A good beef roast is a culinary classic. Richly browned on the outside, rare and juicy on the inside, this savory delight is great for both casual family dinners and special events. If you end up with lots of leftovers, it can be difficult to reheat rare roast without it becoming well done. Here are a few techniques to avoid that situation.

Reheating a Chunk of Roast

Place a piece of leftover roast beef, no larger than one pound, on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Spoon pan juices from the roast over the top, then seal the edges of the foil to make an airtight pocket. Reheat in the oven at the lowest temperature, until just warm. The beef should be no more than medium rare when sliced.

Reheating Sliced Beef

Thinly slice the leftover beef. Stack several slices to make a pile 3/4 inch thick, with a small amount of pan juice spooned in between the slices. Wrap tightly in foil, and place in the oven at the lowest possible setting until warmed through, about 25 to 30 minutes. The top and bottom slices will be cooked, but those in the middle should be no more than medium rare.

Reheating in Water

Thinly slice the leftover beef. Stack several slices to make a pile 3/4 inch thick, and vacuum seal the meat with a spoonful of pan juices. Heat water in a small saucepan until it reaches a temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop the sealed bag of beef into the water, and monitor the water temperature closely; as long as the water does not go above 135 degrees Fahrenheit, the beef will not cook beyond rare. Remove from the water bath, unseal the bag and serve the beef.


Low-temperature reheating techniques must not be used for larger pieces of meat because of the risk of food-borne illness. Slice the meat into single portions for reheating, or reheat quickly at a higher temperature.

About the Author

Fred Decker

Fred Decker is a trained chef, former restaurateur and prolific freelance writer, with a special interest in all things related to food and nutrition. His work has appeared online on major sites including, and the websites of the Houston Chronicle and San Francisco Chronicle; and offline in Canada's Foodservice & Hospitality magazine and his local daily newspaper. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.