How Long to Leave Steak Out Before Cooking?


If you’re wondering how long to leave steak out before cooking or how to cook a perfect steak, this article is for you.

There are many theories and opinions about these and many other questions about the preparation of the perfectly cooked steak. But how you are going to prepare and cook your steak depends only on your preferences and how you like to eat the steak.

There are few simple things you should do to get that perfectly cooked steak at your table. And in this article, we are going to write something about each of them.

First, let me answer the question from the title of this article. You should leave your steak out before cooking for about 20-30 minutes.

How Long to Rest Steak?

To rest steak doesn’t mean that the steak is tired. Thus, you should leave it to rest. What it means is that the steak should be left to rest before and after cooking.

Before cooking you should leave the steak for 20-30 minutes to reach room temperature so it is cooked more evenly. After cooking, the steak is usually left to rest for 5-10 minutes so the juices are all returned all over the steak.

How Long Can Steak Sit Out Before Cooking?

If you want the steak to cook evenly and brown better it is important to take it out from the refrigerator. Leave it on the counter for 20-30 minutes to reach room temperature. If the steak is warmer it will start to cook faster and brown better.

However, if the steak is cold and you put it to cook, it will cook outside and remain undercooked in the middle. When you have a bigger piece of steak or the room temperature is lower you should leave the steak to sit out for about 1-2 hours before cooking.

How Long Should a Steak Rest After Cooking?


Leaving the steak to rest after cooking for 5-10 minutes is important if you want it to be juicier. When you are resting the steak after cooking it is also cooling and bringing all the juices from the inside to its surface.

Because the steak is still cooking few minutes after you take it out from the heat you can leave it on the counter uncovered to cool. If you don’t know when to remove the steak from the heat you can use an instant-read thermometer.

Just insert the thermometer into the steak and when the temperature is 125 degrees take the steak from the heat and you will have medium-rare steak.

For rare steak, the thermometer will show 120 degrees whereas for medium steak it will show 135 degrees. When you are going to take away the steak from the heat depends on how you like to eat your steak.

How Long to Let Steak Rest Before Cutting?

Once your steak is done, you should not cut it right away. Otherwise, it will be dry, tough, or chewy. So, always let it rest for a few minutes before cutting. You should let bigger steaks rest longer than the smaller ones.

This is very important because when you are cooking a steak the juices are all taken to the center of the steak. If you cut the steak while it is still hot, all the juices will run all over and the steak will be dry and less flavorful.

However, when the steak is let to rest all the juices will be spread all over the steak. If you have a bigger piece of steak, it will need more time to rest before cutting. For example, if your steak is 300 grams it should rest for 3 minutes.

How Long Can You Leave Raw Steak Out Before Cooking?

You can leave raw steak out before cooking for 2 hours. However, if the room temperature is higher than 32°C you can leave raw steak out before cooking for one hour.

Because food poisoning bacteria is growing fast at temperatures from 5°C to 60°C it is better to keep the raw steak at a temperature lower than 4°C.

You can also keep the steak in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

If you want your steak to have less moisture you can dry brine it in your refrigerator. Add salt to the steak and you can leave it in the refrigerator for a few days or use it the next day.

Dry brining will reduce the moisture from the steak and make it juicer.

How Long Can Raw Steak Sit at Room Temp?

Raw steak can sit at room temperature for 2 hours. If you leave it for over 2 hours at room temperature the bacteria will start to grow and the steak will be unsafe to eat. So, it is better to keep the steak in the refrigerator at a temperature lower than 4°C. 

Final Words

We all want to eat perfectly prepared steak. You just have to follow few simple rules and you will enjoy a perfectly-cooked steak like the ones prepared in fancy restaurants.

You will need a good piece of steak, grill, cast iron skillet, oil, salt, pepper, butter, tongs, and a thermometer.

Coat both sides of the steak with oil and add salt and pepper. Let the steak sit for about 15 minutes to absorb the salt and pepper. Preheat the grill and the cast iron skillet. You can spray some oil but it is not necessary because the steak is already covered with oil.

When the skillet is heated, just put the steak and cook it for 2 minutes on each side. Add a piece of butter on top of the steak and place it on the grill or in the preheated oven.

If you don’t like your steak to have a buttery taste you don’t have to add butter. Check the temperature of the meat and when it is cooked as you wish let it rest for about 5 minutes. Cut the steak and enjoy.

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