Once you have learned how to cook steak from frozen, you might be amazed at just how easy it is to create a “fancy” dinner on a weeknight.
Here’s A Video Showing How To Cook Steak From Frozen:
I feel the need to start this article with a disclaimer. From the comments below, you will see that some people LOVE this method for cooking steaks, and for others, it just didn’t work. I have tried testing it using a variety of cuts of beef and I stand by that it works. However, given that it hasn’t worked for everyone, I would advise that you try it first using a less expensive cut of steak and that you do not try it for the first time when you have guests over.
Having said that, I will also say that this is not my favorite way to cook steak. I prefer to buy fresh (unfrozen) steaks and cook them on the day I got them, or the next day. If I have frozen steaks, I usually defrost them very quickly in hot water (yes, it’s safe – read the instructions here though) like this. Then I prefer to either grill them, or, more usually, I do them on the stove and then finish them in the oven like this, or I broil them. I would only ever cook them straight from frozen if I was in a real hurry and wanted to get them started asap.
So, do give this method a try and if it works for you like it has worked for so many others, then please let us know in the comments. If it doesn’t work for you, I do truly apologize. I am guessing that it is due to a number of factors (thickness and size of steak, freezer temperature, oven accuracy, skillet thickness, stove temperature, etc.).
What Steaks Can I Cook from Frozen?
There are a couple of things to know about cooking steaks from frozen, the first is choosing the right steaks and the second is proper preparation. You can’t just throw 3 or 4 frozen-together-steaks in the oven and expect them to come out with crispy crusts and perfectly done interiors.
Steaks that are between 1 and 1 1/2 inches thick are best for this method. I have found that porterhouse, rib-eye, or T-bone work very well. If you aren’t familiar with these cuts, Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner has a great resource.
Freeze and Store
To sear properly, the steaks need to be individually frozen. My recommendation is to place the steaks on a baking sheet and freeze overnight. Make sure that there is enough room between each steak that they don’t stick together. It is important that they are flat when they are frozen or they won’t brown evenly during when they are seared. There is nothing sadder than an uneven sear on your steak.
Once the steaks are frozen, you can remove them from the baking sheet and store in freezer paper or resealable freezer bags.
Ready for your weeknight steak dinner?
How To Cook Steak From Frozen
The cooking process for frozen steaks is simple:
IMPORTANT: There have been some comments about the hot oil/cold steaks causing a kitchen fire. Beware that this is a possibility. The best way to make sure it doesn’t happen is to remove the pan from the heat before adding the steaks. However, it is always possible to cause a fire when you have hot oil and high heat and you should do this carefully with an understanding of the risks you are taking for yourself.
In a large skillet, heat the oil just to the smoking point. This is a very important step. If the oil is not hot enough, it will take too long for the crust to form and you risk overcooking the steaks. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the steaks. Wait a moment and then return the pan to the heat. Sear each side of the steaks for 90 seconds creating an even, crispy crust.
Remove the steaks to a wire rack placed in a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. The wire rack allows the hot air to circulate around the steaks cooking them evenly.
Place the baking rack in an oven that has been heated to 275˚F and cook to the desired doneness.
For the most part, my friends prefer their steaks rare so I start checking the temperature of the steaks with an instant-read thermometer at 15 minutes and found that 18 minutes is the perfect amount of time to pull them. The thickness of the steaks as well as the doneness preferences of your family and friends will have an impact on the timing.
Not sure how to determine which temp for which doneness request? No worries, I’ve got you covered.
- Rare – 115˚ – 120˚F
- Medium-rare – 120˚ – 125˚F
- Medium – 130˚ – 135˚F
- Medium-well – 140˚ – 145˚F
- Well-done – 150˚F and up
Now there no excuses not to enjoy a perfectly cooked steak dinner directly from the freezer. Melt some garlic butter over the steaks for an extra special touch.Print
Please read the note at the top of the article. This recipe seems to have great results for some people and terrible for others. I advise that you not try this for the first time using expensive steaks, and that you don’t try it for the first time when you have guests over.
IMPORTANT: There have been some comments about the hot oil/cold steaks causing a kitchen fire. Beware that this is a possibility, though it has not been my experience. The best way to make sure it doesn’t happen is to remove the pan from the heat before adding the steaks.
Note: The temperature and timing for this recipe are based on steaks that are 1-1 1/2-inch steaks that are being cooked to rare, medium-rare, or medium. If you have thicker steaks, or like yours more well done, set oven to 350°F.
- 4 frozen steaks, 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches thick, porterhouse, ribeye or t-bone
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 275˚F.
- Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil just to smoking point. Remove skillet from heat.
- Add steak to skillet. Wait a moment.
- Return skillet to heat. Searing 90 seconds on each side or until brown crust forms.
- Transfer steaks to a wire rack.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 18 – 30 minutes depending upon desired doneness. Check with instant-read thermometer.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.