Why You Should Always Rest Your Steak After Cooking
Resting your steak might not be common knowledge to everyone, but if you love steaks, we highly recommend that you understand why you should rest your steak.
Resting your steak might be a game-changer. As someone who has been cooking for a while, I can reassure you that resting your steak might be a game changer for some.
The rule about steak is the softer it is, the less it's cooked, and vice-versa. Cooking the perfect steak for your taste takes a lot of practice and hard work.
There's nothing more satisfying than knowing when your steak is done or not, the guesswork, the preparation, and the patience that comes with it. Preparing the heated meat, starting from seasoning to heating, is a proper art form. Although some use a thermometer, it is always better to learn how to heat your steak the best way you like it.
It is always better to season your steak before heating it. Avoid adding too much salt and pepper to avoid over-seasoning.
Does resting your steak really work?
Jumping into the steak with a clean fork and knife after cooking defeats the purpose. The reason why you need to rest your steak is that the juices inside the steak need time to redistribute; cutting the steak with a fork or a knife right away will leave the juice overflowing, leaving you with a dry brown steak.
Always keep in mind that residual heat that stays on your steak will continue to heat it even after you remove it from the pan. Let's say your desired temperature is 55ºC/130ºF, and then it might be best to remove your steak within a few degrees south. This way, you will get your desired temperature.
When you rest your steak, the center gets supersaturated with the liquid fresh on the steak. Resting the steak allows all that liquid to be forced out to the edges back to the center and then migrate back to the edges.
Covered rest or uncovered rest?
The amount of time the meat rests will influence the amount of cooking carried over. in other words, more heat transferred will determine if the middle of the steak will be cooked or not. If you leave your steak uncovered, there will be a great chance of losing the heat, making your steak a little bit chilly, depending on the room's temperature. On the other hand, if a steak is kept warm in a low oven or a heat lamp, it may overcook the meat. That's why we always suggest covering the steak while resting.
Covering a Steak after you finish cooking is easy. All you have to do is cover your steak with aluminum foil in a tent-like fashion. This keeps the meat warm as the meat's internal temperature peaks.
How long should you rest a steak?
Resting a steak depends on the size; while we recommend resting an average steak for 5 to 10 minutes and 10 to 15 Minutes for larger meats, Chef Yankel said in an interview that eight minutes is ideal for an average-size steak while it should be 15 minutes for more significant cuts of beef.
In an experiment, Kenji López-Alt cooked six almost identical steaks to an internal temperature of 125 °F. He then took them off the heat, sliced each one in half at 2.5-minute intervals, and put the sliced pieces on plates to catch any juices that leaked out.
The results were shocking; while the steak that had rested for 10 minutes had almost little liquid on the plate, the steak that had been cut right away had a sizable pool of liquid left on the plate.
Science behind resting
According to Kenji López-Alt, the rationale for resting meat is that moment a piece of steak contacts a hot pan or grill, the internal liquids are driven toward the center. Therefore, the steak's juices would have time to redistribute if the steak was given time to rest equally.
The simple explanation is: the meat holds the juices based on the temperature. Basically, the higher the temperature, the tighter the juice will blend into the muscle fibers of the steak.
After the steak has been cut, the juices will spill out if the muscle fibers are tight. In contrast, the steak's juices can remain inside when it has rested and the temperature of the meat fibers has cooled.
It depends on how you want your steak to be cooked, we all have our personal preferences, but we really suggest that you experiment with how long you want to rest your steak; if you want a big juicy steak, then we suggest you start resting your steak in 10 minutes at around 125°F where the steak is given a chance to suck up the juices from the center to the edges, in this way the center of the steak has cooled down to around 120°F which causes it to widen a little bit. Once you cut open the steak, you will see that the liquid will be even and thinly distributed through the steak.
But you can also try resting the steak for 5 Minutes, this way, the center of the steak is still at 125°F, but the outermost layers of the meat have cooled to about 145°F (62.8°C). At this point, the muscle fibers have somewhat relaxed and have widened. The act of stretching causes a pressure difference between the ends and the middle of the muscle fiber, which causes some of the liquid to move from the middle to the margins. As a result, the center of the steak has less liquid. Even if you cut it open now, much less fluid will leak out than before. We encourage our readers and hope that you enjoy cooking wagyu beef steaks that are fit for your tastebuds.