How Long Should Meat Rest?


How Long Should Meat Rest?
How long to rest a steak?


All proteins should rest after cooking and before cutting. Resting time depends upon the protein in question. See the chart below for a full list of proteins along with their recommended resting times.

Chart of Resting Times

How Long Should Meat Rest?

Meat Resting Times

What is resting?
Resting meat means to leave it out, away from any form of heat, for a short period of time before ever cutting it open. Chefs recommend resting meats after cooking, whether done in the oven, on the stove, on the barbecue or even in the microwave. Simply cook the protein to the recommended internal temperature and then remove it from the heat source and let it sit. Pretty simple, but this process is not without some concerns and complications.

The high heat of cooking causes natural moisture to be forced from the muscle fibers of meat. If meat is cut right after it is cooked, a flood of flavorful juices are released from the cut edges. If the meat is allowed to sit, or “rest”, then these released juices will settle and redistribute throughout the meat as it slightly cools. Resting meat does not need to be covered (see the additional information section below for more on this).

Guide of Appropriate Resting Times
Protein Note Resting Time
Burgers Beef or Turkey 5 Minutes
Chops Lamb or Pork 5 to 10 Minutes
Chicken Pieces 5 to 10 Minutes
Chicken Whole 15 to 30 Minutes
Roast Beef or Pork 15 to 30 Minutes
Steak Beef 5 to 10 Minutes
Turkey Whole 30 to 45 Minutes

The longer resting times are for larger sized meats. The first few minutes are the most important when resting, so if a roast gets even 5 minutes of resting time then that is preferable to none.

How Long Should Meat Rest?

Additional Info

Leave meat uncovered while resting.
A puddle of juice is normal, a lake is not. If liquid fills the plate once a meat is cut after proper resting, then chances are it was covered too tightly while resting. If it is completely covered with foil, or any type of lid, then it will begin to steam. Steam creates more moisture which then becomes liquid all over the platter. Fix this by leaving the meat uncovered. If you’re grilling and the meat must sit outside while resting, then a tent of foil on top should be sufficient to keep it safe.

A cutting board with a groove all the way around comes in handy when cutting large birds and roasts. The groove will catch any drippings and contain them before they can reach the counter.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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