Should You Let Meat Rest?

Should You Let Meat Rest?


– Have you ever
wondered why just as you finally finished cooking
a delicious steak and are ready to
serve your guests, someone inevitably reminds
yo to let the meat rest. Does meat need to rest? Is it actually tired
in the first place? It turns out that letting
meat rest can make eating it more enjoyable and that’s
according to science. So let’s explore why. I’m Sheril Kirshenbaum
and on this episode of Serving Up Science,
we’re cooking up some steak and exploring the science behind
why most so-called experts want you to let your meat rest. Think about the
last time you didn’t like eating a steak or a burger. Was it too tough, overly
dry, dare I say leathery? Yeah that doesn’t
sound good at all. What it probably
lacked was moisture. When it comes to
cooking, roasting, broiling or grilling meats,
for the best flavor letting it rest helps keep what we
often call the juices inside. Now notice I didn’t say
blood, it’s not blood. The red colored liquid
you see when cooking or cutting meat is actually
water and myoglobin which is another protein
that stores oxygen and gives beef its
pinkish red color. What we call white meats
like chicken and turkey don’t have as much
myoglobin which is why they appear lighter in color
and can taste particularly dry. Now back to why
we let meat rest. Joining me in the
kitchen today is my husband and sous-chef David. Hi honey. – Hi. – He’ll be cooking up some
meat for us, well for science. Let’s get our ingredients for
a medium rare skillet steak. It’s not all that complicated,
we just need olive oil, salt, and a good skillet
on a medium heat. Looking at our steak, all
of that meat was once muscle on an animal and when we
add heat, a lot happens. It shrinks and gets
firmer, the color changes as fat breaks down and
the water and myoglobin that we love, seeps
out of the steak. There are fibers in the
muscle that contract and relax which has once allowed
the animal to move. These are what give meat what
we tend to call its grain. Within muscle fibers
are two protein threads or filaments called
myosin and actin. During muscle contraction,
the myosin threads grab on to actin threads,
pulling them closer together. For our steak in a pan,
turning up the temperature actually changes those fibers. First, the heat breaks
down myosin threads altering their shape in a
process called coagulation and making the meat shrink. Water gets squeezed
out of the muscle which begins to
happen at around 100 to 120 degrees
Fahrenheit, notably
before the meat is cooked to a safe temperature
to eat which is at 145 degrees
according to the USDA. The actin breaks down
at higher temperatures, from 150 to 163
degrees Fahrenheit. When that happens, your
meat is going to get very firm as the process
pushes even more water out. If we remove all of that
moisture, we wind up with a dry, overcooked steak that’s not
going to impress anyone. And this is the reason
professional chefs
aren’t so pleased when a customer requests
their dish well done. It won’t be juicy and might even get sent back to the kitchen. – It’s well done. – We’re cooking our
steak medium rare, so we’ll remove it once it hits the critical 145
degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, you can
safely remove your steak without worrying
about getting sick. And now, it’s all about how pink around the center
you’re aiming for. Once I take the steak
off of the heat, it gives those coagulated
myosin proteins a chance to relax a little bit. As the meat rests, the
moisture that had been squeezed out of the
muscle fibers have the opportunity to seep back in. – Sorry about that. – There’s a lot of smoke. Just about done. – 145, all right. – 145. Now the kitchen smells
great, I’m ready to eat but we need to
let the meat rest. So we’re gonna cover
it with some foil but how long do we wait before
preparing and eating it? Let’s start the clock. Recommended resting
times may vary and will depend on
the thickness of the cut and cooking
methods used. Thin steaks or chops should
rest five to 10 minutes while thicker cuts could
sit 20 to 30 minutes. Whole turkeys or large
roast are best left resting for 40 minutes before carving. So how do you spend
that time is up to you. I did it when I was
a kid, you can do it. – Well what am I supposed to do? – Over. – Look at this. – Grab that. – Okay. – Down. Perfect, that looks great. – Is that your card? – No. – This one? – Still no. Hold, okay. There, look, look at you. Oh wait that’s
not really a move. Time to wake you up. – You wanna try? – No, that’s pretty grisly. – This looks like
more your size. – It is moist, you’ve done well. It’s got its juices and I
wouldn’t call it leathery. Well done, but not well
done, but well done. How long do you let
your steak rest? Share your experiences
and tips in the comments and if you liked this
video, subscribe below. (upbeat music)

44 thoughts on “Should You Let Meat Rest?”

  1. it should also be noted that resting meat also allows it to continue cooking from the carry over heat. so while the internal heat may register at 145F, the heat of the exterior part of the meat is higher and will continue penetrating into the meat and could end up at 155F

  2. I can't believe, although their major audience is American, that they didn't provide a celsius conversion for temperature…. please help the non-Americans enjoy the video without having to open a new tab to make the conversion.

  3. Why let it rest when you can eat it right out the oven! Who cares about third degree burns on your tounge or your gums it's finee

  4. I have never heard of this rest phenomenon. I used to like about a medium, but these days red meat are archaic; the forbidden bovine. Fish n chicken only. (Cause, you know, loads and loads and loads of agriculture is used to raise beef. Which makes up a very small percentage of human calories compared to the agriculture used to raise said beef. And I hear it is mildly, but for surely a carcinogen)

  5. Let the cow and other sentients rest for the sake of logic… (for ecology, poverty etc)
    Junk food… Get better taste guys, eat plants!

  6. So the key to a juicier steak is to eat it cold?
    I disagree. I've found that the key is to sear all outside surfaces with a high heat then to transfer it to a medium heat to finish the cooking process and don't puncture the outside with meat fork when cooking it or the juice will leak out during the cooking process.

  7. I really appreciated you put the olive oil on the surface of the meat instead of in the pan, which a lot of people do and which could cause burns.
    The trick for a juicy steak is just the heat: you should apply a lot of heat in the shortest amount of time, because the moisture loss is proportional to the cooking time.
    If done properly, the steak should grow a crust on the outside which prevents additional water vapor from escaping, making it swell.
    In order to avoid a temperature drop when the meat touches the surface, you should use a thick steel pan and preheat it or just grill your steak.
    The steak in the video is just a bit overcooked by the way

  8. This is their first episode, give them a break! Lets not forget that this is a science video where they nailed the science and messed up on the cooking due to them following the usda safety recommendation.

  9. Here's a counter argument https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/more-cooking-science/science-juiciness-why-resting-and-holding-meat-are#targetText=If%20you%20cut%20into%20the,relax%2C%20and%20fewer%20juices%20escape.

  10. Hooray for a PBS YouTube cooking show! That said… the oiling and salting is just as important. With a cold piece of meat, coat the steak in oil, liberally salt it, and let the meat come to room temperature. Then it's ready for cooking. I believe the "rule" is "a cold steak is a tough steak". I know there are a thousand ways to do the simple task of cooking a steak, but this part and resting it afterward truly make all the difference.

  11. Excited for the new channel!
    Could you in future videos maybe reference the temperatures in Celsius too,
    for non-American viewers?

  12. Nice video! I'm supposed to tell you Eons sent me.
    Also, if you could add Celsius to your temperature info, or any metric unit in the future, that'd be great. For the civilized central Europeans, or pretty much the rest of the world 😉

  13. What about smaller pieces of meat? Like to make stir fry, and usually mix the meat with sauteed onion as it cooks. Though it often turns out a bit dry. I wonder what I could do better.

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