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Cooking Tips

Yes, You Can Sous Vide Frozen Steaks

Go from freezer to cooked in one simple step.

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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