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Sep 7, 2006 12:50 AM

Preserving the heat: Steak serving temperature

Partly inspired by a discussion in a Mastro's thread on the LA board, I'm wondering if people have any good solutions to the dilemma of letting a steak rest after cooking vs. serving it while still very hot, especially considering the limitations of home cooking. (I'm sure a steak cooked at 1800 degrees holds its heat longer than those I grill at home.)

Anyway, I like my steak hot but also don't like ruining it by cutting into it seconds after I take it off the grill. Any suggestions?

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  1. resting a steak doesn't have to mean letting it rest on a uncovered plate. I tend to double wrap the steak in heavy foil and let it set a few minutes while I finish the sides and grill the bread.

    The steak will still be plenty hot, even after a 5 minute rest.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kelli2006

      the foil wd tend to make it keep cooking even more, no?

      1. re: tuqueboy

        I take into account the carry-over effects and pull it from the grill before it has reached the desired level of doneness(medium). If you let it rest too long it will start to steam and lose the grilled crust, but that is not something that my BF tends to notice.
        He tends to prefer a dinosaur sized T-bone cooked medium-rare, and I will use grill a small piece of flat iron steak that has been marinated in red wine for myself.

        The tenting idea is a great tip. I should have mentioned that.

    2. Your steak still will be hot after a resting period. During the resting period, the internal temperature of a piece of meat (i.e. steak, chop. roast, etc.) will actually INCREASE from the residual heat. This is called the carryover cooking effect. The bigger the piece of meat and the higher the cooking temperature result -- the greater the carryover cooking effect. This can be seen when you remove a roast from the oven and leave a probe thermometer in while the roast rests. I've seen a roast rise as much as 15 degrees during its resting period (15 minutes).

      The internal temperature of a steak will rise less than a roast (from my experience about 5-7 degrees) and the resting period should be shorter (about 7-8 minutes).

      1. You shouldn't let it rest long enough for it to get cold. For a single steak, I'd take it off the heat, cover loosely with foil and let it rest for only 5 or so minutes. When I cover it, if I even go through the effort to cover, I make a crease in the foil rest it ontop of the steak like a tent so the foil isn't actually touching the meat. That is a sufficient amount of time for a steak to redistribute the juices but not so long that it will begin to get cold.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ESNY

          This is what I do, too. Tenting helps minimize the heat loss, but also helps preserve the crust that would otherwise soften if the steak were to be wrapped in foil.

        2. Also helps to serve on a plate warmed in the oven.


          1. I let my steak, which is usually 1" or more, rest a good 10 MINUTES before I serve it and it still is at a good temperature.