Leftover steak is inevitable, but we all want it to taste just as delicious as the first time we ate it. The air fryer is the best way to reheat steak so it stays juicy and tender on the inside with a crispy, seared crust on the outside.
As someone who loves to cook steak at home, I’ve tried all sorts of methods to reheat my leftovers. The microwave makes the meat rubbery and dry. The oven takes too long. But using my air fryer to reheat steak keeps it tasting fresh and flavorful every time.
In this article, I’ll explain why the air fryer is the superior way to reheat steak compared to other methods. I’ll also share my easy, step-by-step process for reheating steak in an air fryer perfectly using times and temperatures based on thickness. Let’s get cooking!
- 1 Why the Air Fryer is the Best Way to Reheat Steak
- 2 Preparing Steak for Reheating in an Air Fryer
- 3 Step-by-Step Guide for Reheating Steak in an Air Fryer
- 4 Best Air Fryer Reheating Times for Steak
- 5 Serving Reheated Steak
- 6 Extra Air Fryer Reheating Tips
- 7 Enjoy Perfectly Reheated Steak with an Air Fryer
Why the Air Fryer is the Best Way to Reheat Steak
The air fryer is my go-to for reheating steak for a few key reasons:
The circulating hot air cooks the steak quickly and evenly. Unlike the microwave that can create cold spots, the air fryer ensures the steak heats all the way through. This prevents it from becoming soggy or tough.
It prevents the steak from drying out. The constant flow of air with an air fryer locks in moisture as it reheats. This keeps the steak tender and juicy.
Air frying is fast and convenient. It takes just minutes to reheat steak in an air fryer. The small basket size makes it perfect for single servings.
More Juicy, Less Chewy
Steak reheated in the microwave often ends up dry, chewy, and lacking flavor. The quick bursts of heat from the microwave can overcook the proteins in the meat, squeezing out moisture and toughening up the texture.
The air fryer avoids this by using a steady circulation of hot air to gently reheat the steak. This allows the inside to come up to temperature without drying out the outside. Your leftovers stay juicy and tender.
Gets Crispy Again
I love when steak has that crispy, savory outer crust from the initial sear. The air fryer can recapture that texture when reheating by quickly browning and crisping the exterior surface. The high heat seals in the juices while adding crunch.
Speed and Convenience
Finding time for cooking as a busy person isn’t always easy. I don’t want to wait around for an oven to preheat and reheat my steak. This is where the air fryer shines. It preheats in just 3 minutes and will have your leftover steak ready in less than 10 minutes. The small footprint doesn’t take up much space either.
Preparing Steak for Reheating in an Air Fryer
To get the best results reheating steak in an air fryer, there are a few simple steps I take to prep the meat:
Let It Come to Room Temp
Take the steak you want to reheat out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. This helps take the chill off so it heats more gently and evenly.
Pat It Dry
Use paper towels to pat the steak dry before air frying. Any moisture on the surface can cause steaming instead of searing when reheated.
Brush with Oil
Lightly brush or rub a thin coating of oil over the steak like olive or avocado oil. This gives a nice sear and keeps the meat moist. Avoid using butter as it can burn.
Preheat the Fryer
While the steak comes to room temp, preheat your air fryer to 400°F. This high heat will give you a nice crust.
Step-by-Step Guide for Reheating Steak in an Air Fryer
Follow these simple steps for perfectly reheated steak from your air fryer:
- Pat your leftover steak dry and brush with a little oil. I like using avocado oil for its high smoke point.
- Place the steak in the air fryer basket. Make sure not to overcrowd the basket. Reheat in batches for thicker cuts.
- Air fry at 400°F for 4-7 minutes depending on thickness. Flip the steak halfway through. Thinner steaks like skirt or flank take less time.
- Check for doneness after 4 minutes. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. You want around 135°F for medium-rare.
- Let the steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute. The temp will rise a bit more as it rests.
Keep reading for more details on reheating times based on the thickness and doneness you want.
Best Air Fryer Reheating Times for Steak
The time needed to reheat steak in an air fryer varies based on the cut, thickness, and desired doneness.
For 1-inch thick steaks:
- Rare: 4 minutes
- Medium-rare: 5 minutes
- Medium: 6 minutes
- Medium-well: 7 minutes
For 1 1/2-inch thick steaks:
- Rare: 6 minutes
- Medium-rare: 7 minutes
- Medium: 8 minutes
- Medium-well: 9 minutes
Flip the steak halfway through and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer before removing. If reheating thicker cuts like 2-inch ribeyes or porterhouses, you may need to use the air fryer followed by a quick minute or two in the oven to finish reheating the center.
Serving Reheated Steak
Once your steak is reheated to your desired doneness, let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to reabsorb.
Then you can serve your tender, juicy, crispy air fried steak in all kinds of ways. Some of my favorites include:
- On top of a salad for a satisfying steak salad.
- Chopped up in wraps or tacos.
- Sliced for steak sandwiches with caramelized onions.
- Diced in a rice or quinoa bowl.
- Alongside roasted potatoes or veggies.
Get creative with ways to repurpose your leftover steak after reheating it in the air fryer!
Extra Air Fryer Reheating Tips
Beyond steak, I like to use my air fryer to reheat other leftovers like sides. Here are some tips:
- Reheat roasted potatoes in the air fryer at 400°F for 5-8 minutes to recrisp the outsides.
- Use it to warm pre-cooked veggies like brussels sprouts or asparagus.
- It’s great for reheating fried foods like chicken tenders or egg rolls.
I find reheating in the air fryer keeps everything tasting fresher than the microwave. Play around with times and temps to find what works for different foods.
Enjoy Perfectly Reheated Steak with an Air Fryer
The air fryer has become my reheating game changer for leftovers, especially steak. It keeps the meat tender and juicy while adding some crispiness back to the exterior in just minutes.
Reheating steak in the air fryer is fast, convenient, and makes your leftovers taste like new. Follow my guide on prep, cook times, and serving ideas to enjoy your steak again later in the week.
I hope this article convinced you to try reheating steak in an air fryer. Let me know in the comments how it goes and your favorite ways to serve reheated steak!