The Trick To Reheating Steak

What could be better than a yummy, juicy, mouthwatering steak dinner? Steak may be the king of all meats, but it can actually be surprisingly affordable if you choose a less expensive cut. In addition to its downright deliciousness, steak is also very versatile, and can be prepared in a number of different ways. Oh, and rare steak lovers? Good news. That myth about well-done (or in other words, overdone) steak being healthier for you has been definitively debunked, so go ahead and enjoy yours as red as you like (and by the way, that red color doesn't come from blood).

The only real downside to a steak dinner can be the leftovers. Steak is one of those foods that depreciates quite noticeably in quality after some time spent in the microwave, so how do you reheat the popular protein without it becoming tough or overcooked? While you could always just use the steak cold, sliced thin in a sandwich or atop a salad, if you've got, say, an entire steak leftover, sometimes you might just want to enjoy a proper steak dinner all over again and not let that lovely meat go to waste. Well fear not — we're here to advise.

The sous-vide method is easier than you think

The Kitchn suggests a simple method for steak reheating that only requires a zip-top bag, a food thermometer, and a pot of water. (And a stove, of course.) Just take your steak out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature for about 30 minutes. This out-of-fridge time lessens the amount of time it will need to warm up while cooking, thus reducing the possibility of overcooked meat. After the steak has reached room temperature, put it into a Ziploc or other heat-safe baggie and squeeze all the air out (you can use a straw to suck it out if you have one handy) before sealing it up tight.

Fill a pot with water, then bring the water temperature to 130 degrees. This is below a simmer, so nowhere near boiling. Once the water reaches the right temperature, immerse your bagged steak and let it reheat for about five minutes, which should be just enough time for it to warm through. Basically, what you're doing here is using a simple sous-vide technique, no fancy equipment required! If you do have an actual sous-vide machine, however, feel free to put that to use. In fact, you can even sous-vide raw steak in the first place, though you'll probably still need to finish it off in a pan if you want a nice sear.

Reheating steak in the oven is worth the time it takes

Of course, when you put 10 chefs or food bloggers in a room, you'll probably wind up with at least 11 different opinions on the absolute best way to do anything food-related. If you were to ask Food Network personality Courtney Rada the trick to warming up your leftover sirloin, she'd say "Reheating your steak in the oven is the most foolproof method to ensure your leftovers are as flavorful and tender as they were the night before," (via First for Women). The trouble with this method is that is going to take a little time – Taste of Home says about 30 minutes in the oven, plus however long it takes to pre-heat.

In order to reheat via the oven method, you'll be doing it "low and slow" with the oven set at 250 degrees. Place the steak on a wire rack with that rack itself being placed inside a baking tray. Why a rack? Elevating the steak off the heated surface ensures that it will be evenly cooked on both sides (no flipping required). Check the steak after 20 minutes, though it may take up to 30 or more. Thicker steaks will require more warming time, thinner steaks less, but you'll need to keep an eye out to make sure your steak doesn't start to dry out.

You can even use the microwave

The poor, maligned microwave. Originally hailed as an amazing way to cook everything under the sun, it soon became relegated to leftover warmer-upper. Then, wouldn't you know, suddenly this was no longer the correct choice, either. So what, exactly, are we supposed to do with our microwaves? Must we get rid of this ubiquitous appliance?

Not so fast. A microwave can do quite a decent job of reheating steak as long as you go about it the right way –- in other words, don't just plop the steak on a plate and set it for five minutes. The trick to reheating steak in the microwave and winding up with something tender, juicy, and flavorful lies in adding extra moisture. Courtney Rada (via First for Women) suggests saving the meat juices from when you first cooked the steak, but if you don't have those to hand, you can use whatever steak sauce you prefer. Place the steak in a deep dish, drizzle it with meat juices or sauce, and cover the dish with plastic wrap or a microwave-safe lid. Nuke the steak on low to medium power (yes, this is an option, though you might have to do some button-pushing to figure out how to adjust your microwave's default settings) in 30-second bursts. Easy-peasy! So go on, give in to that steak craving with no fear of leftovers, since you now know how to make your steak taste almost as good the next day