Many people believe that the cooking temperature is the only thing that is important is cooking.I will agree that a good handle on cooking temps is important, but there are many attributes to cooking that perfect dinner. Another attribute to cooking that is equally important is “cooking times.” Every recipe I know of has it. However, there is another attribute to cooking that many people do not know about and is not usually included in a recipe. In my opinion this is just as important as the doneness of the meat and if not overlooked, increases the flavor of any meal.
That one attribute to cooking many people are totally oblivious to is “resting time.” All food, and especially meat, continues to cook after it is removed from the heat. As food cooks the juices within are heated and try to escape, whether as drippings or as steam.
After the food is removed from the heat, you should always allow it to “rest.” By allowing the food to rest, juices inside the food that have not escaped will redistribute back into the food. Again, this is especially important in meat, and this can make the difference between a nice juicy piece of meat and shoe leather on your guest’s plate.
Allowing your meat to rest can simply mean that you take the meat off the grill or out of the pan or oven and place it on a plate or serving tray and place a cover over it.(I sometimes wrap the steaks in aluminum foil during the resting period) Any steam will condensate back onto and into the meat. Usually five minutes is all that is necessary for this. Also, don’t be tempted to cut into your steaks too early. Doing this allows them to leak their delicious juices and lose much of their flavor.
Here is a chart I found on the net for different types of meat: