When you pull a beautiful steak off the grill, we know it's sizzling and oh so tempting to dive right into it. However, we urge you to put the knife down and wait; it will be worth it, we promise. Here's the science to back us up on this one.
When you cook meat—be it pork, beef or poultry—the muscle fibres in the meat begin to tighten. While this occurs, water begins to be pushed out and moved towards the surface of the meat. When you take the meat off of the heat, the meat needs time to redistribute the moisture. By giving your meat time to reabsorb the moisture that is pushed out in the cooking process, your meat will be moist and delicious.
While your meat is resting, you should employ a technique called "tenting," which refers to throwing a piece of tinfoil over it. For the 10-20 minutes that you tent your meat, the temperature may rise slightly, so it's often best to take meat off the heat a few degrees before it is done as it will (generally) finish cooking while resting.