The 5-Minute Rule Will Make All Your Steaks Taste Like You’re a Restaurant Chef

5-minute rule: slices of steak resting on a cutting board
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You know which cut will taste best on the grill and exactly when to season for the tastiest results, but you’re still not 100 percent happy with your steak results. It’s not because you’re a bad cook—promise. It might be because you’re forgetting to follow the five-minute rule. Never heard of it? Allow us to explain why it’s going to make your next steak taste better than a restaurant’s.

What’s the 5-Minute Rule?

Don’t get confused with the five-second rule…we’re not about to tell you to eat your steak off the floor. And TBH, it’s not really even about cooking. The five-minute rule has to do with resting.

Just like we need to take a breather with a quick TikTok scroll after all that standing by the grill, you’ll want to give your steak a chance to rest after cooking. That’s right: Go ahead and plop the ribeye on your cutting board and walk away for—surprise—five minutes (give or take).

We know it’s super tempting to dive right in, but you should resist slicing your steak for about five to ten minutes after it comes off the heat. The result? A juicier, more flavorful meal.

Why It Works

It sounds too simple, but the five-minute rule is basically guaranteed to improve your home-cooked steak. Why? Because it allows the juices to reabsorb and redistribute within the meat (instead of leaking onto your cutting board).

According to food writer J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, there’s science behind the method. As the steak cooks, the muscle fibers narrow and shrink, leaving the flavorful liquid no place to go but the surface. Slice in immediately, and they’ll pour out, leaving you with a dry, flavorless piece of meat. But if you wait before slicing, the muscle fibers will have a chance to relax and give space for the juices.

How to Do It

Easy: After cooking your steak (no matter the method), transfer it to a cutting board and walk away. We know it’s called the five-minute rule…and that’s because we’re all impatient. But if we’re being completely honest, you’ll get the *best* results after ten minutes. If you’re unable to wait that long, use five as your minimum and give yourself a gold star for anything past that. All that’s left is to slice, serve (preferably alongside some homemade chimichurri) and enjoy your life.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...