How Long Can Cooked Steak Sit Out? (Beef, Pork… Explained!)

What’s better than having a family barbeque and cooking some steaks, right? Well, maybe cooking yourself some steaks when you’re alone! Family may get annoying, especially when they feel chatty. It prolongs the waiting for the food, and that is not only irritating but can also damage the meat:

How long can cooked steak sit out? According to the USDA, steak can sit out for only two hours (and at temperatures higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, actually just an hour) before it’s dangerous to eat.

This was just to put it briefly, though, and to understand this topic indeed, we have to take a more in-depth look.

So without any further ado, let’s just get started!

How Long Can Cooked Steak Sit OutPin

Does cooked steak need to be refrigerated?

Yes, if you’re planning on storing it for a while, cooked steak needs to be refrigerated. When you don’t put it into the fridge, the steak can start to turn bad just after something like two hours, meaning refrigeration is always needed when you’re not about to eat the steak immediately.

How long can cooked steak sit out at room temperature?

According to the safety guidelines by the United States Department of Agriculture regarding perishable food, cooked steak can sit out for only two hours at room temperature, which is due to the fact bacteria grow very quickly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F.

This range is, in fact, even called the “Danger Zone” by the USDA itself, so avoid leaving food out at these temperatures at any cost.

Can cooked steak be left out overnight?

As we have explained in the previous answer, no perishable food, cooked steaks not excluded, can sit out for more than two hours. Because of that, cooked steak cannot be left out overnight.

Although in many cases, the food will last a bit longer than the mentioned two hours, leaving it out of the fridge overnight is simply far too long, and you should therefore always throw the steak out as soon as possible.

Is it OK to eat cooked steak left out overnight?

No, it is not OK to eat cooked steak left out overnight because it is, in fact, dangerous to eat any cooked steak that sat out for just more than two hours. The reason for that is the extremely high activity bacteria have at room temperature.

How can you tell if cooked steak is bad?

If you’re not exactly sure for how long your steak has been sitting out now, it may be best to check it up before eating it. To tell if cooked steak is bad, you just have to take a good look and a good sniff.

If you see or smell anything weird, don’t hesitate and throw the meat away as soon as possible, but otherwise, it’s good to go.

How do you keep cooked steak fresh?

Like with pretty much every other meal, when you want to keep cooked steak as fresh as possible, you first have to seal it into some airtight containers. After that, just put it into the fridge.

That way, the steak will stay in excellent shape for even four days in many cases. And that is a massive extension of lifespan when we compare it to the two hours of sitting out we’ve talked about above, right?

What happens when you eat bad cooked steak?

When you eat bad cooked steak, there is a high chance you are going to be sick or, if you will, food poisoned. But, what does that mean specifically? Well, you may experience the classic symptoms of food poisoning like having diarrhea or a stomach ache.


As the United States Department of Agriculture says, no perishable food can be left out for more than two hours. And since that goes for everything, it can be said that cooked steak cannot sit out for more than two hours.

The reason for that is bacteria – because of how extremely quickly they grow at room temperatures, meals like pork steaks or beef steaks and chicken steaks spoil in a blink of an eye without refrigeration.



Image credits – Canva

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