How Long Can Grilled Steak Sit Out?

How long can grilled steak sit out? This question has likely crossed the minds of many BBQ and grill enthusiasts.

The short answer is that grilled steak should not sit out for more than two hours, as it can put the food at risk of harmful bacterial growth.

In this article, I will explore deeper into the topic, exploring the best ways to store grilled steak and ensure food safety. So, let’s get started!

How Long Can Grilled Steak Sit Out

Understanding the Two-Hour Rule

According to the USDA, perishable foods like grilled steak should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. This is known as the “Two-Hour Rule.”

Bacteria can grow rapidly between 40°F and 140°F, so it is crucial to store your grilled steak properly within this time frame to avoid foodborne illness.

Tips for Storing Grilled Steak Safely

To keep your grilled steak safe and fresh, follow these simple storage tips:

  • Allow the grilled steak to cool slightly before wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil or placing it in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate the steak within the two-hour window.
  • Store the grilled steak in the coldest part of your refrigerator, ideally at 40°F or below.
  • Consume the refrigerated grilled steak within 3-4 days. If you want to store it for longer, consider freezing it.

Can You Leave Grilled Steak out Overnight?

No, leaving grilled steak out overnight can lead to bacterial growth, increasing the risk of foodborne illness. It is best to follow the Two-Hour Rule and refrigerate your steak as soon as possible.

How Can You Tell If Grilled Steak Has Gone Bad?

Signs that grilled steak has gone bad include a slimy or sticky texture, off smell, or a change in color. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to discard the steak to avoid consuming spoiled food.

Is It Safe to Reheat Grilled Steak Left out Overnight?

No, reheating grilled steak left out overnight does not guarantee the elimination of harmful bacteria that may have grown during the time it was left out. It is best to discard the steak to prevent foodborne illness.

Do’s and Don’ts of Storing Grilled Steak


  • Do follow the Two-Hour Rule.
  • Do wrap the grilled steak tightly or store it in an airtight container.
  • Do store the steak in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
  • Do consume refrigerated grilled steak within 3-4 days.


  • Don’t leave grilled steak at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Don’t store grilled steak with raw meat, as this can lead to cross-contamination.
  • Don’t reheat grilled steak that has been left out overnight.
  • Don’t consume grilled steak if it shows signs of spoilage.


Understanding how long grilled steak can sit out and following proper food safety guidelines are crucial for BBQ and grill lovers.

By adhering to the Two-Hour Rule and practicing proper storage techniques, you can enjoy delicious grilled steak without risking foodborne illness.

Now that you have the knowledge, you can confidently prepare and store your grilled steak, ensuring a safe and enjoyable BBQ experience for everyone!

Related Articles:

Similar Posts