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How Long to Let Meat Rest

Are You Committing This Cardinal Meat-Cookery Sin?

What do a roast leg of lamb, braised beef brisket, and broiled chicken thighs all have in common, besides that a vegetarian won't go near them? They all need to rest after cooking, unless you relish tucking into dry, stringy meat. The why is a little complicated, but basically, if you cut into a piece of meat right after pulling it from the heat source it'll expel much more of its flavorful juices onto the cutting board (not into your mouth) than if you allow it to rest five to 30 minutes, depending on the cut.

The specifics:

  • Let smaller cuts of meat like a chicken breast or thigh, a lamb chop, or a thin steak like hangar or skirt rest for five to 10 minutes.
  • Let medium cuts of meat like a porterhouse steak or a thick-cut pork chop rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Let large cuts of meat like a leg of lamb, pork shoulder, brisket, crown roast, whole chicken, duck, or turkey rest 15 to 30 minutes (longer for larger cuts).
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