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Science: Make the Best Steaks By Cooking Frozen Meat (No Thawing!) | JabarPos Media

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Science: Make the Best Steaks By Cooking Frozen Meat (No Thawing!) | JabarPos Media



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Conventional wisdom holds that frozen steaks should be thawed before cooking, but we wondered if you can cook frozen meat straight from the freezer. Cook’s Illustrated Senior Editor Dan Souza explains our cooking experiments.

WATCH: How to Make the Most Perfect Bacon Ever https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2guC4Badq2s

WATCH: How to Quickly Defrost Meat

Recipe for Ultimate Charcoal-Grilled Steaks: http://cooks.io/2lsTUYe
Recipe for Grilled Frozen Steaks: http://cooks.io/2lsXUYu
Recipe for Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Strip Steaks: http://bit.ly/ULQJwD

EXPERIMENT

We cut a strip loin into eight steaks, cut each steak in half crosswise, put the pieces in vacuum-sealed bags, and froze them. We then thawed half of each steak in the refrigerator overnight and kept the other half frozen. Using our preferred method, we seared both sets of steaks in a hot skillet for 90 seconds per side and then transferred them to a 275-degree oven until they reached 125 degrees, or medium-rare. To track moisture loss, we weighed each steak before and after cooking.

RESULTS

Not surprisingly, the frozen steaks took longer to finish cooking through in the oven (18 to 22 minutes versus 10 to 15 minutes for the thawed steaks). What was surprising was that the frozen steaks actually browned in the skillet just as well as, and in the same amount of time as, the thawed steaks. Furthermore, they had thinner bands of gray, overcooked meat directly under the crust than the thawed steaks had. We also found that these steaks lost on average 9 percent less moisture during cooking than the thawed steaks did. Sampling the steaks side by side, tasters unanimously preferred the cooked-from-frozen steaks to their thawed counterparts.

EXPLANATION

A fully frozen steak is extremely cold, which prevents overcooking while the surface reaches the very high temperatures necessary for browning reactions. As for the difference in moisture loss, we know that when meat is cooked to temperatures higher than 140 degrees, its muscle fibers begin to squeeze out a significant amount of moisture. As its slightly thicker gray band indicated, the steak that had been thawed had more overcooking around the edge, so it made sense that it also had greater moisture loss.

THE TAKEAWAY

While we prefer to start with steak that’s never been frozen for the best texture, if we do have frozen steaks on hand, from now on we’ll cook them straight from the freezer. (But if you can choose between frozen vs. fresh, definitely go for fresh.)

Here’s what to do for the best frozen steaks: Freeze steaks, uncovered, overnight on a baking sheet (this dries them out to prevent excess splattering during cooking), then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, place in a zipper-lock bag, and return to freezer. To ensure that the steaks brown evenly, add oil to the skillet until it measures 1/8 inch deep. And because frozen steaks will splatter more during searing, use a large skillet.

See this tip on Cook’s Illustrated: http://cooks.io/2lt45vQ

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26 Comments

  1. wow, ive been doing it wrong for years now… Because of where I live my family buys steaks in bulk so most of the steak we eat is frozen, this tip is really useful for us. Thank you.

  2. 1, you are boiling these steaks.. 🤢2, you will never be able to properly season these steaks. Especially when it comes to dry brining over night. I hope theres not alot of people who listen to this crap…

  3. You guys are terribly missing the point about why frozen steaks are bad. When I go to a restaurant I don't want to get served an old nearly-putrid frozen steak that's been sitting in the freezer for days… That's why I don't go out to eat steak anymore, ever, I cook it at home. If we go to a steakhouse I'll get a salad.

    Even then though, you froze and then thawed the one that was supposed to be the fresh one. You didn't even do an accurate comparison in cooking frozen vs fresh, you just did frozen vs frozen and then de-thawed. How can you call this science? Go back to school you fucks, I like you're other videos, but you've dropped the ball on this one.

    Try cooking a freezer-burned steak vs a freshly-frozen steak. That's your real trial. Or even a refrigerated one. Or a perfectly fresh one prepared by Gordon Ramsay.

  4. Wonder how many kitchens this guy has helped burn down? I got 5 on the idea that not everyone wanted to do the whole uncovered freezing step. People just pulling steaks right out of the pack! 🔥🔥🔥

  5. Science doesnt cook… Cooking is an action and a process completed by humans. Science is not self aware and science doesnt "do" things. Science is also a process. Its like saying "cooking learns how to do science by freezing a steak." Sounds fuckin stupid.
    Also, I make the best steaks with sous vide and a charcoal grill.

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