If you cooked a steak and want to save it for later, you may be wondering, “how long does a cooked steak last in the fridge?” Steak that has been cooked can last up to 5 days in a refrigerator as long as it is stored properly.
Leftover steak should be wrapped in plastic or foil and kept in an airtight container in the coldest part of the fridge to reduce the chance of bacteria growth and keep the texture fresh.
You can reheat and enjoy your previously cooked steak anytime within those five days. Reheated steak should reach an internal temperature of 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit before you eat it.
That’s your short answer. But below we’ll cover all everything you should know about keeping cooked steak in the fridge.
What Is The Best Way To Store A Steak In The Fridge?
You’ll get the best flavor and texture and the most nutrients out of your steak if you eat it as soon as you cook it. But if something comes up or if you can’t finish all of it, follow these tips for preserving steak safely.
Let The Steak Cool Before Storing
If you are planning to store your steak right after it is cooked, give it a chance to cool down before you wrap it up and place it in the fridge.
Meat continues to cook after you take it off the heat, which allows more bacteria to be killed off. Plus, chilling hot meat reduces the quality of the muscle fibers. Inspect the meat once it is cooled to make sure it is cooked to your liking.
Seal The Steak Tightly
Some say that “air is the enemy is food.” When a steak is exposed to air and bacteria, it goes bad faster.
Wrapping the steak tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap helps protect it from both air and airborne pathogens. For extra protection, wrap the steak in a double layer.
Be sure to roll up the ends and seal the packaging to ensure no air or bacteria can get inside. This will also prevent the steak from absorbing odors in the fridge – because no one wants steak that tastes like leftover seafood.
Choose The Right Container
The right container matters! Store your wrapped steak in a clean, airtight container. You can also store the steak in just the container – with no foil– as long as it is completely airtight.
Using a container also gives you a chance to label it so you know exactly when the steak was cooked and will know if it is still safe to eat it when you want to reheat it.
Store It In The Coldest Part Of The Fridge
Keeping your steak as cold as possible will help prevent the growth of bacteria and help it last longer. Certain areas of your refrigerator stay colder than others.
Usually, the bottom shelf is the coldest part. Once you have wrapped your steak and labeled it, place the container in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
How Can You Tell If A Steak Has Gone Bad?
Just because you refrigerate your steak doesn’t mean it won’t go bad in time. Eventually, bacteria will start to grow on the steak and it will start to break down and rot.
Before you reheat a steak, always check to make sure it is safe to eat. Here are some of the ways you can tell.
One of the most obvious signs that a steak has gone bad is a strong and unpleasant odor. Rotten meat has a distinct smell that is offensive and pungent.
When you unwrap the steak, you should be able to smell it if it is rotten. If you don’t smell anything foul immediately, bring it closer to your nose and sniff it again. The stronger or worse the smell is, the more rotten the meat.
Remember, though, steak has to be pretty far gone before it will stink. It can still give you food poisoning even if it doesn’t have a noticeably bad smell.
If a steak is starting to go bad, you can sometimes tell just by looking at it. If the steak appears to be an odd color, has green or gray spots, shows signs of mold growth, or appears to be slimy or fuzzy, then bacteria is starting to grow on it and it is no longer safe to eat.
The texture of a cooked steak should be somewhat firm but have a little give when you touch it. The texture alone may not be enough to help you determine if a steak is good or bad, but if you consider the texture along with other signs, it can help you make a decision about whether or not you should eat it. You wouldn’t want to eat a steak that has a slimy or gelatinous texture.
Why Refrigerate A Cooked Steak?
Steaks can be expensive! So if you cook more than you can eat, throwing them away can seem wasteful. If you want to save money by enjoying leftovers or just don’t like to throw away perfectly good food, refrigerating it is the best way to save it.
If you can’t eat the steak right away but want to preserve it while it’s at its best, cooking it and refrigerating it is the next best option.
One of the biggest benefits of refrigerating your cooked steak is the simple convenience of being able to eat it when you want. Instead of having to prepare and cook the steak for lunch or dinner, you can just reheat it.
You can also avoid going to get fast food or ordering in if you know you have a delicious steak waiting for you in your refrigerator.
How Do You Safely Reheat Refrigerated Steak?
Warming up a steak isn’t difficult. There are some things you should do to ensure it will be safe to eat once it’s warm. Even though refrigerators help preserve meat, they can also harbor bacteria that can transfer to your meat.
This is why it’s important to reheat the steak correctly not only for your safety but also to get the most flavor out of it.
Reheating In The Oven
Elevate the steak on a wire rack while warming it. This lifts the steak up so the heat can penetrate all sides equally for nice, even reheating. It can also help give it a crispier outer texture and keep the juices inside so it stays moist.
Preheat your oven to a low temperature. Reheating the steak slowly will help keep it juicy and prevent it from drying out. 250 degrees Fahrenheit is an ideal temperature and should reheat the steak to a safe temperature within 30 minutes. Your steak should reach an internal temperature of 110 degrees before you eat it.
Reheating On The Stove
You can reheat the steak on the stovetop using a pan or a griddle. This method of reheating sears the steak so the juices stay inside and make it moist and flavorful.
To reheat a steak on the stove, preheat your pan or griddle on medium heat and give your steak time to come to room temperature once you take it out of the fridge.
Add a small amount of cooking oil to the pan to prevent the steak from sticking. Sear the steak on each side and make sure it reaches the correct internal temperature. You can also add seasoning if you choose.
Reheating In An Airfryer
Air fryers make it easy to reheat food, and steak is no exception. The air frying can provide a crispy outside and a juicy inside, – just what every steak lover hopes for!
It’s easy to reheat your steak in an air fryer because there is very little prep work or cleanup.
Just preheat it to 350 degrees, add the steak to the rack or basket, and cook for three to five minutes, depending on your preference.
Reheating On A Grill
If you love a grilled steak, you may want to reheat your steak on the grill as well. Simply put your grill on medium heat and let it preheat while you let your steak reach room temperature. Add some oil to your grill rack or line it with foil.
Place your steak on the grill and keep an eye on it while it cooks. After two to three minutes, flip it over so it can cook on the opposite side, and then allow it to rest for two minutes before you eat it.
If you don’t have time to eat your steak right when you cook it, or aren’t able to eat all of it and want to save some to enjoy later, you should store it in your refrigerator to protect it from bacteria and help keep it fresh. Be sure to wrap the steak tightly and keep it in an airtight container in the coldest part of your fridge.
When it comes time to reheat the steak, bring it up to a safe temperature to help kill any bacteria that may be lingering on it. Leftover steaks can be wonderful as long as they are reheated properly.
What are your favorite ways to store or reheat cooked steak?
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