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?

  • 3
    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
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 20:04
  • If I let a steak rest I would be fired immediately for serving cold food. The bloke below with his "hot sauce" that "warm the meat" has no action in the bedroom. How do you like your food? HOT. When do you want it? NOW.... Ah damn I thought I should let the meat rest so you can eat it stone cold.
    – Beanie
    Commented Feb 27, 2022 at 8:28

16 Answers 16


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.

  • 12
    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
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 11:44
  • 2
    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. Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 11:57
  • 23
    Instead of wrapping with foil, just tent it.
    – user194
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 15:05
  • 2
    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
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 19:30
  • 2
    Minor quibble- don't wrap anything in foil, loosely tent it.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 1:56

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.


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.

  • Interesting. I had never believed in this “let the meat rest afterwards” trick, but this post convinced me to try it more Commented Jun 17, 2022 at 22:27

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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.


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!

  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.

  • Is there not a suitable alternative to a warming lamp at home? I was wondering, for just a couple servings, would letting it rest in a toaster oven set to a low temp be a good idea? I really love steak but sometimes with little toddlers running around timing doesn't always work out just right. So sometimes you plan to let it rest for 5 minutes but then something happens and you don't get to it for 15 minutes you know. And while it tastes just as good, I definitely prefer it to be on the warmer side.
    – BVernon
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 6:29
  • I don't think most people cook an entire lump of steak then cut it after resting. Typically steaks are sold maybe 6-12oz in the butcher at least in the UK. Most of us don't cook like chefs at home :)
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented Jul 10, 2021 at 17:18

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


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.


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 temp....so after 5 to 10 minutes your meat will be ready to carve and serve....


Just like the earth was flat some things persist long after science says otherwise. Certainly eminent food scientist Harold McGee said various large pieces such as roasts should rest for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. Partially to redistribute heat and fluids and partially for ease of slicing. He never said anything about thinner cuts like steak.

But science says meat is 𝑛𝑜𝑡 like a ballon. Fluids do not 'gush' out if sliced immediately. Tests done by food scientist Dr Greg Blonder for Amazing Ribs showed a minuscule difference in fluids lost in a steak. Fluids that are then reabsorbed in the act of slicing cutting and eating the steak. "Mopping" as it were. Like this dry aged porterhouse at Peter Luger's Steakhouse in Brooklyn.https://peterluger.com/ Check out all the juice on the plate and the spoons to ladle it on your slices.


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


When you are talking about a roast then I tent for at least 10 minutes and sometimes as long as 20 minutes, the meat is hot and juicy. But I have the same problem with cut meat such as a breast of duck. The answer seems to be to add a hot sauce over what is now room temperature meat. The larger the pieces you cut the warmer the meat will stay, cut it thin and it cools instantly. So I have started to create gravies, etc to bring the meat back to temp. If its beef tenderloin I have used hot butter, with some shallots. Gordon Ramsey has some excellent sauces on youtube.


Resting your meat, contrary to many of the answers here, has nothing to do with allowing it to cool to a more palatable temperature before enjoying. This may happen a litte during the process but it in no way exists as the basis for employing the method of (tenting &) resting. Simply put, as the term itself implies, 'resting' allows the meat to relax. As it does so its juices are evenly reabsorbed through-out the whole of the meat. As meat cooks its juices are forced toward the middle of the pc. If you cut into meat, steak for example, immediately after cooking the potential for juicy goodness is lost as the majority of these juices escape and pool upon your plate. However, on the other hand, as the meat relaxes while resting the juices are reabsorbed through out the whole of the meat so that they may be savored in each and every bite. I suggest you do a little research, on the internet perhaps, to familiarize yourself with the technique and steps involved. It is relatively simple but there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. You'll want to 'tent' the meat when 'resting' however its important to do so in a manner which allows some movement of air and avoids excess condensation gathering on the meat. There will also be a certain amount of 'carry over' cooking that will take place after the meat is removed from the heat source as residual heat continues to radiate through out. On avg', depending on its size, the meat may cook an additional 3°-15°. Therefore it's important to remove the meat from the oven, stove, bbq etc' ahead of the desired temperature to prevent over cooking. Ultimately, like most things, a little education and some hands-on experience are key ingredients here for that perfect dish.


Just dont worry too much about it. Let it sit for a few minutes on a room temp plate then eat. How hard is that? You can leave in the oven set to the desired temp also as long as its not still "cooking". Meat cooks a little after taking off the heat. I always stop cooking it about 5 degrees under what im aiming for. Ive made so many steaks and I know for sure most people dont even know what doneness they want,. You cant go wrong by undercooking, but an overdone steak just gets tossed.


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

  • Unfortunately, the way microwaves work means that a dry plate won't heat up much inside.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 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
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 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.

  • 8
    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.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Nov 4, 2012 at 15:23
  • 1
    This is the wrongest thing I've seen today.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 3:04

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