Sliced cooked steak with sauce and rosemary on a wooden plate

Avoid reheating steak in the microwave

Perhaps you’ve treated yourself to a night out at a fancy steakhouse, where you ordered an expensive chunk of meat cooked to medium-rare perfection. Or maybe you grilled a tomahawk at home, then seared it at high temperatures to give it a beautiful crust. However you originally procured your cooked steak, it’s likely that you put some cash or effort into it, leaving you with some tastier-than-normal leftovers. And when it comes time to reheat your steak entrée the next day, the last thing you want to do is mess it up.

If you want your steak to taste as delicious as it possibly can after it was first cooked, avoid warming it up in the microwave. These appliances are infamous for leaving food with hot and cold spots since they don’t evenly distribute energy during reheating. But beyond that, nuking your steak isn’t exactly a delicate way to warm it up. In the microwave, that carefully seared crust and soft, pink center can quickly turn dry, brown, and tough. Just as you would never cook your meat in this device in the first place, leave the microwave out of the reheating process in the days that follow.

How to reheat steak properly

Close-up of cooked steak in a metal pan

While you should avoid using the microwave to reheat your steak, there are a few better ways to do so. To preserve its original taste and texture as much as possible, turn to your stove or oven. Warming your leftovers in these ways does take more effort than nuking them, but not as much as cooking fresh meat — and steak is a fancier entrée worth a little more of your time, after all. 

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If you’re going with the oven, you’ll want to keep the temperatures low, between 250 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Plop your steak on a wire rack over a baking sheet, so the air can warm the meat evenly on all sides. Then, once the center comes to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, move the steak into a hot skillet for a quick sear on each side. You can also reheat your beef entirely on the stove, which may be a more efficient method since you can accomplish the whole process in one pan. 

You’ll want to stick to medium heat in this case and warm it on both sides until it reaches your desired doneness: 120 degrees Fahrenheit for rare, 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium, and 150 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-well. No matter which method you go with, let your meat rest for up to 10 minutes (just like you did when you first made it) and it will turn out warm, juicy, and succulent.

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