Skip to Content

Can You Grill Frozen Steak?

Can You Grill Frozen Steak?

Is there a delicacy more flavorful than a freshly cooked steak? I think not!

But what happens when you walk out the door and drive all the way to work without taking the steaks out of the freezer?

In a state of panic, you start to wonder whether you can even cook frozen steaks.

Can You Grill Frozen Steak?

In the same way, you can grill frozen chicken; you can grill frozen steak. Your steak will still be perfectly seared, delicious, tender, and juicy.

The only caveat is that the grilling time and grilling technique needs to be adjusted.

Interestingly enough, you may even find that your frozen ribeye steak is better than if it were thawed and cooked in a cast-iron skillet the normal way.

These superior results occur because the low temperature of the steak prevents the meat’s interior from heating up while the outside of the steak is seared.

Ultimately, cooking steak from frozen prevents the less than desirable grey band of steak death from developing around the edges of the steak and maximizes the chances of achieving uniform pinkness. 

How Long to Grill Frozen Steak

On average, it usually takes about 10-15 minutes to grill a steak. 

However, since grilling steak from frozen adds about 50% to the cooking time, it may take 30 minutes to fully cook, depending on the size and thickness of the steak. 

Tips for Grilling Frozen Steak

Grilling frozen steak involves more than removing them from the freezer and placing them onto your natural gas grill.

It’s best to follow these tips when grilling steak from frozen.

Freeze the Steak Properly Right

How your steaks are frozen will affect the final grilled steak. Therefore, you should place the steak on a flat surface such as a baking sheet before placing it in the freezer.

This creates the most surface area when you place the steaks on the grill’s cooking grates.

In addition to this, you should also pick the flattest steaks in the display case when shopping for steaks, especially if you are purchasing frozen steaks.

Do not keep your ranch seals in the freezer for too long.

Although freezing them will make them last indefinitely, after a while, the quality and texture of the Denver steak will start to deteriorate.

If your Tomahawk steaks are properly sealed with a vacuum sealer or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, they should remain devoid of freezer burn good for 3-5 months.

Indirect Heat

Whether you are grilling frozen top round steak or Tomahawk steak, indirect heat is your best friend. 

Essentially, this looks like setting up your kamado grill, so there is a hot or direct side and a cool or indirect side.  

If you are grilling your steaks on a natural gas or propane grill, you can turn one of the grill’s burners to high and turn the other burner to low.

In contrast, if you are grilling on a charcoal grill, arrange the coals or charcoal grill on one side of your grill.

Leave the remaining side of the grill side bare.

First, you will sear the frozen steak on the direct side of the grill, then place it onto the indirect side of the grill to allow the steak’s interior temperature to rise.

Thick Steaks

Thick steaks are the only steaks that can be grilled from frozen.

Since cooking frozen steak takes longer than cooking a defrosted steak, if you use a thin steak, it will be overcooked by the time it comes up to the required temperature for the Milliard reaction to occur.

This is why you should only grill frozen steaks that are at least an inch in thickness. Ribeye, Tomahawk, Porterhouse, and New York strip steaks are best for cooking from frozen.


Temperature is important when it comes to cooking steaks. It is only a ten-degree difference between medium and medium-rare; therefore, you must have an infrared thermometer on hand to track your steak’s internal temperature. 

Additionally, make sure you remove the steak from your hibachi grill 5-10°F degrees before it reaches your intended temperature.

Remember, the steak’s temperature will continue to rise as it rests, which can lead to overcooking.

Removing the steak a bit earlier allows it to come up to your desired temperature without overcooking.

Sear Before You Season

If you are working with thawed steak, you would season it 24 hours in advance or just before you place it in a hot cast-iron skillet.

However, seasoning a frozen steak is pointless since it has nothing to adhere to.

Therefore, you should sear the steak first to create a surface the seasoning can stick to and season it just before you move the steak to the indirect side of the fridge. 

How To Cook Frozen Steak

I cannot tell you to grill frozen steak and leave you in the dark. I must show you how to cook frozen steak.

First, get your portable pellet grill ready by creating a 2 zone grilling setup.

Let the grill preheat for 15 minutes if you are using a charcoal grill. If you are using a gas grill, you only have to preheat it for 5 minutes to sear the steak.

Next, clean the grill’s cooking grates with a grill brush.

Take your frozen steaks out of the freezer and remove them from their packaging.

Place the steaks on the direct heat side of the grill and sear them for 5-7 minutes per side until they develop a rich brown crust.

Once the steaks are perfectly seared and have a temperature between 70°F-90°F, move the seared steaks to the indirect side of the grill.

Furthermore, make sure you use kosher salt when seasoning the steaks since it dissolves quicker than regular table salt.

Season the seared steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. 

Make sure you place the steaks at least 6 inches away from the direct heat. 

Cook your steaks until they reach your desired temperature. Make sure you use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the steaks before removing them from the grill.

Let the grilled steaks rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know it’s possible to grill frozen steaks, there’s no need to panic the next time you forget to take them out of the freezer.

You can cook steak from frozen and still end up with a delicious, juicy cut of beef.

You might also be interested in the following: