Is it possible to cook a frozen steak? Inspired by America's Test Kitchen, Bessie investigates.
This is more of a cooking method than a recipe but it’s pretty cool.
America’s Test Kitchen did an interesting experiment. They vacuum sealed and stuck eight steaks in the freezer. They then defrosted half in the fridge and kept the other half frozen and cooked them! They cooked them the same way (searing both steaks in a hot skillet before transferring them to an oven until they reached medium-rare). Unsurprisingly, the frozen steaks took longer to cook through in the oven (an average of 8 minutes longer per steak).
What was surprising was the taste results. The thawed steaks and frozen steaks browned in similar times but the frozen steak cooked more evenly throughout (no gray band on the outside).
Check out their results for yourself:
Screen capture from America's Test Kitchen
We wanted to test out this method for ourselves to see if it holds true. We also added a simple garlic butter to smother on top while we let the steaks rest, because well, we really like butter and garlic.
We took the steaks right out of their vacuum sealed packs only minutes before cooking. Seared the steaks in some oil in a cast-iron skillet and baked for 18 minutes at 275°F.
You can see our results for yourself but they were phenomenal! We had a perfect medium rare throughout the steak, and just like America’s Test Kitchen - no gray band. The searing in the pan gave the steak a nice crust and the texture inside was amazing. Very tender and juicy.
We were pretty surprised by this result given the general reluctance to cook frozen meat—but we will definitely be doing this again, and it’s perfect if you’re short on time. Try our frozen steak with garlic butter recipe.
Why this works:
The explanation is quite simple when you think about it. The gray band that you get on a seared steak is due to overcooking the outside of the steak. The edges are well done whereas the centre remains medium-rare. When you cook from frozen, the outside is still extremely cold and never reaches temperatures high enough to overcook. By the time the outsides are heating up, you’re throwing it the oven where the temperature is no longer concentrated on the outside, giving you even cooking throughout!