Steaks cooked from frozen – I have cooked more steaks from frozen than I’d like to admit. But this method works. The steaks are always delicious with a good crust and wonderful flavor.
(And unlike other methods you may find on the internet, you won’t be throwing an icy steak into a pan of ripping hot oil!)
For some helpful tips before you begin, click here.
- 2 frozen steaks at least 1″ thick, (about 1 lb/450g each)
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (1.5g) black pepper
- 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (1.5g) onion powder
- 1 teaspoon (6g) MSG*
- vegetable oil, for searing
- 4 to 6 tablespoons (57 to 85 g) butter, melted
- 2 to 4 cloves garlic
*MSG is wonderful for steak, but if you do not like to use MSG, it can be omitted.
1. Preheat the oven and prepare the baking sheet.
– Preheat the oven to 250°F (121°C) and place the oven rack in the middle position.
– Spray a cooking rack with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
2. Season and cook the steaks.
– Combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and MSG.
– Coat the frozen steaks with olive oil and then season both sides of the steaks with the seasoning mix.
– Place the steaks on the prepared cooking rack and place in the pre-heated oven.
– Cook for 45 minutes or until the steaks reach an internal temperature of 125°F (52°C) for medium-rare. (See TIPS) (The internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees while it is resting.)
3. Rest the steaks.
– Remove the steaks to a rimmed plate, tent with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.
4. Sear the steaks.
– Pour enough vegetable oil to completely coat the bottom of a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet.
– Heat the skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is glistening hot, but not smoking. (The steaks should sizzle. If they do not sizzle, wait longer.)
– Place the steaks in the center of the pan and let sear for only about 1 minute per side, moving the steak around only once or twice, to get a good even crust.
- Optional – After flipping the steak, add the melted butter and garlic cloves into the pan. Baste the steaks while searing.
– Sear the sides of the steaks as well. (Use tongs to stand the steaks up on their sides.)
– Remove the steaks to the cutting board or serving plate. Pour any butter or pan juices over the steaks.
5. Serve hot.
– Serve while hot. (Since the steaks were already rested before the sear, no need to rest again.)
About this recipe:
Hm. Cooking a steak from frozen. What can I say? It works.
This method of preparation is the reverse-sear. Unlike pan-seared steaks, which are seared in the pan and then finished in the oven if needed, reverse-seared steaks are cooked in a low oven first and then seared.
By cooking in a low, gentle heat, steaks can be brought up to the desired internal temperature with more control and precision. If cooked to medium-rare, the steak will be medium-rare throughout – from edge to center with no overcooked grey band along the outside.
The steak is then rested before searing. A minute per side in a hot pan or grill is enough to get a good crust. Plus, because resting is done before searing, the steaks can be served hot right off the pan or grill.
- But for frozen steaks, the slow, gentle cooking also allows the steak to thaw and cook evenly throughout with only a few additional minutes in the oven.
Here are 4 helpful tips:
1) To cook steaks to your preferred doneness Pull them 5 degrees early!
Rare: red, cool center 120-130°F/50-55°C
Medium-rare: red, warm center 130-135°F/55-57°C
Medium: pink throughout 140-150°F/60-65°C
Medium-well: barely pink anywhere 155-165°F/68-74°C
Well: brown throughout 170°F/77°
– Pull your steaks from the oven around 5 degrees before it reaches your preferred doneness and let it finish cooking while it rests. Residual cooking will bring your steaks’ temperatures up 5 to 10 degrees.
2) Estimated cooking times. (Get an instant-read thermometer!)
– The best and most reliable way to know if your steak is at the perfect temperature is to use an instant-read thermometer.
– If you do not have an instant-read thermometer, below are estimated cooking times that have worked for me.
Cooking times for frozen steaks at 250°F (121°C) for medium-rare (125°F/52°C before resting):
- 1″ steak – 45 minutes
- 2″ steak – 60 minutes
- 3″ steak – 75 minutes
- Add about 5 minutes per inch for medium (135°F/57°C before resting)
- Add about 10 minutes per inch for medium-well/well-done (145°F/63°C to 150°F/66°C before resting)
PLEASE NOTE: These cooking times are estimates that have worked for me with my oven. I recommend getting an instant-read thermometer and checking your steaks early and often.
3) Rest reverse-seared steaks before searing.
- Keep the steaks juicy. If you cut into a steak that is not rested, all its juices will run out. Letting the steak sit for a few minutes will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the steak and ensure it’s as juicy as it can be.
- There will be some residual cooking during resting. Internal temperatures may go up between 5 to 10 degrees, so make sure to pull your steak before it reaches your desired temperature.
4) Sear fast and hot.
- Use a cast-iron pan or other heavy-bottomed skillet. These pans will retain heat better and provide more even cooking and a better crust.
- If basting your steaks, start with melted butter. A minute per side goes fast and won’t provide enough time to melt and brown the butter for proper basting.
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Searing steaks adds flavor. Learn about the Maillard reaction: