Bringing meat to room temperature before cooking


When you are cooking, you need to pay attention to every detail for the best result. If we don’t think about some steps or easy tips, we may find our dish is quite different from the wonderful steak we had in our minds at first. It does not matter if you choose to cook your piece of meat in the oven or a pan, bringing your steak to room temperature will help you to have a piece of juicy, tasty meat.

Meat at room temperature

One of the most common mistakes, when you are preparing a cut like a tenderloin in the oven or cooking a T-bone steak, is not bringing them to room temperature before. This previous step is easy: instead of cooking our meat straight from the refrigerator and cold, we let it rest at room temperature for about an hour before cooking it. And no, it is not dangerous for your health.

Meat preservation temperature in the refrigerator is very cold compared with the temperature we need to promote the reactions that will make it taste different. You can temper a steak in the oven at low temperatures, on a plate, covering it with a cloth or even in the microwave. The temperature must be around 25 or 30ºC to begin the cooking process. Besides taste and aroma, bringing meat to room temperature has other advantages. And if you have bought a good cut of meat, it is worth doing it to get the most of the piece:

Benefits of bringing meat to room temperature

Meat to room temperature

We can find many advantages related to flavour and aroma when the temperature of the meat is warmer before cooking it. But some side-effects can persuade you to do it:

Taste and aroma

Meat does not shrink

Cooking a cut of steak, most of the time means we see how a big steak turns fast into a small piece. This happens when meat begins the dehydration process. The high-temperature difference between the inside and outside of a steak, or another cut, will make it less juicy. Something that will not happen if we leave the steak outside the refrigerator before cooking.

The centre will not be cold

Another of the most common effects when we cook the cut straight from the refrigerator is cooking a steak done outside but cold inside. The cut will come out to temperature faster than the centre of the meat, and we will probably burn the outside, keeping inside undercooked. If we temper the cut before, we will cook the steak evenly.

Drying out

Another side effect of dehydration when we don’t temper meat is our cut will probably dry out.  Meat juices inside can not react when we cook cold meat. We need room temperature for a juicy and tender steak. If you want to cook a tasty, delicious pork tenderloin in your oven, keeping all the flavors, you need to take it out of the refrigerator one hour before.

Meat tenderness

Meat to room temperature

As we said before, meat is not at the right temperature when we take it out from the fridge. Therefore, meat does not cook evenly and this affects meat tenderness and how digestive the cut is. We will feel bloating after a meal and digestion will take longer. When the meat is cooked after reaching the right temperature, we improve our digestive process.

Other additional benefits

Oil splatter

Tempering our meat will help it to be delicious and will prevent kitchen accidents and burns. Cooking a steak on a hot pan when it is still cold will make the water of the meat piece come out fast.


During the cooking process, meat goes through some chemical reactions. Many of its healthy properties are promoted, keeping calcium, vitamins, iron, and proteins, good food to be part of our diet. When we don’t temper meat, cooking is not evenly, and we lose some nutrients.

Meat to room temperature

Refrigerator odours

Raw meat takes odors and flavours from other foods, like fish or cheese, in the refrigerator. Taking it out from the fridge to come up to room temperature will help the meat to lose funny odours and come back to its original taste and aroma.

Every little detail counts when we cook and serve a high-quality meat cut. Don’t forget to let the steak, tenderloin or T-bone, rest before serving, so juices, aroma, and taste remain. Enjoy a good meal for you and your closest ones is not hard to do if you pay attention to details every time you seat at the table for a delightful dinner.

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