Don’t end up with dried out meat.

By Southern Living Editors
June 17, 2020
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Credit: Greg DuPree

If you’re lucky enough to have leftover cooked steak in your refrigerator, you can slice it up and eat it cold in a salad or sandwich (the easy way), or you can reheat it (the harder way). Whether it’s been cooked on the grill, in the oven, or on the stove top, leftover steak can be warmed up without sacrificing moisture or flavor if you do it carefully.

There are lots of different methods for reheating meat. You can wrap it in foil and heat it in a 250˚F oven. You can place it in a microwave-safe dish with the reserved meat juices or a little beef stock, and heat it in the microwave. Start with 30-second intervals at 50% power, and flip the meat over at least once. And if you want to crisp up reheated steak, you can put it in a hot skillet and char each side for 30 seconds.

Whichever method you choose, there are a few rules that apply to them all.

Leave it whole

When you’re packaging up leftover meat to enjoy later, keep it unsliced and in one piece if possible. A large piece of steak will reheat better than steak that’s already been sliced.

Let come to room temperature

Don’t heat the steak straight from the refrigerator. Let the meat sit on your kitchen counter until it reaches room temperature, about 30 minutes. Room temperature meat doesn’t require as much reheating, so you will be less likely to overcook it.

Watch the heat

The meat is already cooked, so the goal should be reheating it, not cooking it even more. Grab a meat thermometer and use the original cooked temperature of the meat as a guideline: If you served it medium-rare at 130˚F or medium at 140˚F, don’t let the temperature exceed that number when you reheat it. Obviously, the more “done” the steak is, the drier and tougher it will be when you warm it up.