Frozen steaks can be the best-tasting steak to ever come out of your kitchen. Not only is it juicier and more evenly cooked, but the slower cook time also provides a greater margin for error. You can enjoy a delicious steak dinner, even on busy weeknights, with just a few simple steps.
Can you cook a frozen steak?
Yes! Not only can you successfully cook a frozen steak without thawing, but when done correctly it is actually may be the best way to prepare a perfect steak. Properly cooking frozen steak is also more forgiving than any cooking method using fresh steak because it is cooked slowly to bring the interior to the ideal temperature, which also eliminates that overcooked gray band of meat directly below the seared crust.
Do I have to thaw steaks?
The problem with a freezer full of frozen steaks is that they are, well, frozen! It takes some planning ahead to thaw them out and have them ready for dinner. But have no fear, it is actually best to cook frozen steaks while they are still rock-hard? I’m serious.
Don’t thaw your frozen steaks. Here’s why: When searing the steak in the pan the surface exterior will heat up sufficiently to form a nice crust while the inside stays nice and cold, this prevents the residual ‘graying’ inside the meat nearest to the surface.
When you finish the steak in the oven the interior will thaw and gently heat up to your desired temperature. Since the interior is heating up in the oven and not in the pan you will eliminate the gray band of meat encapsulating your medium-rare goodness which means a more tender steak and more moisture.
How to Cook a Frozen Steak
Gather your frozen steaks and get out your 12” skillet (I recommend a cast iron skillet) and add enough oil to cover the bottom (~⅛”). Place your frozen steak in the skillet.
NOTE: Make sure there is not any noticeable ice on the steak or you will have a nasty flare up. If so, let the exterior thaw slightly and pat dry with a paper towel.
Give your steaks a good sear over high heat for 90 seconds per side, or until a brown crust forms. I find at times it can be closer to 2-3 minutes per side. Use your judgment and adjust time and heat accordingly. You don’t want a charred mess but you also don’t want the outside of the steak to come out gray. If the time is up and it doesn’t look like it has browned sufficiently, just put it back in for a bit longer. Relax, you are burning meat. You should be good at that.
Have your oven pre-heated to 275 degrees. When the steaks are done in the skillet, place them on a wire rack sitting on top of a sheet pan. You want the steaks elevated on the wire rack so they cook evenly in the oven. If they sit directly on the pan there will be more heat transfer to the bottom of the steak.
For best flavor, now you can season the steaks to your liking. I like to use my steak seasoning rub recipe, or paint them with a steak marinade. (you can't really marinate a frozen steak, but they still taste great with the exterior brushed with a marinade)
Now place the baking sheet in the oven and wait. How long? Well that depends on how well you want your steaks done and how thick they are. So that is going to vary. Figure 15 minutes – 30 minutes for thin steaks, although my thick-cut steaks take up to an hour. Plan for much longer if you incessantly have to keep opening the oven to check on them…
…which is why you need this:
Yes, you need a digital meat thermometer. Using this allows you to pull your steaks out of the oven without ever once having to open the oven door to check their progress.
After the steak reaches your desired level of doneness, remove it from the oven and let the steak rest for 5 minutes. Why? Because if you cut into it now the juices will come running out and your steak won’t be nearly as moist and succulent as it could be. You already put in all this effort to make a great meal, don’t ruin it now.
Your steak is done, but can still be customized any way you want. Jazz up your steak with any of these toppings:
How to Cook a Frozen Steak
- 2 frozen steaks
- cooking oil
- salt and desired steak flavor enhancer see my recipe below
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Heat 12" pan on high and add enough oil to thinly cover the bottom of the pan, approximately 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Sear each side of the steak for 90+ seconds, or until a brown crust forms. I recommend using a splatter screen to keep oil contained.
- Remove from pan and place on wire rack over a baking sheet.
- Add desired steak seasonings, such as the marinade listed, and generously dust with salt.
- Insert oven thermometer inside the deepest part of the steak and place in the oven for 15-30 minutes, or until the interior of the steak reaches your desired level of doneness. Opening the oven frequently will drastically increase cooking time.
- Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes prior to cutting and serving.
- Mix all ingredients together and brush on steak when putting it in the oven. Feel free to use a steak seasoning rub instead.
- 125 degrees - rare steak
- 135 degrees - medium-rare steak
- 145 degrees - medium steak
- 150 degrees - medium-well steak
- 160 degrees - well-done steak
This recipe was originally published here on November 14, 2014.
Can you do me a favor? If you enjoyed my post would you mind sharing it with your friends? You can see more of my recipes by liking me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest too. Otherwise, stay up to date by getting each new post sent directly to your inbox by subscribing today.