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Old 07-22-2008, 07:18 PM   #1
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Resting meat

I have read that you should rest meat after it has been cooked. Something about the muscles or something relaxing and it will be much tenderer.

I have also read that you should rest the meat for as long as you have cooked it. Meaning if I oven roast a steak or something for 8 minutes I should rest it for 8 minutes, but then, the steak would be cold so I dont get this idea!

What is the idea with resting and how long do you rest your meat for?

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Old 07-22-2008, 07:39 PM   #2
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A normal steak...5 minutes is plenty. A huge hunk of pork butt, for example, about 30 minutes. My beer butt chicken I let rest about 20 - 30 minutes too.

The reason you let it rest is while it is cooking the juices are flowing all around the meat. If you cut it right away the juices haven't had a chance to calm down yet and will flow right out and I'm sure you've seen that at times. If you let it rest the juices redistribute back INTO the meat/poultry. Once you cut into it after resting you will notice VERY little juice flowing out - it's all kept in there for every moist bite!
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:17 PM   #3
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kitchenelf is right. Resting time is determined by size and shape. The point is to get the temperature of the meat to drop.

When you cook a piece of meat, the proteins contract from the heat. This contraction causes the cells to squeeze out internal juices. When you take the meat off the heat, it cools down, allowing the proteins to relax and the meat juices are reabsorbed. (I know, same thing kitchenelf said).

I would not relate resting time to cooking time. A large roast turkey that took 4-5 hours to cook need not rest that long. I would say you should plan on a resting time between 5 and 30 minutes for just about all needs.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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Ditto what KE and Andy said. Just to add onto it, if you are worried about your steak or other meats cooling down too much you can loosely cover them with foil to retain some of the heat.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
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Ooops, forgot that part!
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:56 PM   #6
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Ah, so that was my next question.

Surely if you are letting something rest for 20 minutes or more, it is going to be cold by the time you eat. I will try the cling wrap loose cover next time and see how it goes.

Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:59 PM   #7
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I would use foil, not cling wrap.

If you are cooking a large piece of meat (roast, whole chicken, whole turkey, etc.) then it will still be plenty hot after a 20 or 30 minute rest. There is a lot of heat trapped in there.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:01 PM   #8
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Sweet, thanks for the tip, foil it is.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
Ditto what KE and Andy said. Just to add onto it, if you are worried about your steak or other meats cooling down too much you can loosely cover them with foil to retain some of the heat.
That's always been my worry, that the meat will cool down more than I like. I'm usually burning my fingers carving a chicken and never let steak rest. What juices leak out of the steak get mopped up by my garlic bread. The steak is still juicy enough to me, but maybe liking ribeyes with their marbling has something to do with that..... Maybe that's why I don't really like sirloins or NY strips...
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:46 PM   #10
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Another thing besides roasting meat as the others have said is when you cook a large beef roast or even a big chicken/ turkey you want to pull out of oven at about 10-15 degrees early as the residual heat will keep cooking the roast and get it to the perfect temp when you are ready to slice. When you pull your meat just set it on the back of stove and cover with foil so it can finish cooking. Thin cuts like steak or chicken pieces that you are frying, sauteeing or grilling do not need to rest to finish cooking they only need a little rest. But be sure when you cook poultry to get it right at a couple of degrees to doneness which is harder to do with a large turkey. A large bird when roasted sucks out the moisture to the bones but when you let it rest the moisture returns to the meat. The same goes for a pork of beef tenderloin if you try to cut it when it's right out of the oven it will bleed out all the moisture, so resting at least a minimum is 20 minutes or a bit longer is better. When a restaurant makes prime rib they let them set on the back of stove to keep at least warm covered in foil and slice and serve as needed. Im sure some have other methods but their main objective is to keep meat rare to medium rare. They can always cook it longer if thats what you want but if you enjoy beef you do not want it done more than that. IMHO.
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