Loading...

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

3,285,730 views

Loading...

Loading...

Transcript

The interactive transcript could not be loaded.

Loading...

Loading...

Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Jul 30, 2014

Buy Cook's Science today: http://amzn.to/212U0nC
The Science of Good Cooking: http://amzn.to/1O8oGw7
Subscribe to our new Cook's Science YouTube channel! http://youtube.com/cooksscience

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=2guC4...

WATCH: How to Quickly Defrost Meat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a2hQ...

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


America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe.

Each week, the cast of America's Test Kitchen brings the recipes, testings, and tastings from Cook's Illustrated magazine to life on our public television series. With more than 2 million viewers per episode, we are the most-watched cooking show on public television.
http://www.americastestkitchen.com

More than 1.3 million home cooks rely on Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines to provide trusted recipes that work, honest ratings of equipment and supermarket ingredients, and kitchen tips.
http://www.cooksillustrated.com
http://www.cookscountry.com

Loading...

Advertisement
When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next.

Up next


to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...