The Correct Way To Reheat A Frozen Cooked Steak

cooked steak with sides
cooked steak with sides - Lisovskaya/Getty Images

Sometimes when you nail a delicious steak recipe, it's easy to get carried away and cook more than you can finish. To save that tasty cut of meat longer than a couple of days, the freezer is the way to go. Then, if your steak is already sliced into bite-sized pieces, simply let it thaw in the fridge for a few hours before sizzling it on the stovetop. Reheating a thick, whole piece, however, is a different story. Do it wrong, and what was once tender, juicy meat will end up with a dry, rubbery outside and a frosty inside. To avoid that disaster, follow a two-step method: Warm the meat over low heat, and then revive the crust in a cast-iron pan over high heat.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit before cooking the steak on a wire rack atop a baking sheet for about half an hour. Keep a thermometer handy: It's done cooking when it reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, heat a cast iron skillet over high heat with a high smoke point oil — avocado or canola oil are good choices, but regular vegetable oil works great, too. Sear each side of the steak for a minute or longer if you fancy a crispy crust. Then, let the steak rest a bit over the rim of a bowl so the juices won't pool underneath the steak and make the crust soggy, just like you would with a new piece. Your leftover steak will be as juicy as new!

Read more: Your Guide To The Different Cuts Of Steak

Pro Tip: 2-Step Thawing

steak seared in cast iron skillet
steak seared in cast iron skillet - uliasomay/Shutterstock

While raw steak can, per the USDA, and should, according to some experienced chefs, be cooked straight out of the freezer to prevent overcooking the inside, it's not a good idea to use this shortcut on cooked meat. Your frozen cooked steak needs plenty of time to thaw and rest before that strip in the middle starts to soften; only then can it reheat evenly without drying out.

First, take your cooked steak out of the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge. An average-sized piece will thaw within 24 hours, but give it a generous 48 hours if it's a particularly thick cut. Don't worry about leaving it in the fridge that long — leftover meat can safely hang out there for three to four days while it thaws. Give it a check if you're unsure: When the ice crystals on the surface are gone and you can bend the meat without resistance, it's fully thawed. Take your steak out of the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour — but not more than two hours because we don't want it to become a breeding ground for nasty germs. Now, your meat should be soft, slightly cool, and ready to be reheated!

Read the original article on Tasting Table.