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Having read this question I am persuaded that resting meat is good for its flavour. But if the meat has a good temperature straight after it's been cooked, it seems as though it will be too cold after resting it for a few minutes.

How do you rest meat in such a way that it is not too cold for eating?

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Thanks to carry over cooking, meat is actually rising in internal temperature (getting hotter on the inside) during the resting period if it's come right off a grill or out of a pan. – Preston Fitzgerald Jun 29 '14 at 20:04

12 Answers 12

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Straight after it comes out of the pan it will usually be too hot to eat. Regardless of resting or not, you can't fully taste things which are too hot, they need to come down to a comfortable temperature before you eat them.

Some things you can do to stop the meat being too cold when you serve it:

  • You can rest the meat wrapped in foil, this will stop it from getting too cool too quickly if you are not ready to serve once its had the time to rest.
  • you can rest it and then warm it again before you eat it, either under a hot grill for a little, or in an oven.
  • serve it with a hot sauce which will warm the meat
  • serve it on a warmed plate which will stop it cooling more too quickly on the table

Although I think you are worrying too much about nothing IMHO. Even once rested the meat will still be at a good temperature, especially as you have not cut it yet and most of the heat will be retained in the middle of the meat.

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wrapping with foil can result in it steaming and mess up a good sear -- this isn't so bad for slow-cooked things like barbeque, but might not be ideal for steaks. – Joe Jul 22 '10 at 11:44
@joe, thats very true. Something to bear in mind. – Sam Holder Jul 22 '10 at 11:50
You cover just about everything, one addition I would add to the list is don't rest the meat where there is a breeze. I have rested meat near and open window and it has cooled too much. – Jeremy French Jul 22 '10 at 11:57
Instead of wrapping with foil, just tent it. – uncle brad Jul 22 '10 at 15:05
Any cut thicker than an inch-and-a-half or so will actually increase in temp for the first 5-10 minutes due to carry-over cooking. Resting for 5-10 min will not cause meat to become cold; big roasts can sit for as much as 30 minutes without significant loss of heat. – DrRandy Jun 29 '14 at 19:30

Ideally, you want something that will absorb the heat from the too hot meat until the meat cools down enough, then re-emits it to help hold the meat near serving temperature until it is time to cut.

You won't get that with something that conducts all the heat away (metal table), or absorbs it never to return (stone countertop).

That means a ceramic/earthenware dish of appropriate size, isolated from other thermal conductors. The larger the piece of meat, the heavier the ideal dish. For thin steaks, I use a thin table plate set on a hot pad. For roasts, a heavy serving platter.

The meat will lose some of it's energy to the air through radiation and convection (sped up if the skin is moist). A loose piece of aluminum foil over it will help slow the rate of both.

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You don't have to leave it out for an hour or anything. 5-10 minutes does the trick for a steak, and it'll still be nice and warm.

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Resting meat is essential, especially for steaks such as rib-eye or fillet. Around 5-10 minutes is ideal, this will give you a more tender, juicy steak. It will also prevent the juice from gushing onto the plate when cut into.

One choice is to simply rest in a warm oven, no more than 50c though (60c is roughly medium-rare).

Another choice (which requires a little more work) which provides the best results in my opinion is resting in a beurre monte ( This is essentially a melted butter solution which you can warm to ~40c and rest the meat in for a good 10 minutes.

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many large joints and cuts can actually rise in temperature by between about 5 and ten degrees centigrade after being removed from the oven. use a probe.

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Pull the meat off the grill about 5 to 10 degrees below the desired tem because the meat wil continue to "cook" and rise in after 5 to 10 minutes your meat will be ready to carve and serve....

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For me the secret to resting is all about core temperature. Let's take a beef fillet steak for an example. There is no way the meat can dry out under 55 C due to the structure of the fibers and you can also not overcook a steak when the core temperature does not rise above 50/55 C according to personal tastes.

For this reason I let steaks rest in an oven pre heated to 50 C myself. This reduces the loss of temperature from the product while ensuring that the steak will not overcook during the resting period. Simply turn them over after half of the resting time (I tend to rest mine for about 6 minutes) and enjoy!

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  1. Unless you're cooking single servings, the temperature will actually continue to rise after you pull it off the heat. This is why you remove it from the heat before it reaches the desired "done" temperature.

  2. You're only letting it rest for a short time: 5-10 minutes for a steak, longer for larger cuts of meat or entire birds. This is not long enough to significantly affect the meat's internal temperature. Consult your recipe for details on resting times.

  3. You can loosely tent it with foil to keep heat in. The idea here is just what it sounds like - take a sheet of foil, bend it into a bowl shape, and place it over the meat. Try to keep the foil at least an inch or two above the surface of the meat so condensation doesn't run down into the food.

  4. Another good idea is to put the meat on a wooden cutting board while resting. Wood is a terrible heat conductor, so the heat should stay in the meat.

  5. I wouldn't normally say this, but if you're still skeptical after reading the above, just trust us. I'm a professional chef. All my colleagues know about resting, and we all do it. We have warming lamps in our restaurant kitchens, but not at home. We wouldn't send meat straight from the broiler or pan to the table - it ruins the meat. As soon as someone cuts into the meat, all the juices run out onto the plate where they are totally useless. The meat itself looks grey and overcooked. We would be embarrassed to serve such a mediocre meal to our loved ones, let alone our customers.

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Just leave it on a cutting board for a few minutes. See importance-of-resting-grilling

Slice to serve, and transfer to heated serving plate

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If you've cooked the meat in the oven, then turn off the heat and leave the door open ajar.

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Heat your plate in microwave then put steak on it to rest, with door closed, lovely and juicy.

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Unfortunately, the way microwaves work means that a dry plate won't heat up much inside. – Wad Cheber Nov 22 '15 at 3:05
Christine, unless you are using non-microwave-suitable plates, they should remain cold. Please clarify how the plate may be heated in a microwave or this answer might be deleted. – Stephie Nov 22 '15 at 17:48

What happens when you leave any food out? It gets cold. None of the suggestions furnished are helpful. For crying out aloud, foil! Reheating, foil, hot ceramic plates all have the same problem when it comes to steak - they extend the cooking process which is NOT what you want. Rest by all means if it's a cold cut you're after. Resting meat seems to be a fancy excuse to cover for serving cold food which is meant to be eaten hot.

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Resting meat makes it juicier. See for example this America's Test Kitchen post. And it can still be warm; it just needs to not be cooking. – Jefromi Nov 4 '12 at 15:23
This is the wrongest thing I've seen today. – Wad Cheber Nov 22 '15 at 3:04

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