How To Reheat Roast Beef Without Overcooking It: Barbara’s Go-To Methods

Back when John and I were still newlyweds, his parents hosted a dinner party, and the idea was that everyone invited would pinch in by bringing something.

Me being me, and wanting to show off my cooking skills in front of my in-laws, I decided to make roast beef. Not a salad, not dessertroast beef!

The idea was that I would reheat it on the spot. The thing is, I had no clue what I was doing, and after heating, my roast beef went from medium to mildly burnt.

I wish I could go back to pat myself on the shoulder for even trying. Anyway, if you’re trying to figure out how to reheat roast beef, you’re at the right place!

Don’t worry; I learned a thing or two over the years!

How Long Does Leftover Roast Beef Last And What’s The Best Way To Store It?

Since you’re here to learn how to reheat roast beef, chances are you’ve had these leftovers in your fridge for at least a day now. Which brings up another question:

How long can you store roast beef before it goes bad?

Well, the answer depends on how you cooked the beef.

  • If we’re talking about rare roast beef here, you shouldn’t keep it for longer than three days.
  • Medium well roast, on the other hand, can chill in your fridge for up to a week – if you store it correctly, that is. 

The trick to retaining as much of the flavor as possible is in the meat juice and the original seasoning. Don’t worry; I’ll explain everything in a second.

If it were up to John, the leftovers wouldn’t even make it to the fridge – it would all end up in his stomach. But since your stomach doesn’t count as a legitimate storing method for leftover roast beef, let’s take a moment to discuss the two that do count:

  • The Fridge – If you plan on reheating your leftovers the next day, it’s best to store them in the fridge. Either wrap the roast in a double layer of tin foil or place it in an airtight container, that’s entirely up to you. Pour the remaining meat juices and the seasoning over the roast before you store it in the fridge. It will help keep the flavors and the juiciness intact.
  • The Freezer – In our home, roast beef rarely makes it to the freezer, but if you have a lot of leftovers, freezing is the best way to retain most of its flavor. Save the gravy in a separate container – you’ll need it when it’s time to reheat the roast beef.

Reheating Roast Beef Depends On Its Degree Doneness

If you’re wondering how to reheat roast beef, the first thing you need to do is assess the degree of doneness. Good news is, the more done your roast beef is, the easier it will be to reheat it.

1. Rare Roast Beef

Rare roast beef is, by far, the trickiest one to reheat – you’re trying to raise the temperature of the meat without cooking it any further. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error before I got it down right, so pay attention:

  1. Begin by filling a pot halfway with water, and leave it on the stove until it reaches the boiling point.
  2. In the meantime, wrap the roast in tin foil – you don’t want it to come in direct contact with heat – and place it in an oven-safe or metal bowl.
  3. When the water starts boiling, turn off the heat, and put the bowl with your roast inside. Make sure the dish is higher than the water level, though.
  4. Cover the pot with a lid, and leave the roast in there for five to ten minutes. However, if your roast beef was previously frozen, consider leaving it in for up to 20 minutes.

Read More: You Can Use The Best Stock Pot For Reheating Your Rare Roast Beef

2. Medium Rare Roast Beef

You can use the method mentioned above – it won’t affect its warm red center. Otherwise, you can use your oven, as long as you make sure you don’t overcook the roast. 

That said, the microwave is a legitimate option, too, but I find that it leaves the meat too dry, so let’s skip it for now, okay?

 Oven Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wrap the roast beef in tin foil, and place it on a baking tray.
  3. When the oven reaches the desired temperature, turn it off, and put the roast beef in – it should take around 10 minutes for it to reheat. That said, the frozen roast will need to spend approximately 20 minutes in the oven.

3. Medium Roast Beef

The best way to reheat medium roast beef – without turning it into a well-done roast – is to use the oven. However, using the microwave is a good option, too, as long as you know how to do it right.

Microwave Method:

Here’s what you need to know to avoid overdrying (or overcooking) the meat by accident:

  1. If you stored the roast in tin foil, now’s the time to remove it – tin foil and microwaves don’t mix well together – and transfer the roast (and all its juices and seasoning) in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Set the microwave temperature to high, and leave the beef roast in for no more than two minutes.

Oven Method:

The oven method is pretty much the same as if you were reheating medium rare, but with two fundamental differences – temperature and time:

  1. You should preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and don’t turn it off this time.
  2. Refrigerated roast beef should stay in the oven for three to five minutes. If it was frozen, though, wait for around 8 minutes.

Check Out The Best Compact Microwave For The Job!

4. Medium Well Roast Beef

That’s what John likes to refer to as "the point of no return" – he loves his beef medium, at most, and everything above that is a waste of a perfectly good piece of meat. 

If you’re reheating medium well beef, you have two options – the oven and the microwave.

Oven Method:

  • Okay, you pretty much know the drill by now – 350 degrees Fahrenheit, three to five minutes. That should be more than enough for reheating roast beef that’s medium well done.

Microwave Method

  • Again, the process is the same – set the microwave on a high-temperature setting and the timer to three minutes max.

I suggest you keep the meat in the fridge overnight to thaw it if it was frozen, though.

5. Well Done Roast Beef

Okay, this one’s simple – the meat is already well cooked, so there’s no risk of overdrying it by losing all its moisture. Or, in John’s words:

I don’t care what you do with it. It’s already ruined.

So, you can use both your oven and your microwave – the steps stay the same – or you can try using an air fryer if you have one.

  1. Preheat it to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add a spoonful of oil, and spread it out evenly on the surface of the air fryer.
  3. Remove the roast from the foil, put it inside the air fryer, and cook it for three to five minutes.

Final Thoughts On Reheating Roast Beef

I think I’ve covered everything on the topic of how to reheat roast beef.

Again, the trick is in saving the meat juices and seasoning and picking the right method for your roast beef’s degree of doneness. It’s all smooth sailing from there!

That said, if you have any additional questions or trouble determining the doneness of your roast, feel free to leave a comment below!

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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