So, can you cook frozen steak? The answer is yes. And it turns out that frozen steaks tend to be more evenly cooked. When steak is super cold to start, the interior temperature rises more slowly when it cooks. In the end, you’ll have a juicy interior and a charred, delicious exterior. (The method is similar to our steps for grilling steak the traditional way.) Here’s what to do:
1. Choose a Thick Cut Steak
As much as we love a good skirt or flank cut (perfect for tacos on Taco Tuesday!), when it comes to freezing you’ll want to go for a thicker cut of meat like T-bone or ribeye. For this method, thinner steaks tend not to work as well because they’ll thaw and overcook internally, leaving you with an unpleasantly chewy steak.
Psst…This would even work for a thicker pork chops, too!
2. Freeze and Thaw Properly
How you freeze your steaks absolutely has something to do with the outcome when they’re eventually cooked. So what’s the best way to get it done? Freeze them on a completely flat surface like a baking sheet, and transfer into a resealable bag with all the air pressed out (here’s a genius hack for that). You don’t want any extra moisture in the bag, because ice crystals will form. It’s a great trick for saving so much freezer space, too!
When you’re about ready to start cooking, let your frozen steak rest until it’s somewhat thawed on the outside. You need some moisture or your seasonings won’t stick! Then season with kosher salt and pepper or the dry rub of your choice.
3. Cook on a Two-Zone Grill
Setting up a two-zone fire (aka one spot on the grill for direct heat and another for indirect heat), will give you a delicious outer char from the high heat and a thoroughly cooked center from the low heat, when cooked for about 10 to 15 minutes per section. (This expert guide has more details about direct vs. indirect heat.)
The first hit of high heat allows the outside to char to perfection, while the second round at a low-and-slow temperature allows the center to cook to your preference.
4. Monitor Your Temperature
To make sure your steak isn’t frozen or overdone, but is just right, monitoring your temperature with a really good quality instant-read thermometer will ensure the perfect interior for serving. Here’s the temp range you should shoot for:
- Rare: 115-120°F
- Medium-rare: 120°-125°F
- Medium: 130°-135°F
- Medium-well: 140-145°F
- Well done: 150°F and up
Whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment meal with friends (or you simply forgot to take your steaks out of the freezer), it’s good to know you can always have steak for dinner!
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