Ever got so caught up in planning your dinner party that you forgot to take out the steaks, which are the main dish of your menu.
What are you supposed to do? There’s no time to defrost your steak!
There’s no need to panic about your steaks being frozen. You can literally cook your steaks frozen.
Yes, you can cook steaks! You may even find frozen steaks cook better than defrosted steaks.
One of the most common steak conundrums is grey banding.
Grey banding refers to a band or thin strip of grey matter that’s an indication of overcooked meat — ever noticed how a steak had a beautifully charred crust and a grey strip around the edges of the steak just under its charred surface.
Though the gray band can be hideous, it’s the penalty you pay for the perfectly seared steak.
When steaks are cooked in their frozen state, they develop an even degree of pinkness with very little gray banding underneath their surface.
The steak’s extremely cold surface protects its interior from overcooking by helping its internal temperature to rise gradually as it cooks.
This allows the steak to maintain an even pink color on the inside as the steak sears on the outside.
Ultimately you will end up with a steak that virtually has no gray band and is tender and juicier.
If you want to know how to sear steak check out our in-depth guide.
Tips for Cooking Frozen Steak
Even though it is as simple as placing a steak in a hot pan, there are some cooking tips that will ensure you end up with the most tender and juicy steaks.
Freeze Your Steaks Correctly
How you freeze your steaks determines how they will cook.
If you simply throw your steaks into the freezer and try to cook them as they are, they will not sear properly.
To sear your steaks properly, you need to maximize the surface area. This means the steak needs to be frozen flat in order to get a good sear.
Place your steaks onto a level flat surface such as a cookie sheet.
Place your steaks into a freezer-safe resealable freezer bag and press as much air out of the steaks as possible. In addition to this, make sure the frozen steaks you buy are flat.
Make sure you do not store your steaks in the freezer for too long.
There is nothing worse than having a craving for steak, pulling it out of your freezer only to find its freezer burned.
Steaks will only last for 6 months in the freezer if they are packaged properly.
Use Choose Thick-cut Steaks
Cooking frozen steaks can only work with steaks that are at least 1-11/2 inches in thickness.
If you cook thin frozen steaks such as eye of round, skirt steak, or flank steaks, the steak’s interior will overcook before its exterior has the opportunity to brown.
For this reason, porterhouse, ribeye, or T-bone steaks are the best steaks to cook frozen.
The key to cooking frozen steaks is using both direct and indirect heat.
rozen steaks can be cooked on the grill or by searing the steaks on the stove and placing it in the oven until it reaches your desired temperature.
To set up indirect and direct cooking zones on your grill, turn on one-half of your grill’s burners to medium-high heat, then leave the remaining burners off.
The portion of the grill with the burners on is the direct heat; the opposite side of the grill is the indirect heat.
Sear your steak on the direct heat side first, then transfer it to the indirect heat side and allow it to cook completely.
Check the Temperature
If you are new to cooking frozen steaks, you may be unaware of the cooking times.
The only way you will if your steak is done is to check the temperature of the steak.
No one wants to serve a steak that’s raw in the middle or overcooked.
Remember, frozen steaks take approximately 50% longer to cook than defrosted steaks. This means the steak’s interior comes up to temperature slower.
Check the temperature of your steak multiple times to ensure it is your desired temperature.
Remove the steaks from the heat approximately 5 degrees before it reaches your desired temperature. Carryover cooking will allow the steak to rise 5 degrees in temperature as it rests.
You also need to remember the recommended cooking temperatures for cooking steaks. Rare steaks range from 115°F-120°F, while medium-rare steaks range between 120°F–125°F.
Medium well steaks have a temperature between 130°F–135°F, medium-well steaks are 140°F-145°F, and well-done steaks have a temperature of
150°F and up above.
How To Cook Frozen Steak
Cooking frozen steaks is as easy as reheating brisket or seasoning a cast-iron skillet.
The secret to cooking frozen steak is to sear the steak, season it, then cook it completely.
If you are cooking your frozen steaks using a grill, sear the steak in the direct zone for 10-14 minutes until it develops a nice char.
When you turn the steak over, season it with your preferred seasoning or salt and pepper.
Seasonings will not stick to frozen steaks no matter how much you press it into the steak.
The seasonings will adhere to the steak once it has been heated.
Once you have seared your steak, place it into the indirect grilling zone and allow it to cook slowly for 10-15 minutes until the steaks reach your desired temperature.
Allow your steaks to rest before carving them into slices.
Are frozen steaks better than steaks cooked the traditional way?
While there’s nothing that compares to a fresh porterhouse, sirloin, or ribeye steak, frozen steaks are nearly as delicious as traditional steaks.
On the other hand, frozen steaks have a higher moisture content and are juicier.
Thawing the steak pulls the moisture out of the steak onto its surface, leaving you with a drier interior.
The only way you’ll know if a frozen steak is good or not is if you try it yourself, so get grilling!
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.