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.
However, 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 strongly 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, or I do the wonderful reverse-sear method. I would only ever cook them straight from frozen if I was in a real hurry and wanted to get them started asap.
Here’s A Video Showing How To Cook Steak From Frozen:
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.).
There are three main things to know about cooking steaks from frozen. The first is choosing the right steaks, the second is proper preparation prior to freezing, and the third is how to cook them and to be cautious while doing so.
What Steaks Can I Cook from Frozen?
Steaks that are 1 inch thick are best for this method. Thicker can take longer and require a higher temperature. I have found that porterhouse, rib-eye, or T-bone work very well, as do New York Strip and Rib Eyes. If you aren’t familiar with these cuts, here’s a great resource. Basically though, you’re using steaks that are meant for grilling.
Freeze and Store
You can’t just throw 3 or 4 steaks into a bag in the freezer, pull them out, put them into the oven and expect them to come out with crispy crusts and perfectly done interiors. Instead, you need to freeze them properly in the first place.
To sear properly, the steaks need to have been 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.
It’s also a good idea to put some parchment paper on the baking sheet when you freeze them. This stops them from freezing to the pan and makes it easier to transfer them.
Once the steaks are fully frozen on the pan, you can remove them from the baking sheet and store in freezer paper and resealable freezer bags.
Note that if you bought the steaks already frozen, as long as they were individually frozen and not frozen together at all, you can simply use them straight from the freezer.
How To Cook Steak From Frozen
The cooking process for frozen steaks is simple:
- Sear on the stove
- Bake on low
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 on a rimmed baking sheet. Season steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. The wire rack allows the hot air to circulate around the steaks cooking them evenly.
Place the baking rack, baking sheet, and steaks into 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-inch thick 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.
Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine:
- 4 frozen steaks, maximum 1 inch thick
- 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 the wire rack.
- Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Transfer steaks on wire rack set over the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for 18 – 30 minutes depending upon desired doneness. Check with instant-read thermometer.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.