How Long to Leave Steak Out Before Cooking

How Long to Leave Steak Out Before Cooking


Steak is one of those foods that people don’t think about much, until it’s time to cook it. Then, it becomes very important—and very stressful. You want to eat your steak as soon as possible after buying it, but you also don’t want to kill yourself by eating a raw piece of meat. So how long should you leave your steak out before cooking? The answer may surprise you: 15 minutes. If you’ve been leaving your meat out for hours or days, then the answer will also shock you: no more than 15 minutes! That’s because food safety experts say that bacteria won’t grow in cold temperatures (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit). So if your steak is sitting on the counter at room temperature before cooking—which it should be—then bacteria aren’t going to make any progress while waiting for dinner time.

What Happens When You Cook Meat Without Leaving It to Stand

  • Meat will be tough and dry.
  • It’s not as flavorful.

How Long Can Steak Be Left Out?

If you’re cooking steak on the grill and want to leave it out for several hours, put the steak in a cooler with ice or freeze it for 30 minutes.

Once you’ve left your steak out for 15 minutes, cook it immediately as soon as possible.

Why Is It Important to Leave Steak Out Before Cooking?

The main reason for allowing your steak to come to room temperature before cooking is that it allows the juices to distribute evenly throughout the meat. This will result in a more even cooking process and more tender steak, but there are other benefits as well.

  • Allowing your steak to rest at room temperature allows it to cook faster because there’s less distance between each molecule of protein or fat than if they were cold and packed together tightly like ice cubes in a tray. This means that when you put them into an oven or pan, they’ll heat up faster than if they were still frozen solid–and that means less time standing around waiting for dinner!
  • If you’ve ever tried grilling seafood on an outdoor grill during wintertime (like me), then this next benefit should be obvious: Your food will taste better if it’s not frozen solid when served!

You should leave your steak out at room temperature for 15 minutes before you cook it.

You should leave your steak out at room temperature for 15 minutes before you cook it.

This is the minimum amount of time to leave a steak out before cooking; more time is better, but don’t let it sit out for too long or else it will get dried out and tough. The longer you leave it on the countertop, the more tender and flavorful your meat will become–just make sure not to let things go too far!


As you can see, there are a lot of different factors that go into deciding how long it takes for steak to reach the perfect temperature. The best thing to do is leave it out at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking it. This will give you the best results and ensure that your steak doesn’t become overcooked or undercooked!

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