Can You Sous Vide Frozen Steak?

Sous vide cooking has become an increasingly popular method for cooking meats to perfect doneness and tenderness. With this cooking technique, food sealed in plastic bags is immersed in precisely controlled, low-temperature water baths. The sous vide process allows your steak to cook gently and evenly, while retaining moisture and juices.

So can you sous vide frozen steak directly without thawing it first? The short answer is yes, you absolutely can sous vide frozen steaks with excellent results! Sous viding from frozen cuts out time spent thawing the meat and provides incredibly convenient meal prep.

In this article, we’ll cover why cooking frozen steak with a sous vide is not only possible, but also easy and recommended. We’ll go over the ideal cuts to use, packaging tips, time and temperatures, safety, finishing with a sear, and serving suggestions. Let’s dive in!

Why Sous Vide Frozen Steak?

Cooking frozen steaks with a sous vide offers several benefits:

  • No thawing required – Frozen steaks can go straight into the water bath without needing to be thawed first. This saves you time and makes meal prepping efficient.
  • Consistent cooking – The sous vide brings the entire steak up to your set temperature gently and evenly. You don’t have to worry about over or undercooking parts.
  • Easy meal prep – Buy steaks in bulk while on sale, vacuum seal portions, and freeze. Cook directly from frozen whenever you want a perfect steak.
  • Retains moisture – Low temp sous vide cooking retains moisture and gives you a tender, juicy steak. Frozen steaks do not dry out.

Clearly, the convenience and quality you get from sous viding frozen steak makes it an excellent technique.

Cuts of Steak to Sous Vide from Frozen

You can sous vide just about any cut of frozen steak with delicious results:

  • Ribeye – This well-marbled and flavorful cut is a perfect candidate for sous vide. Cook a frozen ribeye to your preferred doneness.
  • Strip steak – Also known as New York Strip, this tender cut sous vides beautifully from frozen.
  • Filet mignon – The lean yet tender filet does extremely well cooked sous vide straight from the freezer.
  • Sirloin – Affordable sirloin steaks become fork-tender with sous vide frozen.
  • Flank steak – This thinner steak cooks up with perfect medium-rare doneness when frozen.

Really, any steak cut like chuck steak, tri-tip, flat iron, or hanger steak will all shine when sous vided directly frozen. Give it a try!

Packaging Frozen Steaks for Sous Vide

To sous vide frozen steaks, use these packaging tips:

  • Vacuum sealing – This is the ideal packing method to remove air pockets around the frozen steak. Use a vacuum sealer machine or the immersion method.
  • Freezer bags – Ziploc or other plastic freezer bags work well too. Carefully squeeze out excess air and seal.
  • Portion sizes – Package steaks in single servings to make weeknight meals a breeze. Thaw just what you need.
  • Pre-season – Consider seasoning steaks before freezing. The flavors will infuse the meat as it cooks.

Proper packaging helps ensure your frozen steaks cook evenly. Now let’s look at sous vide time and temperatures.

Sous Vide Cooking Times for Frozen Steak

Frozen steaks require slightly longer cooking than fresh to allow the chilled meat time to come up to temp. But cooking times remain relatively quick and easy.

  • 1-inch thick frozen steaks – Cook for 2 to 3 hours at your preferred temp.
  • 2-inches or thicker – Increase time to 4 to 6 hours for perfect edge to edge cooking.
  • Lean tender cuts like filet mignon and strip steak may need less time than well-marbled ribeye.
  • Check steak after minimum time and continue cooking if needed until it hits your target temperature.

For medium-rare doneness, cook frozen steak at 130°F to 135°F. Bump up to 140°F for more well-done steak.

Is it Safe to Sous Vide Frozen Steak?

Absolutely! Cooking frozen steak sous vide is completely safe.

  • The water bath gently brings the frozen meat to serving temperature without overcooking.
  • Pasteurization occurs when steak is held at 130°F+ for over an hour eradicating any bacteria concerns.
  • Sous vide allows you to achieve the FDA recommended safe minimum internal temperature of 145°F for whole cuts of beef when cooking frozen steak.

With sous vide, it’s basically impossible to overcook steak making it a foolproof cooking method.

Searing Sous Vide Frozen Steak

After sous viding, frozen steaks will need a quick sear just like fresh steak. This adds a nicely browned crust.

  • Heat a cast iron skillet with oil or butter over high heat.
  • Sear for 1 to 2 minutes per side until well-browned.
  • Or sear the steaks on a hot grill for those desirable grill marks.

The short sear gives your tender, cooked-to-perfection frozen steak a nice texture contrast and extra flavor.

Serving Sous Vide Frozen Steak

Sous vide frozen steaks can be served with classic steakhouse accompaniments:

  • Baked potato or fries
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Steamed asparagus or broccoli
  • Caesar or wedge salad
  • Compound butter
  • Chimichurri sauce
  • Red wine reduction

Take your sous vide steak to the next level with mouthwatering sides and toppings!

Handy Tips for Sous Viding Frozen Steak

Follow these tips for best results:

  • Marinate before freezing – Marinades penetrate deep into the meat when vacuum sealed.
  • Pat steaks dry – Before searing, pat steaks dry for optimal browning.
  • Adjust seasonings – Taste and season steaks after cooking if needed.
  • Chill after cooking – For food safety, chill within 2 hours.

Can You Sous Vide Frozen Steak? Yes!

Sous viding frozen steak is an easy way to enjoy tender, perfectly cooked steak anytime with no thawing required.

It takes the guesswork out of cooking frozen steak. Simply set your water bath to the desired temp, drop in frozen steaks sealed in bags, and walk away.

In just a few hours, you’ll have juicy, consistent steaks ready to be seared to completion. This foolproof method lets you stock up on steak when prices are low and sous vide straight from the freezer. Give it a try for your next steak night!

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