Having leftover steak is never a problem: if you like beef, you will surely find a way to use up your leftovers.
Before reheating steak, however, it's important to know a few things that will help you avoid overcooking it or turning it into a chewy or rubbery mess. That's the last thing you want!
You can actually reheat steak in the air fryer, and this article will tell you how. Since your air fryer will circulate hot air to create a crisp exterior on your steak, you just might discover that the air fryer is your favorite way to rewarm leftover steak.
Be sure to read the entire piece so you don't miss out on choosing the right cut of steak for the air fryer, addressing common troubleshooting issues, and learning some tips from the experts.
You don't have to break out that cast iron skillet. You can reheat your steak in the air fryer for great results!
Choosing the Right Cut of Steak
The best steak in the air fryer will be leaner cuts, like flank steak, filet mignon, or sirloin. Why?
If you're reheating a fattier cut, such as New York Strip or a ribeye, the relatively high cooking temperatures and quick cooking time can leave you with too much chewiness or greasiness.
If you do want to reheat steak that's fattier, though, you can: Just slice it up so it will cook in less time. You might also choose to cook it at a lower temperature, but we'll get more into that later.
Only reheat rare or medium rare steak in the air fryer since anything more well done than that will easily become overcooked. If you have medium or medium-well steak, consider slicing it to put on a salad or very gently warming it in a skillet on top of the stove.
Prepping Leftover Steak for Air Fryer Success
You won't want to throw cold steak from the refrigerator into your hot air fryer basket. Instead, take your leftover steak out of the fridge about 20 or 30 minutes prior to cooking it so it can warm a bit closer to room temperature.
Don't take it out too soon; you do need to follow food safety rules. But up to a half hour of sitting on the counter will warm it up enough without putting you at risk for foodborne illness.
Depending on the seasoning already on your steak, you might choose to season it more before you reheat the steak, or you might decide not to. If it wasn't strongly seasoned when you ate the steak originally, you may choose to use a marinated on your sliced steak.
Setting Up the Air Fryer and Air Fryer Basket
You'll want to prepare your air fryer basket before putting your steak in. First, be sure to preheat the air fryer. You want to be able to take the room temperature steak and put it directly on the hot air fryer basket.
For most steaks, set the air fryer temperature to 350 degrees. If you're cooking a fattier steak cut, set the temperature to 340 to prevent it from cooking too quickly.
Also, lightly oil the basket. You can use a spritz of cooking spray or a little olive oil that you apply with a paper towel.
The Steps You Need for Reheating Steak in the Air Fryer
When you're ready, you'll be carefully putting your steak in the preheated air fryer basket.
Make sure that if you're reheating more than one steak, you spread them out enough so they're not touching. This is also a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when reheating steak strips or sliced steak.
Cook the steak for just a few minutes. Thinner pieces should be cooked for only about two minutes, while thicker steaks can be cooked for three or four minutes. At this point, you'll want to flip the steak over using tongs. This will help you achieve even heating.
Continue cooking for an additional two to three minutes until the steak is at the right temperature, then remove it.
You can use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is around 125 degrees for medium-rare steak. Remember that the temperature will continue to rise after you remove the steak from the air fryer.
Keep in mind that overcooking the reheated steak is much worse than undercooking it. You can always put it back in the air fryer if it's not quite done.
But once you reheat steak past its prime, there's not much you can do about it. So check it frequently, and don't be afraid to check the temperature each time.
Resting and Serving the Air Fried Steak
Once you reheat leftover steak to the right temperature, it's time to take it out and rest it. You can leave it on a plate, or you can cover it loosely with foil.
Let it sit for five to 10 minutes until the temperature has gone up another five degrees or so.
Resting isn't a step to skip. When you reheat steak in the air fryer, you're going to want to do everything possible to keep the inside moist and tender. Cooked steak will stay more tender if it sits for several minutes before slicing.
Once you have your perfectly reheated steak, you can serve it however you'd like. Consider just serving it alongside your favorite sides, making a steak salad, or even making a sandwich out of it.
You can also cut it into bite sized pieces and add it to the top of a pasta or risotto dish. Or you can try it in tacos, fajitas, or any other recipe you'd steak in.
Addressing Common Pitfalls
The most common pitfalls when it comes to reheating steak in the air fryer include overcooking and making the steak dry.
Reheat sliced steak more slowly than bigger pieces of steak in the air fryer. This means to use a lower temperature, as advised above. You might also consider marinating your steak before you air fry it.
With that being said, do remember that your leftover steak already has seasoning on it from when it was originally cooked. So, don't add too much extra seasoning, as that might overpower the taste of the leftover steaks.
Don't crowd your air fryer. When you cook steak this way, you need to ensure the pieces aren't overlapping.
They should be in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Reheat steak in batches as needed.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- If you're reheating more than one piece of steak in the air fryer, air fry steaks that have similar thickness. If you try to air fry a thick steak and a thin steak together, it's likely that the thin one will overcook.
- Only reheat steak you're going to eat right away. Air fryer reheating steak should be done only once. Don't reheat steak over and over again.
- Don't be afraid to experiment! Use different air fryer recipes to try out different techniques and methods of reheating leftover steak.
- Be sure to store leftover steak properly. Put it in the refrigerator within two hours of the original time of cooking to prevent getting sick.
Final Thoughts on the Best Way to Reheat Steak in the Air Fryer
The answer to whether you can reheat steak in an air fryer is a resounding yes. Just be sure to follow the tips above, and, most importantly, be sure not to overcook your steak leftovers.
After all, you don't want to go through all of the effort to prepare your steak, prepare your air fryer, and cook it only to end up with chewy or tough steak.
You can get the juicy steak you desire by checking it frequently throughout the reheating process.
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