You were probably taught to take meat out of the freezer and let it thaw completely before you can cook or grill it. However, a recent experiment done for America’s Test Kitchen by Dan Souza, senior editor of Cook’s Illustrated, finds that the quality of the finished product is better when meat is cooked frozen compared to when it is thawed. It does take longer to grill a frozen steak, but it will be better and juicier than the thawed variety.
Here are some effective tips to follow when grilling frozen steak:
Freeze your steak properly
While you’ll have a juicier and more tender steak when grilled frozen, how you freeze it contributes to the overall quality of the finished product. When buying your steak, make sure to go for the flattest ones. Then freeze them on a completely flat surface sealed in a re-sealable plastic bag with all the air squeezed out for it to be cooked evenly on the grill.
Go for thick-cut meat
Thin-cut steaks such as flank or skirt are not recommended to be cooked frozen because the interiors cook before the exterior does. Go for thicker cuts like T-bone, porterhouse or rib-eye. Experts recommend using meat that is at least 1 1/2 inches thick.
Use the two-zone grill technique
When grilling a frozen meat, set up your grill to a two-zone fire – one would be for the high, direct heat and the other for the low, indirect heat. Each zone is important to achieve a perfectly grilled steak.
Cook it right
Cook frozen steak for 10 to 15 minutes on the hotter zone until seared and caramelized. Flip to sear the other side then season both sides with salt and pepper. Seasoning frozen meat is hard to do, so it’s better to add the flavor when it is all warmed up. Transfer to the cooler zone of the grill and cook to desired doneness, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Allow it to rest at least five minutes to evenly distribute the juices.
Check the temperature
It is important to use an instant-read thermometer to monitor the temperature of your steak. Grill it to its pull temperature (5 minutes shy of its final temperature) as it will increase as the meat rests after cooking.
Save time and don’t thaw your meat before cooking or grilling it – use it frozen in order to achieve a tender, juicy and delicious grilled steak!