Last Updated on September 26, 2023 by Shari Mason
As a seasoned cook with years of experience, I know how important it is to bring meat to room temperature before cooking, especially steak.
However, sometimes you may need more time and quickly get your steak to room temperature.
I’ll share my firsthand experience and tips on how to get a steak to room temperature quickly without compromising its flavor and texture.
How Can You Quickly Bring Steak To Room Temperature?
One of the quickest ways to bring steak to room temperature is to place it in a resealable plastic bag and submerge it in warm water for 15-20 minutes.
The water should be warm but not hot enough to cook the steak.
You can also place the steak on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap, then microwave it for 30 seconds to a minute on low power.
“I eat steak primarily. That’s pretty much what my diet consists of. Sometimes I supplement that with other steaks.”– Jocko Willink, American Author
Another method is to place the steak  on a wire rack and let it sit in a warm, dry place, such as on top of the oven, for about 10-15 minutes.
Avoid using high heat sources like the microwave or oven to warm up the steak, as this can cause the outer layer to cook before the inside is at room temperature.
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Why Is It Important To Bring Steak To Room Temperature?
Bringing a steak to room temperature before cooking is crucial to ensure that it cooks evenly, producing a delicious, juicy steak.
When meat is cooked straight from the fridge, the outer layer of the steak cooks much faster than the center, leading to an unevenly cooked steak.
Allowing the steak to come to room temperature for 30-45 minutes before cooking allows the heat to penetrate the meat evenly, resulting in a perfectly cooked steak with a juicy and tender center.
It’s essential to remember that leaving the meat out for too long can increase the risk of bacterial growth and foodborne illness, so it’s crucial to be mindful of the time and temperature to ensure food safety.
How Long Does It Take For Steak To Come To Room Temperature Naturally?
The amount of time it takes for a steak to come to room temperature naturally can vary depending on several factors, such as the thickness and initial temperature of the steak and the ambient room temperature.
Generally, a steak usually takes around 30-45 minutes to reach room temperature if left out on the counter.
However, if you’re in a hurry, you can speed up the process by placing the steak in a plastic bag and submerging it in lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes.
“Patience is the secret ingredient when it comes to preparing steak. Allow it to gracefully dance with the ambient temperature, ensuring a succulent masterpiece that will melt in your mouth with every bite.”Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice
It’s important to note that you should never use hot water or leave the steak out for too long to prevent the risk of bacterial growth and foodborne illness.
Risks Of Not Bringing Steak To Room Temperature Before Cooking
- Uneven cooking: When you cook a cold steak straight from the refrigerator, the outer edges of the meat will start cooking much faster than the center. This can result in a steak that is overcooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside.
- Tough texture: Cooking a cold steak can cause the muscle fibers to contract and toughen, leading to a more rigid texture.
- Longer cooking time: If you don’t bring the steak to room temperature  before cooking, it will take longer. The exterior may become overcooked when the center reaches the desired temperature.
- Food safety concerns: Leaving the steak out too long at room temperature can increase the risk of bacterial growth and foodborne illness.
Benefits Of Bringing Steak To Room Temperature
- Even cooking: Bringing a steak to room temperature before cooking will cook it more evenly. Cooking a cold steak straight from the refrigerator causes the outer edges to cook faster than the center, leading to an unevenly cooked steak.
- Faster cooking time: When a steak is at room temperature, it will cook faster than a cold steak. This can save time in the kitchen, especially if you’re cooking for a large group.
- Tender texture: Cooking a steak at room temperature produces a more tender texture. When meat is cooked cold, the muscle fibers contract and toughen, creating a tougher texture.
- Juicier steak: When cooked at room temperature, the juices inside the meat are distributed more evenly, resulting in a juicier steak.
- Better sear: When a steak is seared, the high heat creates a delicious crust on the exterior. A room-temperature steak will sear more evenly and develop a better crust than a cold steak.
Can I put a steak in the microwave to get to room temperature?
No. It would help not to put a steak in the microwave to bring it to room temperature as it will only cause the outer layer to cook.
How long should a steak rest after cooking?
A steak should rest after cooking for 5-10 minutes before slicing or serving. This allows the juices inside the steak to redistribute, resulting in a more evenly cooked and juicier steak.
If you need to bring a steak to room temperature quickly, you can use a few methods.
Submerging the steak in warm water, using sous vide machine, or preheating your oven to the lowest temperature are all effective ways to quickly bring the steak to room temperature.
However, it’s essential to be mindful of the time and temperature to prevent the risk of bacterial growth and foodborne illness.
While these methods can help you quickly bring a steak to room temperature, it’s generally recommended to let it come to room temperature naturally for the best results.
Regardless of your chosen method, allowing the steak to reach room temperature before cooking will result in a more evenly cooked, tender, and juicy steak.
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