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How to Reheat Steak

By Luna Regina | Updated
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A juicy, perfectly-cooked steak is the definition of a quality dinner for a lot of people. So, understandably, it can be quite upsetting to not be able to finish all of that meaty goodness.

By knowing how to reheat steak, you can salvage it and keep it for another meal. There’s no need to throw it into the trash! When properly reheated, the steak will taste just as good as when it was first lifted off the skillet.

Here’s what you need to do.

Best Way to Reheat Steak

You can reheat your steak using several methods. It all depends on what appliance you have at your disposal and how much time you have at hand.

1. Oven-Skillet

Arguably, the best method is the oven-skillet method.

First, the leftover steak is first warmed up inside a conventional oven.

The advantage to using the oven is that it can cook the meat very evenly and thoroughly. After a short stint in the oven, make sure that your steak doesn’t have any cold or undercooked spots.

Then, place it on top of a skillet and sear for a second time over open heat. This step will redevelop and thicken the outer crust of the steak, making it even crispier than before.

How to Reheat Steak

With this method, your steak is going to become a little bit less juicy since the oven will have sucked a fair bit of moisture out of the meat during reheating. 

2. Air Fryer

Another method is using an air fryer. With it, your leftover steak would both be rewarmed and crispen up at the same time. Many have described air fryer-reheated steak to have the same quality as just-seared meat.

For those of you who are trying to maintain a healthier diet that consists of less oil, using an air fryer will be preferable. Unlike the traditional skillet-over-flame searing technique (which requires a spritz of olive oil,) an air fryer doesn’t need oil to give your steak a crispy texture.

Virtually any food that is prepared using the air fryer is healthier than their traditionally-done counterparts.

In an earlier guide on how to reheat fried chicken, when we reheated fried chicken with the air fryer, a lot of oil was saved. It makes the normally oil-packed dish much less unhealthy, but no less delicious.

Same thing will also go for your steak.

3. Microwave

The third and last method is to use a microwave. This is the least recommended method since it will ruin the quality of your steak.

Even if you manage to time the reheating process just right, the steak will still come out quite dry due to the microwave’s innate ability to dehydrate food. Your steak won’t be as juicy and may be a bit chewy.

One advantage to using a microwave is that it’s by far the quickest method. A microwave can nicely warm up the meat in only 2 to 3 minutes.

In order to reheat with the microwave, you will have to use a method known as burst heating.If you reheat the steak in a single heating session, it will overheat and become chewy. Instead, cook the steak in short bursts of a few dozen seconds each. The higher accuracy means you can cook the steak just right, avoiding overheating and excessive drying.

How to Reheat Steak In Oven And Sear With Skillet

1. How Long Will This Take?

Reheating the steak in the oven alone can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness and size of your steak.

The searing step afterward will only take 1 to 2 minutes at most.

2. Temperature & How to Do It

Oven Heating

Preheat your oven to around 275°F (121°C).

While the oven is heating up, place a wire cooling rack atop a large baking sheet. The rack allows the hot air current inside the oven to circulate better, improving heating efficiency.

Place your steak onto the rack and let it warm up inside of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Use a digital thermometer to measure the core temperature of the meat. Once it reaches around 110°F, it’s ready to be taken out and seared.

Searing

Heat one tbsp of cooking oil (preferably olive oil) in a skillet on medium-high heat. 

When the oil begins to smoke, put your steak in and sear each side for one to one ½ minutes on the bubbling oil.

A minute of searing will give you a medium-rare steak. If you prefer it more done, keep it on the oil for longer.

Allow the steak to rest for about five minutes before plating.

3. What Else Can I Reheat With This Method?

Steak is one of the very few recipes that need a combined approach with two different appliances. However, when separated, the oven and the skillet are both used extensively in food reheating.

The oven, for example, can be used to reheat rotisserie chicken, like you’ll find in our separate guide here. Reheating salmon — a very delicate type of meat — is also possible with the use of the oven.

With the skillet, you can use it to reheat lasagna quite effectively.

How to Reheat Steak In Air Fryer

1. How Long Will This Take?

This can take from 10 to 20 minutes. As before, it depends on the thickness and size of your steak.

2. Temperature & How to Do It

How to Reheat Steak

Because the air fryer isn’t made for reheating per se, you will actually be repurposing the “Fry” function.

First, set the temperature on your air fryer to 370°F and place your steak into the cooking chamber.

Cook the steak in the fryer in 3-minute bursts. Open up the fryer each time and check the temperature of the meat using a thermometer. Keep cooking in bursts until the core temperature of the meat reaches between 110°F to 130°F.

In these temperature ranges, your steak will be either medium-rare or medium. As always, if you like to eat your steak a bit more done, do another short burst in the fryer.

As previously mentioned, you do not need to take the extra step and sear the steak once it’s gone through the air fryer.

3. What Else Can I Reheat With This Method?

You can reheat just about anything with the air fryer. It’s one of the methods to reheat frozen chicken wings. An air fryer can even be used to reheat prime ribs to excellent results.

How to Reheat Steak In Microwave

When you absolutely cannot do either of the other two methods and only have your microwave to fall back on, do this.

1. How Long Will This Take?

Microwaving a leftover steak doesn’t take long: two to three minutes will do the trick. Any longer and you will have a tough time chewing the dehydrated meat.

2. Temperature & How to Do It

If you like your steak whole, here’s the bad news: you need to slice it up first. This is to ensure that the meat will be evenly reheated.

Place all of the steak slices onto a microwave-safe plate and spritz some water inside. Microwaving can rapidly drain away the meat’s liquid, so putting some water on the plate will keep the meat moist.

Wrap up the plate in saran wrap, put it into the microwave, and close the door.

Set the microwave to medium heat. Any higher and you risk overheating the steak. But don’t set it too low, either. You don’t want the exterior to toughen and turn your steak chewy before the core even gets the chance to properly warm up.

Just like using an air fryer, cook the steak in short bursts. Each burst should take between one to two minutes. Maintain the bursts until your thermometer reads a safe 110°F to 130°F.

3. What Else Can I Reheat With This Method?

Burst heating is a reheating method worth mastering, since it is also used to reheat other heat-sensitive meats. It is one of the acceptable ways to reheat seafood, as featured in our guide on how to reheat crab legs.

Since crab legs are far more sensitive than steak, if it works for this dish, it will work on steak as long as you’re careful.

How to Reheat Rare Steak

If you have a leftover piece of rare steak, use the Sous-Vide method. With this method, the steak will be able to retain some of the original flavor and consistency.

First, take the steak out of the refrigerator and immediately lather a layer of salted butter on top.

How to Reheat Rare Steak

Once that’s finished, put the steak into a resealable plastic bag. Squeeze the bag to push all of the air within the bag out.

Let the steak sit for about 20 to 30 minutes in the open until it is down to room temperature.

While the steak is airing, bring out a large pot, fill it with water, and heat it until it reaches a warm temperature of between 120°F and 130°F. The water should be warm enough that steam visibly rises from the pot. Make sure that the water doesn’t boil.

Immerse the steak in the steaming water. Keep the meat away from the center of the pot and near the outer edges. The gentler heat near the edges will ensure that your steak won’t overheat while it’s being cooked.

Lift the bag out of the water occasionally and check the temperature of the meat to see if it’s warm enough. Remove it from the pot when it is .

If you want to enjoy your steak rare, that should do the trick. However, if you want it to be extra crispy, you can sear it on a skillet to attain the desired texture.

Conclusion

As you can see, a leftover steak is still perfectly edible and enjoyable if you got the knowhow. We hope this guide on how to reheat steak has saved you an extra meal.

Besides steak reheating techniques, we also went into the ins-and-outs of reheating other kinds of food. Here are a few of them:

  • How to Reheat Rice: rice is an incredibly filling food that’s enjoyed in every corner of the globe. There are more than a few reheating techniques that you can use if you got some leftovers from the day before. All of which you can find in this guide.
  • The Best Way to Reheat Fries: delectably crisp and golden, fries are the comfort food of a great many people. No need to throw it away if you can’t finish it up in time. You can just reheat it and enjoy it again.
  • The Best Way to Reheat Mashed Potatoes: mashed potatoes are a very popular side-dish. Its soft, creamy texture can complement just about any food out there, including steak!
  • Can You Reheat Corn on the Cob? — Best Reheating Methods: it’s not very often that you can enjoy corn on the cob. However, once you do, you’re in for a great feast. Corn — similar to rice — is highly fulfilling. Its natural sweetness will also bring another dimension of flavor to your steak.
  • The Best Way to Reheat Lasagna: rich parmesan, soft lasagna noodles, and a well-prepared meat sauce all make for a divine gustatory experience. Of course, when paired with a good cut of steak will elevate your dinner greatly.
Luna Regina

A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen. Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it. Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.

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