How Long Should a Steak Rest After Grilling?

Nothing beats a deliciously grilled steak on the weekends. Plus, when you cook it the right way, you get to enjoy things you have never experienced before. With this said, do you know how long should a steak rest after grilling?

How Long Should a Steak Rest After Grilling?

The ideal rest time for an evenly cooked steak is 10-12 minutes. However, the duration increases with the overall size and thickness of the meat. For instance, the ideal rest time increases to 18-20 minutes for a grilled steak of decent size.

I’ve been grilling for years, and have experimented with lots of tricks that can undoubtedly multiply the taste by many folds. One such thing that I explored over the years is what I call “the buffer time” which allows for excellent absorption of juices besides enhancing tenderness. Follow this guide to learn more about these tricks in detail!

Check out these 8 Best Pellet Grills For Steaks Especially for perfect cooking.

What Is the Proper Way of Resting a Grilled Steak?

Did you know that all your effort and patience for steakhouse-quality steaks go wasted if you do not rest your steak properly? Yes, you heard it right! 

You have to follow certain guidelines when it comes to resting steaks properly to get the desired results. Here is a complete breakdown of what to do to get the most out of this resting activity.

Step 1: Take Out Your Steak From The Grill After Turning It Off. 

Remember not to be haste in this step. It is ideal to check the status of your cooked meat before taking it out. By status, I mean you should ensure the meat has reached the desired level of preparedness. 

Try not to take out steaks that are undercooked. Otherwise, the taste won’t be as good as you would have liked.

Step 2: Place Your Meat on the Cutting Board.

After taking out the steaks from the grill, it’s time to place them on a surface that can help them retain juices. For this purpose, I’ve utilized the cutting board several times, and it gets the job done without involving any hassles. 

Be careful while placing cooked meat on the board. You need to practice extra precautionary measures if you are a newbie.

Step 3: Cover the Steaks With Aluminum Foil (Optional)

Once you have successfully transferred your cooked dish to a cutting board, it’s time to cover it by creating an aluminum tent. This small aluminum cover will prevent your steaks from drying out completely as it helps retain heat.

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Step 4: Wait for Some Time, and You Are Good to Go!

After completing step 3, it’s time to take a 10-12 minute breather and let the meat rest there during this time. 10-12 minutes is sufficient for a medium-sized steak. However, if you have cooked a mighty one, it is better to let it rest for at least 18-20 minutes.

Once the prescribed time is over, you can remove the aluminum tent created in step 3, and start serving the dish after slicing it properly.

After grilling steaks for the first time, it is common for a newbie to wonder why the heck they need to rest them. Does resting them really make a difference? 

In the following section of the blog, I’ll walk you through some points that will help you understand why resting a steak is an excellent hack that can transform your grilling experience.

Why Do I Need to Rest Steak After Grilling?

Once you understand how a high cooking temperature affects the internal components of meat, it will be easier for you to know why you need to let the steak rest. 

High Temperatures Cause Juice to Move from Edges to Centers

Why Do I Need to Rest Steak After Grilling?

As you heat the steak at high-temperature settings, the internal fibers contract. As a result, all the juices present in the meat start moving towards the center. 

It means juices there will be minimal to no juice content at the edges if you serve the steak right after taking it out from the grill.

Juices Travel Back When the Temperature Comes Down

However, once you rest your cooked steaks for some time, the reverse reaction takes place. The fibers will start expanding gradually as a result of reduced temperature. And, moisture in the center travels back to the place where it comes from initially. 

Why? Usually, the reduced pressure at the center allows for a quicker movement of moisture from the center to the edges. As a result, there will be no leaking of juices upon slicing. And, the grilled steak will taste evenly throughout.

So, if you want to preserve the natural juices of meat, retain moisture, and enjoy the tenderness of the cooked steak, it is ideal to rest the steak after grilling. However, you need to follow the guidelines regarding the timings of the resting process. If you don’t, the cooked steak won’t produce the results you want.

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Let’s see what are some tips that can help you while you rest your steak after grilling. 

Resting Steaks: Some Useful Tips to Know

Here are some guidelines to consider in this regard.

1. Over Resting Can Dry Out Your Steak

One of the main problems associated with this resting process is the drying out of food when you rest it for too long. Yes, there is always an optimal rest time for a grilled steak. 

If you keep resting it for too long without removing the aluminum cover, you’ll have a completely dried-out steak that may not be something that you like. Moreover, I don’t see any point in eating a completely cold steak after putting in a lot of hard work. After all, BBQs should have an appropriate level of taste and deliciousness.

2. Using an Aluminum Foil Can Prevent Heat Loss

The main idea behind resting your cooked steak is to allow for redistribution of juices for a better taste and excellent tenderness coupled with adequate internal moisture. 

However, when you rest the steak for too long, or if a steak is too thick, it is ideal to utilize aluminum foil. It will prevent excessive heat loss and preserve the internal temperature, preventing your steak from becoming too cold to eat. 

3. Resting Does Not Mean A Sudden Drop In Temperature

You must bear in mind that even after taking your steaks out from the grill, the internal temperature of the meat will increase slightly before decreasing. 

I’ve typically noticed an increase of up to 5-6 degrees before it starts dropping when you rest. Therefore, it is ideal to keep this sight increase in the temperature in your mind when estimating the level of your food’s doneness.

Read Also: 6 Tips For Grilling Fish


10-12 minutes of rest time is sufficient for any medium-sized steak, while thicker cuts of meat may require as long as 20 minutes to get the job done. Adjust this resting time according to the overall thickness and weight of your meat. With this method, you can eat juicy steaks without having to visit a commercial restaurant.

Happy Grilling! 

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