What’s the secret to a juicy steak? Resting. It’s one of the most overlooked, must-do steps in cooking a great steak. Ironically, it’s also the easiest step that requires no work on the chef’s part. All meat needs to rest. Let’s talk about why and how long should steak rest.
Have you ever cut into a steak and had juices fill your plate? If yes, you know first-hand why it’s important to rest steak.
Letting steak rest is the biggest secret to having a juicy steak. All meat needs to rest.
Why does steak need to rest?
Meat is a muscle and it has two main parts – protein and water.
When meat is raw, it’s about 70-75% water. If you’ve ever cut into raw meat before, you know that you barely lose any liquid.
When steak is cooked, the muscle fibers contract because of the increased temperature. Then, the water is squeezed out of the fibers and the liquid moves towards the center of the steak.
If you cut meat before it rests, the juice goes directly on your plate because the juices haven’t had a chance to be reabsorbed by the meat yet.
However, if you give the steak a chance to rest a little after moving it from the heat, the fibers relax and widen. This lets the juice and moisture to redistribute throughout the meat. As a side note, the process of fibers widening and then relaxing also explains why you can judge if a steak is done by touching it with your finger or with tongs — the firmer the meat, the more done it is.[Read more…]