Ask the Chef: Can I Cook a Frozen Steak?

Ask the Chef: Can I Cook a Frozen Steak?

How To

Ask the Chef: Can I Cook a Frozen Steak?

The following question came into The Food Channel:

Question: 

I heard that you can cook a frozen steak without thawing it. True? And if so, how do you do it? –Thank you.

Answer:

Shortcuts seem to be the new prerequisite for cooking at home! When we want to do something besides eat out or bring home takeout, we either order pre-prepped meals or buy fresh ingredients that are ready-to-cook. It differs from the old form of shortcuts, in that we choose fresh ingredients and make items more or less from scratch, without a lot of boxes involved.

So. this question is timely and took us into the kitchen for a little experimentation. Various sources suggest seasoning the steak and searing it in a skillet, then popping into the oven for as long as an hour to finish.

You can, indeed, cook a steak from frozen to finished, and we found the flavor was good and the experience decent overall. A few guidelines:

  1. Use a cast iron skillet so you have one dish from stovetop to oven. Remember the handle gets hot, so keep a pot holder handy.
  2. This will splatter while cooking, so use a splatter guard or be prepared for some cleanup.
  3. Use an oil that does well at a higher heat, such as safflower, sesame, or canola oil. Avoid vegetable oil.
  4. Season the steak while frozen, including salt, adding any other dry seasonings you like.
  5. The length of cooking time will depend on the thickness and cut of your steak, but a general rule is two minutes of searing on each side in sizzling oil, then put in the oven for about 10 minutes for small, thin steaks and up to an hour for healthy-sized cuts.
  6. Set your oven to a low temperature, around 250 degrees. The inexpensive bottom round steak pictured took less than 10 minutes to get to medium.

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