Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
Cooking frozen steak has surged in popularity as a convenient solution for last-minute cravings or busy schedules. Imagine relishing a perfectly cooked steak straight from the freezer to your plate. It’s a culinary skill worth mastering. However, success lies in knowing the right techniques.
Understanding the right techniques for cooking frozen steak is essential to preserve its flavor, texture, and ensure food safety. It also offers time efficiency and versatility in meal planning, making it a convenient and cost-effective option for home cooks. Below, we’ll unravel the secrets of cooking frozen steak, from selecting the ideal cut to achieving that delectable sear. Say farewell to the hassle of thawing and embrace the ease of creating a mouthwatering steak whenever your craving strikes.
Table of contents
Why frozen steak?
Can you really cook frozen steaks? Definitely. In fact, many culinary experts and home cooks endorse this method as a convenient and efficient way to enjoy a juicy steak without the need for prior thawing. The key is knowing the right techniques to ensure that your frozen steak cooks evenly and retains its flavor and tenderness.
There are several reasons why people choose to cook frozen steaks and some of them are as follows:
- Convenience: Cooking frozen steaks eliminates the need for planning and thawing, making it a convenient choice for busy individuals or impromptu meals.
- Reduced Food Waste: Cooking steaks from frozen reduces the risk of food spoilage since you can cook them when needed without concerns about expiration dates.
- Time Efficiency: Cooking frozen steaks directly saves valuable time, especially on hectic weeknights.
Cooking frozen steaks is not only possible but can also result in a delightful culinary experience when done with precision. Although concerns regarding taste and texture may arise, it’s worth noting that cooking frozen steaks can match the quality of cooking fresh ones. Achieving this excellence lies on mastering the correct techniques, such as searing the frozen steak at a high temperature to lock in its juices and create a flavorful crust. Further information into these techniques can be found in the next sections below.
How to cook frozen steak?
Cooking frozen steak requires having the right skills and mastering the right techniques. Read on as we delve deeper into different methods and step-by-step instructions. Discover the secrets behind each technique, allowing you to cook frozen steak like a seasoned pro, no matter your preferred method – grill, stove, oven, or even the latest trend of air frying.
Grilling may seem unconventional but it is one of the best ways to cook frozen steak. It is a fantastic method to achieve a delicious, smoky flavor. With the right technique, you can achieve fantastic results. The step-by-step instructions to grill your frozen steak to perfection are as follows:
|1. Preheat the Grill:||Start by preheating your grill to high heat (around 450°F/232°C). Make sure that the grates are clean and well-oiled to prevent sticking.|
|2. Season the Steak:||While the grill is heating up, season your frozen steak generously with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings. Drizzle a bit of cooking oil over the steak to help with searing.|
|3. Grill Directly:||Place the frozen steak directly onto the hot grill grates. The intense heat will quickly sear the outside, locking in the juices.|
|4. Sear Each Side:||Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes on each side for a medium-rare doneness. Adjust the time based on your preferred level of doneness and the steak’s thickness.|
|5. Check the Internal Temperature:||Use a meat thermometer to check the steak’s internal temperature (see below for “doneness” check).|
|6. Rest and Slice:||Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.|
|7. Serve and Enjoy:||Serve your grilled frozen steak with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!|
Cooking frozen steak on the stovetop provides a rapid and efficient approach to achieving a flawless sear while retaining the steak’s succulent interior. To become a pro in this stovetop searing technique, follow these step-by-step guidelines:
|1. Prepare the Steak:||Remove your frozen steak from its packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. This step ensures a better sear.|
|2. Season the Steak:||Generously season the frozen steak with salt and pepper on both sides. You can add other seasonings to taste.|
|3. Heat the Skillet:||Place a heavy-duty skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and let it heat until it shimmers.|
|4. Sear the Steak:||Carefully place the seasoned frozen steak into the hot skillet using tongs. Sear one side for 2-3 minutes until it develops a golden-brown crust.|
|5. Flip and Sear Again:||Flip the steak and sear the other side for another 2-3 minutes. If you prefer a thicker crust, you can repeat the flipping process.|
|6. Check the Temperature:||Use a meat thermometer to monitor the steak’s internal temperature (see below for “doneness” check).|
|7. Butter Basting (Optional):||For added richness, you can baste the steak with butter during the final minute of cooking. Simply melt a tablespoon of butter in the skillet and spoon it over the steak.|
|8. Rest and Slice:||Remove the steak from the skillet and let it rest on a cutting board for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a juicy result. After resting, slice the steak against the grain for optimal tenderness.|
|9. Serve and Enjoy:||Plate your stove-top seared frozen steak and pair it with your favorite sides for a mouthwatering meal that’s quick and easy to prepare.|
Cooking frozen steak in the oven is also a reliable method that produces consistent and delicious results. With proper seasoning and monitoring of the internal temperature, you can enjoy a tender, flavorful steak without the need for thawing. Follow these step-by-step instructions to achieve mouthwatering results:
|1. Preheat the Oven:||Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C). This low temperature ensures gentle cooking, allowing the steak to thaw and cook evenly.|
|2. Season the Steak:||Remove your frozen steak from its packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. Season it generously with salt and pepper on both sides, or use your preferred seasonings.|
|3. Prepare the Baking Sheet:||Place an oven-safe wire rack on top of a baking sheet. This elevates the steak, allowing air to circulate evenly around it.|
|4. Place the Steak on the Rack:||Put the seasoned frozen steak on the wire rack. If you prefer, you can line the baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleanup.|
|5. Cook in the Oven:||Bake the steak in the preheated oven for approximately 45-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak and your desired level of doneness.|
|6. Check the Temperature:||When the steak reaches your desired internal temperature, remove it from the oven. Adjust the time for your preferred doneness (see below for “doneness” check).|
|7. Rest and Slice:||Allow the cooked frozen steak to rest for a few minutes on a cutting board. Resting helps redistribute the juices, ensuring a juicy result. After resting, slice the steak against the grain for maximum tenderness.|
|8. Serve and Enjoy:||Plate your oven-cooked frozen steak alongside your favorite sides, and savor a perfectly cooked meal that’s both flavorful and convenient.|
Air frying is known for its ability to quickly and evenly cook food to a crispy perfection. You can achieve a juicy and tender steak with a crispy exterior, similar to grilling or pan-searing. However, cooking times may vary depending on your air fryer’s size and wattage, so keep a close eye on your steak for the desired results. Follow these step-by-step guidelines to air fry your frozen steak:
|1. Preheat the Air Fryer:||Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 5 minutes. This ensures it’s hot and ready for cooking.|
|2. Season the Steak:||Remove your frozen steak from its packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. Season it generously with salt and pepper on both sides, or use your preferred seasonings. Drizzle a bit of cooking oil over the steak to help in making it crispy.|
|3. Place the Steak in the Air Fryer:||Carefully place the seasoned frozen steak into the air fryer basket. Ensure it’s in a single layer without overcrowding, allowing proper air circulation.|
|4. Cook in the Air Fryer:||Air fry the steak at 400°F (200°C) for approximately 12-15 minutes, flipping it halfway through the cooking time. The exact time may vary depending on your air fryer’s wattage and the steak’s thickness.|
|5. Check the Temperature:||Use a meat thermometer to check the steak’s internal temperature. Adjust the time if needed for your desired level of doneness (see below for “doneness” check).|
|6. Rest and Slice:||Remove the air-fried frozen steak from the air fryer basket and let it rest for a few minutes on a cutting board. After resting, slice the steak against the grain for maximum tenderness.|
|7. Serve and Enjoy:||Plate your air-fried frozen steak with your preferred sides, and relish a flavorful, crispy steak that’s both convenient and delicious.|
Regardless of the method you opt for, mastering the right technique and diligently monitoring the internal temperature are the keys in enjoying a remarkably satisfying, tender, and juicy steak without the need for thawing.
Which frozen steaks can you cook directly without thawing?
Now that you know that it is indeed possible to cook steak from frozen, here are the types of frozen steaks you can you cook directly without thawing:
Ribeye steak is renowned for its rich marbling, which makes it incredibly tender and flavorful. It’s often referred to as the “butcher’s cut” due to its superb taste and tenderness. It boasts a balanced ratio of fat and meat, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Cooking it from frozen preserves its succulence, ensuring a juicy and well-marinated bite.
New York Strip Steak
The New York Strip, also known as the strip steak or sirloin steak, is prized for its firm texture and bold beefy flavor. This steak is leaner than ribeye but still packs a punch in the taste department. When cooked from frozen, it maintains its tenderness and delivers a delightful sear on the outside while remaining juicy within.
Filet mignon is celebrated for its exceptional tenderness and mild, delicate flavor. It’s often considered the most luxurious cut. Even when cooked from frozen, filet mignon remains tender and buttery. Its lean profile means less fat to render, resulting in a beautifully consistent texture.
Sirloin steak offers a robust beef flavor with a bit less marbling than ribeye, making it an excellent choice if you prefer a leaner or lower calorie cut. They’re great if you’re looking for a good protein source without the fat! Cooking sirloin steaks from frozen gives you tender yet still lean meat within a few minutes. The searing process caramelizes the surface, locking in the steak’s natural juices.
The T-bone steak has two distinct flavors in one. It’s named for the T-shaped bone that separates the tenderloin from the strip loin. When cooked from frozen, this type of steak retains the distinct textures and flavors of both the tenderloin and strip loin.
Tips and Tricks
From selecting quality steaks to mastering searing techniques and methods, these tips and tricks can help you improve your frozen steak game. Nobody even needs to know it wasn’t fresh!
Tips and Tricks # 1: Freezing Steaks for Later
How do you best freeze steaks so you can later cook them from frozen? Storing them right from the start will help you get better results when you do cook them. Here’s what you need to know:
a. Vacuum Sealing: To preserve the quality of your steaks, invest in a vacuum sealer. Place individual steaks in vacuum-seal bags, remove air, and seal tightly. This method prevents freezer burn and maintains freshness. Often, butcheries or grocery stores can do this for you if you buy meat from them.
b. Double Wrapping: If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, wrap each steak tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Making sure they don’t get exposed to the air will prevent freezer burn.
c. Label and Date: Always label your steaks with the cut and date of freezing. This helps you keep track of their freshness and the type of steak you’re going to end up with.
d. Pre-Portioning: Portion your steaks before freezing, so you can easily grab the desired amount without thawing the entire batch.
e. Flash Freezing: Place the wrapped steaks on a baking sheet and freeze them for a few hours before transferring them to a long-term storage location. This prevents steaks from sticking together.
Tips and Tricks #2: Determine Steak “Doneness”
Most of us want a perfect sear and medium rare meat, but getting it just right can be a matter of minutes. Leave it on the heat for a minute or so too long and they’re over. Take them off to early and you’ve got raw steak. Fortunately, there are several ways you can figure out if a steak is done.
a. Use a Meat Thermometer: Invest in a reliable meat thermometer to accurately gauge the internal temperature of your steak. Here are some temperature guidelines for doneness:
|Medium Rare||135°F (57°C)|
|Medium Well||155°F (68°C)|
|Well Done||160°F (71°C) and above|
b. Touch Test: If you prefer not to use a thermometer, you can try the touch test. Begin by touching the palm of your hand near the base of your thumb – this represents the feel of a rare steak. When you touch the steak, and it feels similarly soft, with little resistance, it is rare. To gauge medium-rare, touch the tip of your thumb to your index finger and feel the same area on your palm; this mimics the texture of a medium-rare steak. As you progress to medium, touch your thumb to your middle finger, and for medium-well, touch your thumb to your ring finger. The firmness and resistance of the steak should correspond to these levels of doneness. Lastly, to check for well-done, touch your thumb to your pinky finger and compare the steak’s firmness.
Keep in mind that this method takes practice, but with time, you can develop a good sense of steak doneness without relying on a meat thermometer.
Tips and Tricks #3: Common Mistakes to Avoid
Not Allowing Enough Cooking Time: Frozen steaks will take longer to cook than thawed ones.
Overcrowding the Cooking Surface: Don’t cook too many frozen steaks at once. Overcrowding can lower the temperature of the cooking surface and result in uneven cooking.
Neglecting to Preheat: Preheat your cooking surface, whether it’s a skillet or grill or oven, to a high temperature before adding the frozen steak. This helps with proper searing and flavor development.
Ignoring Resting Time: Allow the cooked steak to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This helps redistribute juices for a more flavorful and tender result.
Not Monitoring Closely: Keep a close eye on the cooking process. Frozen steaks can have varying thickness, so monitoring their progress is crucial to avoid overcooking.
Seasoning frozen steaks is essential. Begin by generously seasoning both sides with salt and pepper. Consider infusing extra flavor by incorporating herbs, spices, or a marinade into the mix.
Yes, you can marinate frozen steaks. While it’s more effective to marinate thawed steaks, you can still add flavor by placing your frozen steak and marinade in a resealable bag. As it thaws during cooking, it will absorb some of the marinade’s flavors.
Yes, you can refreeze a steak that has been cooked from frozen. Be aware though that each freeze-thaw cycle can affect the steak’s texture and flavor, so it’s best to minimize the need for repeated freezing and thawing whenever possible.
Experiment with various seasonings and cooking times to find your perfect steak-cooking method. Enjoy the convenience and delicious flavors of cooking frozen steaks at home by starting on your frozen steak journey with one of the many steak recipes to choose from in our app: