Cooking a steak to perfection is an art form, one that requires patience, skill, and a bit of daring. But what if I told you that you could take this art to a new level by starting with a frozen steak? Yes, you read that correctly – a frozen steak. Contrary to popular belief, cooking steak from its frozen state can lead to a beautifully seared, juicy, and uniformly cooked result.
I have spent countless hours in the kitchen perfecting this technique, and I’m excited to share it with you. Trust me, once you try this method, you might never go back to thawing your steaks before cooking.
Table of Contents
Selecting the Right Steak for Frozen Cooking
Not all steaks are created equal, especially when it comes to cooking them from a frozen state. The ideal steak for this method should be between 1 and 1 1/2 inches thick. Cuts such as Porterhouse, rib-eye, T-bone, and New York Strip work particularly well. For anyone unfamiliar with these cuts, “Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner” is an excellent resource to explore. Remember, we’re aiming for steaks that are typically intended for grilling.
Prepping Your Steak for the Deep Freeze
Before your steak can hit the pan, it needs to be properly prepped and frozen. Here’s the best way to do that:
- Place the steaks on a rimmed baking sheet and lightly press them to ensure they are evenly flattened.
- Freeze the steaks uncovered overnight. This helps to dry them out and prevent excess splattering during cooking.
- After freezing, wrap each steak firmly in plastic wrap (or vacuum seal them, if you have the means).
- Finally, place the steaks in a zip-lock bag and put them back in the freezer until it’s time to cook.
The Art of Searing a Frozen Steak
- Heat vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet until it’s about 1/8 inch deep and shimmering.
- Add the frozen steaks to the pan with caution. Sear all sides of the meat for 90 seconds per side.
- Once seared, cook the steaks in a 275°F oven for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 125°F for medium-rare. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Keep in mind, these times can vary. On my gas stove, for example, searing each side takes closer to two to three minutes. The key is to ensure the steak develops a nice, brown crust without turning gray or charring too much.
Crafting the Perfect Frozen Steak
Now that you understand the basics, let’s take a look at the full recipe, including an optional marinade that adds an extra layer of flavor to your steak.
- Cooking Oil
- 2 Frozen Steaks
- Salt and Steak Seasoning (see below for a suggestion)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon high-quality liquid smoke
- ¼ teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon paprika (smoked is best)
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Dash of salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.
- Heat a 12″ pan on high with about 2 tablespoons of oil or enough to cover the bottom thinly.
- Sear the steak for 90+ seconds on each side, until a beautiful brown crust forms. To contain oil splatter, I recommend using a splatter screen.
4. Once seared, remove the steaks from the pan and place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
- Liberally salt the steak before adding your chosen seasoning or the optional marinade.
- Transfer the steak to the oven and cook for 15 to 30 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Use an oven thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak to monitor its internal temperature. Be mindful that frequently opening the oven can significantly increase cooking time. (For reference, 135 degrees is considered medium-rare).
- Remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for five minutes before cutting and serving.
Before placing the steak in the oven, brush it with a mixture of the marinade ingredients. Alternatively, you could use your favorite steak spice rub.
Cooking a steak in its frozen state may seem unconventional, but it’s a method that has numerous advantages. Not only does it allow for a juicier and more uniformly cooked steak, but it also provides more room for error than traditional methods.
So, the next time you’re planning a steak dinner, consider skipping the thawing process and embrace the art of cooking frozen steaks. You might just find that it revolutionizes your steak-cooking experience. With these expert tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to mastering this unique method in no time. Bon appétit!