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How to Reheat Steak Without Overcooking It

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2012

The best path to delicious, reheated steak is the same one we used to cook it in the first place.

The best method we have found for cooking steaks is to slowly warm them in the oven and then sear them in a hot skillet. This produces medium-rare meat from edge to edge, with a well-browned crust. Could this same method work for leftovers?

The answer is yes. When we rewarmed leftover cooked steaks in a low oven and then briefly seared them, the results were remarkably good. The reheated steaks were only slightly less juicy than freshly cooked ones, and their crusts were actually more crisp.

Here’s the method: Place leftover steaks on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and warm them on the middle rack of a 250-degree oven until the steaks register 110 degrees (roughly 30 minutes for 1 1⁄2-inch-thick steaks, but timing will vary according to thickness and size). Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until smoking. Sear the steaks on both sides until crisp, 60 to 90 seconds per side. Let the steaks rest for five minutes before serving. After resting, the centers should be at medium-rare temperature (125 to 130 degrees) when temped with an instant-read thermometer.

REWARMED—BUT NOT RUINED: Our method for reheating steak leaves it so juicy and pink that it’s hard to distinguish it from freshly cooked meat.