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Cooking Tips

Yes, You Can Sous Vide Frozen Steaks

Go from freezer to cooked in one simple step.
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Published Jan. 25, 2022.

The only thing easier than defrosting steaks and cooking them with a sous vide machine? Dropping already-prepped packs of frozen steak straight into the water.

To see if frozen meat cooked as successfully as fresh or thawed meat, we ran an experiment: We seasoned two 1½-inch-thick steaks with salt and pepper and vacuum‑sealed them in a bag with oil (necessary for filling air gaps). When the steaks were fully frozen, we seasoned two fresh steaks and sealed them in another bag with oil. We used a probe thermometer to track how long it took each batch to reach 130°F in the water bath. Surprisingly, the frozen steaks took only 10 percent more time to hit 130°F. And after 3 hours of cooking and a quick sear, both sets were equally tender, juicy, and delicious.

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If you want to sous vide your steaks from frozen, here are two tips.

  • Most sous vide steak recipes give a range for the cooking time, so simply increase the recipe’s minimum time by 25 percent to allow for ample thawing time. For example, if the recipe’s range for cooking non-frozen steak is from 90 minutes to 3 hours, you should cook the frozen steaks for a minimum of 115 minutes. 
  • And make sure to add the oil and any stock, butter, herbs, or spices that your recipe requires when portioning and vacuum-sealing the steaks for freezing. That way, the bag is good to go right from the freezer.

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