The Best Way To Reheat Leftover Steak Without Overcooking It

Pricey yet delicious, steaks are a great food for special occasions — or busy Tuesday nights, just because you feel like it. Whether grilled at home in the backyard or cooked to perfection at a steakhouse, steaks often serve as the centerpiece of a feast that commemorates life's major milestones, especially when surrounded by a variety of sides to refresh your palate.

Often, one of the most common problems after a steak feast is how to work with leftovers. Expensive to purchase, leftover steak from the previous night's dinner should not be wasted, but you might not want to consume it at room temperature alongside reheated side dishes. However, since the steak is already cooked to your desired doneness, you do not want to risk turning it into an overcooked puck of meat by cooking it all over again — so how do you bring the steak to a warm temperature without cooking it again? The answer lies in the oven, which can reheat your steak slowly, preserving the right doneness. In a nutshell, low and slow is the way to go.

Tips to reheat steak without ruining it

To properly reheat a steak without ruining it requires an oven and some patience. Retrieve your leftover steak at least 20 minutes prior to reheating so it can come up to room temperature. If you have a wire rack like those you use to roast vegetable slices or cool cookies, place one over a sheet pan and place the steak on the rack. The wire rack will allow hot air to circulate under the steak for even reheating, but it is perfectly fine to reheat a steak without it.

Preheat an oven to a very low temperature, somewhere between 250 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature is reached, place the leftover steaks on the middle rack and let it reheat gently. If you do not have a wire rack to rest your steak on, flip it after 10 to 15 minutes to ensure even exposure to heat. The leftovers should be back to the right temperature somewhere between 20-30 minutes, with the steaks registering just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

More reheating tips

By using the oven to reheat steak, your leftovers will taste just as good as when it was served the first time. However, while the oven method can help you reheat unsliced steaks, sliced pieces will definitely overcook in the oven. Instead, consider using sliced steaks for other purposes, such as a steak sandwich with sharp cheddar, hot mustard, and sliced red onions on crusty bread. Or consider using the sliced meat as a topping for salad, tossing together red onions, tomatoes, hunks of blue cheese, and romaine lettuce.

Since you are already using the oven, you should also consider using the oven's heat to reheat your sides as well. The oven will bring up the temperature slowly, so you will not risk breaking some of the cream-based sauces that are common steakhouse sides, such as creamed spinach. The oven will also prevent fried side dishes — such as fries — from getting soggy, which tends to happen when reheated in the microwave.