the option of cutting it up cold and eating it in a salad. But an even better option is reheating steak so you can enjoy it as another tasty warm meal.
But how do you reheat steak, so it doesn’t turn out all dry, tough, and flavorless?
Here’s the best way to reheat steak as well as some other techniques for using leftovers from the grill.
Once you’ve mastered reheating steak, you’ll be throwing an extra piece or two on the grill just so you have leftovers to enjoy the next day.
What Is The Best Way To Reheat Grilled Steak?
Where it comes to the best way to reheat steak, you have several options to choose from but by far the best way to reheat a grilled steak is to use a method known as sous-vide.
Using this method, the steak is warmed up evenly while retaining all of its moisture. When the grilled steak has been reheated, you can give it a light sear if you’re looking for a bit of seal on the meat and to achieve a light crust.
Is It Safe to Sous Vide?
The sous vide method to reheat grilled steak uses a plastic freezer bag.
This brings up the question of safety – how safe is it to eat meat that’s been heated in plastic?
What about BPAs and phthalates – will they leach into the reheated meat?
The low-temperature of heating the meat in a plastic bag immersed in hot water means that the plastic is never heated to a temperature higher than about 130°F.
As well, most of the plastic freezer bags that you purchase today are made from polyethylene, so are free from BPAs and phthalates.
Reheating steak, or any other meat, is perfectly safe when you use the sous-vide technique, a method used by chefs all around the world.
How to Reheat Steak Sous Vide Style
All you need to reheat using the sous vide technique is:
Then follow these easy steps:
Bring the steak up to room temperature – cooking any cut of meat when cold is not advised.
Take the steak out of the fridge and let warm for about 30 minutes before you reheat the meat.
This helps to reduce the amount of the time the meat is exposed to heat a second time so there’s less chance of it overcooking.
Heat a pot of water on the stove, using the meat thermometer to check the temperature. Bring to a heat of about 130°F (55°C).
Without slicing the steak, place it into the freezer bag. Try to remove as much air from the bag as you can – then seal tightly so no water can enter the bag.
Place the bag into the center of the pot of water, immersing fully. Keep an eye on the temperature – you don’t want it to rise above 130°F (55°C).
Keep the heat even, without bringing to a simmer. Reheat the steak for about 5 minutes for a steak that is 1-inch in thickness.
Adjust the heating time by cooking for 3 to 4 minutes for thinner cuts of steak and 5 to 6 minutes for steaks that are over 1-inch thick.
Once heated sous vide style, you can crisp up the steak.
Remove from the freezer bag when the meat has been heated through. Using a paper towel, pat dry so steak is completely dry.
Next, add a thin layer of oil to a skillet and heat over medium to medium high heat. When the pan is smoking, add the steak and sear first one side for 1 minute, and then the other for another minute.
WARNING! You don’t want to heat or cook the steak – the goal here is to just get a nice sear on the meat without continuing to cook.
This the best way to reheat steak that is tender cut of meat, such as filet mignon. You’ll keep the tenderness of the steak so that it’s cooked almost to perfection like it was on the first night you served it.
After reheating, serve with a light salad or grilled vegetables. You want to keep the steak as the highlight of the meal – and reheating with this method makes it possible. This is ideal for better cuts of meat that are more expensive so you can enjoy their taste without a lot of other flavors blending in.
What Is The Best Way To Reheat Flank Steak?
Flank steak is a more inexpensive cut of meat that’s easy to cook with – it takes on the flavors of spices, herbs, and marinades. A larger cut of meat than other cuts of steak, you’ll often have leftovers when cooking with flank.
Buyer Tips for Flank Steak
Flank steak is cut from the back legs and loin area of the animal. The cut is thin and flat, without much marbling running through the meat. Look for a cut that’s a nice red in appearance without any signs of discoloration.
Reheating Flank Steak
A great way to reheat a flank steak is by warming it up with beef broth. All you need is the steak, a non-stick skillet, and the beef broth.
Add a layer of beef broth to the skillet, up to 1-inch or enough to almost cover the piece of flank steak. Heat up the broth to almost a boil.
When at the boiling point, place the steak into the skillet. It will only take a few minutes to heat up the steak, keeping the meat nice and tender without losing any of its flavor.
Flank Steak Leftover Tips And Sides
After reheating a flank steak, there are numerous ways that you can enjoy this cut of meat a second time. Serve with baked or roasted potatoes along with a coleslaw or tossed green salad.
Another way to enjoy flank steak is in fajitas. This is a good option if the flank steak has been grilled to medium or medium-well done. If you’re going to be making fajitas, you can skip the reheated steps above. Instead, cut the leftover flank steak into slices that are ¼-inch thick. Marinate in a sauce made of soy sauce, minced red onion, crushed fresh garlic, red wine vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil. Let the steak marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours – you can marinade overnight if you’re prepping for the next day.
When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Sauté chopped onion, red pepper, and green pepper until just tender. Season with oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated flank steak to the skillet and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, just until the meat is warmed through. Serve in warmed flour tortillas topped with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.
What Is The Best Way To Reheat A Steak Without It Overcooking?
The best way to reheat steak without overcooking it is to reheat in the microwave.
It’s also the quickest way to heat leftover steak.
The trick to using the microwave is to add just enough liquid moisture back into the steak to tenderize it without adding so much moisture that the meat turns soggy and flavorless.
If possible, when cooking steak at home, try to save the juices from when you first cooked the steak. Sore in a sealed container in the fridge. Then follow these steps for reheating steak in the microwave:
Remove steak from the fridge and place in a deep glass dish that is safe for the microwave.
Using the leftover juices, drizzle the steak, letting the juices run a bit down the sides of the steak. If you don’t have any leftover juices you can use a bit of water, beef broth, steak sauce, or a bit of Italian dressing.
Cover the dish with a lid that’s safe for the microwave or with a layer of plastic wrap.
Microwave the steak on a low to medium-low temperature setting for 15 seconds. Check the temperature of the steak and repeat heating in 15 second increments until the meat is warm but not too hot. Otherwise you’ll end up with steak that is tough and overheated.
What Is The Best Way To Reheat A Rare Steak?
If you have steak left over from the night before that was cooked to rare, you’ll still be able to safely reheat and enjoy a second time.
While you can use the other methods here to reheat a rare steak, there’s a better way so that you keep the tenderness of the steak and keep it from cooking to any more than a medium rare.
This is ideal if you enjoy your steak anywhere from rare to medium.
The best way to reheat steak that’s rare is by reheating in the oven…and it only takes about 30 minutes.
Just follow these quick and easy steps to reheat:
Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C)
Place the left-over steak onto a wire rack. Then set the wire rack over top of a baking sheet that has a rim to hold the edges of the rack. Place the baking sheet onto the middle rack of the oven.
Let the steak heat in the oven for about 30 minutes for steak that is 1 ½ inches thick, less for thinner cuts of steak. Use a meat thermometer. You want the steak to reach a temperature of 110°F (45°C).
When at this temperature, remove from the oven.
Using a paper towel, gently pat the steaks to dry.
Add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil to a large skillet. Heat the skillet on high heat until the pan starts to smoke. Carefully place the steak in the skillet, letting it sear for 60 to 90 seconds.
Turn over and sear the other side. The left-over steak will be nice and crisp on each side.
Remove the steak from the skillet and place onto a plate. Let rest for about 5 minutes, until at a temperature of 125 to 130°F (50 to 55°C) – use the meat thermometer again to test.
The steak will be a medium rare at this temperature.
What Is The Best Way To Reheat Steak Tips?
Steak tips are a thin cut of meat that comes from one of two areas on the animal.
One cut comes from the tenderloin, producing steak tips that are nice and tender. The other cut comes from the bottom sirloin butt where the meat is less tender and tasty.
With either one, due to the thin cut of the steak, reheating can be tricky without making the meat dry, tough, and tasteless.
For this reason, when it comes to this cut, the best way to reheat steak tips is to use them directly in a recipe.
Stir fry dishes are tasty with leftover steak tips – add to sautéed vegetables and serve with rice on the side.
Alternate Quick Methods to Reheat Steak
If you have leftover steak, plan on reheating within the next two days.
Steak that is refrigerated longer than two days starts to lose moisture, flavor, and texture. Here are three more quick techniques for heating steak.
1. Oven Roasting
This method of reheating is ideal for larger cuts of steak:
2. Reheat Steak in Oven with Aluminium Foil Pouch
Reheating in aluminum is also good for larger and thicker cuts of meat:
3. Oven-warmed with Beef Stock
This method is similar to reheating steak on the stovetop using beef broth:
Best Cuts of Steak for Grilling and Reheating
The best cuts of meat for grilling and barbequing, and then reheating, are those that are tender and juicy:
The ribeye steak is one of the best cuts of meat – it’s nice and tender and has a great beefy taste without being too intense.
Ribeye can be cooked with both the bone in and out.
Top Loin Steak
Also known as a strip loin or New York strip, the top loin is just as tender and moist as the ribeye. These steaks are usually sold with the bone out and cut to a thickness of about 1 inch.
Cut from the rump end of the animal, the porterhouse steak is a cross-section from the beef short loin. The meat is marbled with just the right amount of fat, which means that when reheating steak the next day, it’s just as tender and moist as it was the first time you cooked it.
Top Sirloin Steak
The top sirloin is a cut of meat that’s both affordable and flavorful. Take caution when reheating, as this steak is easy to overcook, making it dry and tough.
What To Do With Leftover Steak?
Now that you know how to reheat steak, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. Steak is always good on its own, but it can remain the highlight of the meal no matter how it’s served. Be bold and add spices and herbs when reheating, adding a different taste profile to the steak the second time you enjoy.
Please keep in mind, that to follow safe food practices, steak should only be reheated once. Cooling meat and reheating a second time increases the number of bacteria in the steak.