We all defrost our stakes out of habit, without even thinking about it.
All of us grab the frozen steak and let it sit on the countertop for half an hour while we are busy with other things. Well it turns out, cooking it frozen might be the better idea!
According to many food scientists, you should cook your stakes while they are still frozen. This not only creates a better looking steak but also makes it juicier.
You are probably rolling your eyes at this point. In this article we will find out how to cook frozen steak like a pro. But let me explain first why frozen steak tastes better.
Why are Frozen Steaks Better
Think about your perfect steak. It definitely has a charred crust with juicy pink interior. The problem is, if you want a very well-charred outside, the inside starts to brown and you can very easily overcook your steak.
This is why making steak is one of the most nerve-wracking and challenging things in the kitchen.
So how does freezing your steak help? When you put a frozen steak on a sizzling hot pan, it immediately starts to form a crust. But as the inside is still very cold, it does not overcook.
It takes much longer to cook your steak but the end result is a piece of meat with even pink color.
Surprisingly, frozen steaks retain a higher moisture level than a thawed one. So if you are in a hurry and have no time to thaw your meat, don’t panic as this is the better way to do it anyway.
Best Way to Cook Frozen Steak
Apart from the time factor, cooking a frozen steak is not too different from cooking a fresh one. You basically can follow your usual process for it. Here’s what we found to be the best way to cook frozen steak:
01. Freeze It Properly:
Before we get to cooking the steak, it’s important to talk about how to freeze it properly. This might seem like a very obvious and self-explanatory thing but bare with us.
You can not freeze it in an open container or bag. This will gather a lot of ice crystals inside which can cause flames in contact to hot oil. So make sure to use a ziploc bag.
Some people like to cover the stake in parchment paper before putting inside the bag. This ensures there is no extra water on the surface of your frozen steak.
You should also make sure to lay the steak flat inside the freezer. This way the heat evenly reaches all areas while cooking.
02. Sear Your Frozen Steak:
To sear your frozen steak, bring out a good skillet and pour a generous amount of olive oil. Use a bit more than you usually use. The hot oil helps to maintain the temperature and sears the frozen steak faster.
The oil needs to be super hot before you put your steak in the pan. Let it get a nice charred, crisp outside and flip it. After you are done, set the steak aside for the next part.
03. Grill vs Pan:
Before jumping to the next step, we wanted to quickly mention this. You can use both a pan and a grill to sear a frozen steak.
Of course, a grill would be a better option as you get that classic smoky, charcoal flavor without losing too much moisture. Also it’s faster than a pan seared one.
But not everyone has a grill lying around. For that, a pan works just fine. It might take a bit over but you’ll end up with a nicely golden brown exterior either way.
04. Finish in the Oven:
For a frozen steak, cooking in the oven as the last step is always a good idea. As your steak will need a bit more time than average, put it inside a preheated oven.
The temperature should be around 275°F. Now depending on the level of doneness you want, you can cook your steak for 15-18 minutes.
Best Way to Eat Steak
We all have our personal favourite doneness level for stakes. Some like it medium where others go for a medium rare.
There are also some crazy ones who prefer a steak well done! You know who you are. We all do.
Even though this seems like a personal choice, there actually is a best way to enjoy your steak according to food scientists and chefs.
Keep in mind that different cuts of steak taste better at different doneness levels.
There are six different doneness levels:
- Blue rare
- Medium rare
- Medium well
- Well done
We mostly prefer either medium rare or medium. These two are the most popular doneness level as they provide maximum flavor and juiciness.
Chefs love these two levels as they provide a tender meat that almost melts in your mouth. The internal temperature for medium rare to medium ranges between 130-150°F.
Needless to say, it is very tough to maintain that precise temperature.
Our Tips for the Perfect Steak
After many trials and testing, we have come up with a bunch of tips that can help you become a steak master. Even though steak has a relatively simple ingredients list, a slight change in temperature or step can have a drastic effect on the taste.
So here’s our expert take on how to gri; the best steaks you have ever had!
Know Your Butcher:
Always have good communication with your butcher. Ask them as many questions as you can think of. They know exactly what you need or what you are looking for. Go there regularly to find the best deals or cuts.
If you can, always pick thicker steaks for extra flavor and perfect pink middle. Ideally, you should look for something that is 1-2 inches thick. They not only look better but also retain more moisture.
Go Safe, Pick Ribeye:
Nobody has ever regretted picking a ribeye as it is the superior type. Ribeye steak has the perfect balance between fat and meat with visible marbing. The marbling provides a kick of flavor that just melts in your mouth.
Steak does not need any fancy seasoning. Basic salt and pepper with a bit of butter is more than enough. Unless you have a lesser cut of meat. You can use meat tenderizers to soften the texture.
Adding marinade or bbq sauce are some of the best ways to cook flank steak or tri-tip. The marinade helps to tenderize the meat and makes it easy to chew.
Know the Temperature:
Knowing the temperature of the steaks is very important to properly control the doneness level. For this, using a meat thermometer is a must. Keep tabs on the temperature to accidentally not overcook your steak.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
01. Are Frozen Steaks Good?
There is nothing compared to a freshly cut beef steak, but frozen one might come as a close second. When you cook a frozen steak instead of a thawed one, it tastes better and surprisingly, a lot juicier.
The whole process of thawing brings out the moisture of the meat to its surface. So naturally you end up with a dryer inside. Frozen steak on the other hand, has all the meat juice inside. So they taste really good.
02. Can I Cook Steak from Frozen?
You can cook frozen steak straight out of the freezer. This is not the most ideal thing to do in terms of getting the best flavor from the red meat, but it’s convenient.
If you are in a rush and can not be bothered to thaw your meat, you can just toss it in the pan and cook it.
You have to make sure that the meat is thoroughly cooked all over before serving. Cooking your frozen steak in a charcoal grill can really alleviate the flavors.
03. Is It Safe to Cook Frozen Meat without Thawing?
Cooking a frozen steak without thawing is perfectly fine to do. Apart from taking more than twice to cook, there are no possible safety issues related to this. Your cooking would take 50% more time so be mindful of that.
04. Can You Cook Frozen Steak on the Stove?
Yes you can. In fact, it is better to start cooking on a stove to get a very nice charred outside on your frozen steak. But to do that, you need an extra hot pan or skillet.
Use a cast-iron skillet as they retain heat very efficiently and have an even heat distribution. As the steak is very cold inside, you get a very crisp and browned outside without having any grey meat inside.
Our Two Cents
Now that you know all the tips on making the perfect steak out of a frozen one, there is no going back. You will love how easy and efficient this method is., especially for family dinners.
If you really want to defrost your steak after everything, try a good defrosting tray to make the process three times faster. This simple tool makes meal prepping so much easier.
So have you tried cooking a frozen steak before?
Comment down below to let us know!