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Steak "resting" done correctly??

I've been reading a lot about letting steaks "rest" after cooking, to help hold the juices. This all makes good sense to me (I'm obviously just getting started with grilling the RIGHT way). But I have a question.

Most of the time, we are grilling Ribeyes on a gas grill. After I get the steaks the right temperature for the people involved, I'll stack the steaks on a plate, and get thim to the kitchen, where plates are being prepared to take to the table. However, if I give the steaks a full 5 minutes (which is what I understand to be a good "resting" time), the steaks will manage to get a little cool, and not quite as tasty as a fully hot piece of well cooked meat.

My dad had "steak plates" years ago that were metal plates that they warmed in the oven while the meat was cooking, and the steaks were served on them. I think that would actually cook the meat some more, as they would sizzle when put on the hot plates.

Anyway, what do you guys do to keep the meat at a good temperature while they rest?

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  1. I think that the concept of "resting" is a bit overblown as far as the need to seal in the juices; Now, with a roast that's been in the oven for an hour or several hours, it will still remain hot while resting for 10 minutes; on the other hand, with an approx. 1" steak, it will not remain hot. Honestly, I don't believe the finer steakhouses cook your steak and then let the steak "rest" for 5 or 10 minutes before serving you, they serve you right away (although it may have been sitting under a heat lamp). On the other hand, you could try letting the steak "rest" in a warm oven (200 degrees) and the steak really shouldn't cook much more but should remain hot.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bakerboyz

      Yeah, I mostly agree. I think if you're talking about a thick steak -- somewhere around 1.5" -- you can let it rest for 3-5 minutes on a warmed plate and it shouldn't get cold. The other option would be to cook it about 5 degrees cooler than you like it and then rest it in that 200 degree oven for 5 minutes or so.

      1. re: porkphat

        Great ideas. I've never intentionally "rested" a steak (and we do usually get 1" or so steaks), but I have noticed that a lot of the juice from the meat ends up in my plate...and I have to sop it up with my garlic bread. That's not so bad, but I'd rather more of it stays in the meat!

      2. re: bakerboyz

        On the contrary, most fine restaurants rest their steaks. In fact, the best thing to do is to cook the steak half a degree of doneness below the ordered temperature and then set the steak on a rack to rest for 10 or 15 minutes. When the diner has finished their appetizers, then flip the steak back on the grill for another 10-20 seconds per side, and then plate.

      3. I don't need my steak to be sizzling hot...room temp. or slightly above is fine. As opined upthread...warm some plates and reserve your steaks on those.

        1. I stack 'em up, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and rest them 10 min. They stay warm under the foil and are nice and juicy.

          1. Tent the steaks with aluminum foil. Don't let it get in contact with the steak or you'll soften up the crust. This should keep it warmer while letting it rest.

            1. The idea behind resting isn't to seal in the juices but to let them redistribute from the interior, where the heat has driven them, to the exterior. In theory, this makes for juicier meat all around and reduces the amount of juice lost when the meat is carved or cut.

              As BG says, tent loosely with foil (loosely because tightly would hold in too much moisture and soften the crust) to help retain the heat. I also usually place the steak on a cooling rack over a platter; the steak doesn't soak in the expressed juices (saving that crust again) and it's easy to salvage the juices for drizzling on the meat once cut.

              You may find, as many have, that steak tastes even better when less than sizzling hot.

              2 Replies
              1. re: carswell

                What carswell said. Also, if you warm your plates to the point that the steaks sizzle on them, the plates are too hot.

                1. re: ricepad

                  And how does one go about eating a sizzling hot steak anyway? Which is why I've always found those Ruth's Chris steaks rather annoying.

              2. No reason you can't earm ceramic plates, though I usually only the "warm" oven setting.

                1. I like to let a 1" steak rest for 5 minutes, tented with crumpled aluminum foil. The tenting helps the meat cool slowly, allowing the least shock change to the structure as the myoglobin juices find their way back into the fibers.

                  Then, at the exact moment of service, I'll set it on a hot cast iron fajita plate (hot, not just warm), let it sizzle for 5 seconds, then flip it and let it continue to sizzle on the other side as it sits in front of us. (This process does not "re-cook" the steak or last long enough to penetrate the center). There is something deep and atavistic about the sizzle.

                  Here's a pretty concise "resting chart":

                  http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/mea...

                  Here's the plates, with scalloped wood holder:

                  http://www.shopworldkitchen.com/index...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FoodFuser

                    FoodFuser,

                    That is a really good idea. I don't have a fajita plate, but I do have a cast iron griddle that I heat when we have fajitas, so we get that nice sizzle when presented. That with a cork trivet underneath does the trick. I'll have to remember to use it for steaks next time.

                    BTW, I saw on ATK that the pre-seasoned Lodge cast irons are an excellent buy and work right off the bat!