The very last thing you want to do after preparing a delicious steak is to find yourself unable to finish it.
You absolutely don’t want to throw it out – what a waste that would be! But what else can you do with it? Will it keep if you put it in the fridge?
Well, luckily for you (and your steak), we have come up with a guide on how you can store your steak so that it lasts, and is fresher for longer!
This way you can use it up another day when your stomach is less full!
The best way to store your leftover steak is to store it in the fridge but how should you prepare it so that it stays fresh? And how long will it keep refrigerated?
Keep on reading this article to find out!
How Long Can You Keep Cooked Steak?
There are many ways you can test to see if your steak has gone bad or whether it is still safe to eat, the most obvious being to use your sense of smell.
If there is a foul smell coming from your meat, or it smells in any way ‘off’, it is probably best to throw it out.
Aside from the smell, you can also see when a steak has gone bad. Aside from the obvious (if there is mold growing) your steak may look discolored or have a slimy film.
A common way to see if your steak is bad is if it has turned a gray color. If your steak smells and looks off, those are telltale signs that it is not safe for you to eat.
Additionally, some people decide to taste a small section. It will be pretty obvious if your meat has gone bad when you taste it.
Trying just a small portion of your meat should be enough to tell you whether it has gone off without making you ill. Of course, if it does taste funny, you should not swallow it.
In most fridges, your steak should last around three days, provided that you have prepared and stored it correctly and safely.
Keeping the temperature of your fridge at the right level will help to preserve your food and ensure that bacteria growth will be avoided.
Fridges should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA).
If you know that you aren’t going to be eating your leftovers within the next couple of days, it would be best to keep your meat in the freezer.
Steak can last up to three months when preserved frozen.
After three months the meat may begin to dry out, so thought it would still be safe to eat, it wouldn’t be as tasty.
In addition to this, freezers should be below 0 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the quality of the meat.
Do Freezers Keep Steak From Spoiling? And How?
The low temperatures of a freezer prevent microorganisms from growing and delay the activation of the enzymes.
This ensures that the meat is fresher for longer, and so can be kept for a much longer time and still be safe to eat.
Essentially, microorganisms need water to live and thrive, and when placed in a freezer, the water is frozen and thus they cannot activate.
When vegetables are frozen they lose a lot of their natural nutrients and vitamins. Meat, however, doesn’t lose any of its nutrients and minerals.
This means that steak left frozen has the same amount of nutritional value as when it was fresh.
What Is Freezer Burn?
Although it may seem that using a freezer is the best way to preserve your steak and keep it tasting fresh, you should know about the risk of freezer burn.
So, what is freezer burn, and how can we prevent it from happening?
Freezer burn is when the outer layer of the steak is no longer moist, resulting in a dry steak.
Though freezer burn isn’t harmful and won’t cause any illness if ingested, it will impact the taste of your meat.
More specifically, it will make it very tough and dry and all around not enjoyable to eat.
You should be able to tell whether your leftovers have freezer burn simply by looking at them.
If the meat has turned a white-brown, it has probably been affected. Luckily, you can just remove the top layer that has been affected before cooking.
How To Avoid Freezer Burn
The best way to prevent freezer burn is to use up your leftovers in a timely manner – before it gets freezer burnt.
You should also ensure that your leftovers have been wrapped thoroughly and securely. It is also important that your freezer stays cold enough for the meat.
How To Prepare Leftover Steak For The Fridge
The main thing you need to do while preparing your leftover steak for the fridge is to make sure you are preventing it from any air exposure.
Exposure to air will dry out your steak much faster, and the microorganisms will have more room to grow. Essentially, your leftovers will not last as long.
To help prevent air exposure, you should wrap your meat tightly and even use multiple layers if necessary.
For example, you could use aluminum foil or vacuum-sealed bags for air-tight protection.
How To Reheat Leftover Steak
The easiest and most simple way to reheat your leftover steak is by using the microwave.
Most microwaves have a leftover function, and even a defrost function should you be reheating frozen leftovers.
Although this is the simplest and quickest way, it is also not the best way to reheat leftovers with consideration of taste.
Reheating meat in the microwave, can dry it out and make it tough in texture and lack taste.
Instead, there are multiple other ways that you can reheat your meat, including using your oven and your stove.
In The Oven
Reheating your leftovers with your oven is probably the best way to save the original flavor of the meat.
It will take a longer time than using a microwave, however, the results are certainly worth it!
Set a wire rack in your baking tray and preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your leftover stack on top of the tray and then cover it with aluminum foil.
This helps to lock in the moisture and flavor as the meat cooks, as well as help to cook it faster without drying the meat out.
When the oven is ready, place the tray inside and cook until the steak reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This will usually take between 20 and thirty minutes.
As the steak warms add butter and oil to a pan and add it to your meat for extra flavor.
On The Stove
Another way that you can reheat steak is by using a stove. For this method, simply put the leftovers into a heat-proof bag and seal.
Then add to a pot of water and turn the stove to a low temperature of about 140 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Cook it for 8 to 10 minutes!
Keeping your steak will depend on how well you prepare it and where you decide to keep it. The better the conditions, the longer your meat will last!