A nicely cooked steak is hard to beat, but figuring out how to get your steak tender and cooked perfectly is something about which even trained chefs argue. Most of the time, traditional methods are rather involved and takes a lot of skill to avoid drying the steak out.
If you aren’t a trained chef and just want to learn how to make a good steak at home without a lot of hassle, then you should try sous vide cooking.
Not only does sous vide help you maintain the tenderness of the meat but it also allows you to cook a steak without defrosting it. That’s correct! You can sous vide frozen steak and get a tasty meal.
Even better is that learning how to do this is not hard. Almost anyone can do it.
What is Sous Vide?
Sous vide is a French cooking process where you use a water bath to cook food in a plastic bag. The food never comes in contact with the water, so it won’t taste like you boiled it. Instead, it uses the heat from the boiling water to cook the food.
Benefits of Cooking Frozen Steak Sous Vide
There are many benefits of using your sous vide to cook your steak no matter the cut! If you want a perfectly cooked, juicy steak every time, learning the sous vide method is well worth it.
The added bonus of sous vide is the ability to cook a steak that’s frozen! That’s something you can’t do using traditional methods. Here’s some of the benefits of cooking a frozen steak sous vide.
1. Save Time
One of the best things about this method is the time it saves! There’s no additional down time for thawing it out – just pull it out of the freezer, drop it in our sous vide bath, set the temperature and timer and off you go!
2. Ability To Meal Plan and Meal Prep
One benefit of the ability to cook meat from their frozen state is the ability to meal prep and plan. You can batch multiple steaks at the same time, vacuum seal them and put them in the freezer, ready to use.
3. Save Money
If you like to shop in bulk (like me!) at places like Costco or Sam’s Club, you know the ability to save some money by buying in bulk. Now you’re able to buy in bulk knowing you can simply freeze all the steak you just bought and easily cook it when you want to.
There’s something really convenient about simply opening up your freezer, dropping steak into a sous vide water bath and a couple hours later enjoy a perfectly cooked steak. There’s few cooking methods that can do something like that!
What Steaks Can I Sous Vide From Frozen?
You can sous vide almost any steak from frozen! You can do ribeye, sirloin, porterhouse, filet mignon, New York strip, T-bone steaks and they’ll all come out juicy and perfect.
Just remember to prep them correctly! Don’t vacuum seal multiple steaks together and ensure they’re frozen flat so they cook evenly.
Can You Cook Frozen Foods in Sous Vide?
You can cook almost any type of frozen meat including chicken breasts and steak or vegetables like potatoes, carrots and more sous vide. You can sous vide frozen steak or other frozen items if you don’t want to take time to thaw them out.
In fact, frozen sous vide is a very common process because it saves you time and allows you to prep your food before cooking. You can prepare several types of meat, such as sous vide frozen chicken or sous vide frozen salmon, weeks ahead of time.
Trust me when I say, after you try sous vide cooking frozen food once, you’ll likely get hooked! The next thing you know you’ll be putting your frozen steak and other frozen food in your sous vide water bath on the regular!
Take your favorite steak cuts, add in salt and pepper, spice flavors, marinade, or seasonings, put it in a sous vide bag and freeze. Once you are ready to cook, just take it from the freezer and start the sous vide process on the seasoned steak.
You can also season it right before or right after cooking depending on how you like the texture (more on that below).
Cooking frozen foods allows you to also reduce cross-contamination because you aren’t working with raw meat when preparing your dinner. So, you can work on side dishes without having to wash up continuously.
ChefSteps explains that to sous vide frozen steak or other items, you will need to adjust the cooking time, not the cooking temperature.
As an example, I love my T-Bone steaks and usually have at least one cut in the freezer. When not frozen and to achieve Medium-rare doneness, I sous vide at 57°C / 132.8°F for 1.5 hours.
For frozen T-Bone steaks, I sous vide at the same temperature of 57°C / 132.8°F, but do it for 2.25 hours / 135 minutes.
How to Sous Vide Steak from Frozen
You can sous vide almost any type of steak from frozen: skirt steak, strip steak, sirloin steak, flank steak, tenderloin steaks, filet mignon, and more. I like to get high-quality meats and sous vide multiple pieces of meat in bulk.
You’ll need a sous vide bag in which to put the food. I’d recommend getting a good vacuum sealer and vacuum seal bags. You can use a ziploc bags too, but just make sure to remove the air using the water displacement method.
Make sure whatever bag you use that it is BPA-free polyethylene/polypropylene. You also need to check that it is safe for boiling and has strong seams that won’t bust open during cooking.
When seasoning a steak before vacuum sealing, your meat could result in a firm texture. Seasonings can include kosher salt, sea salt, garlic salt, a spice rub, you get the idea, season it with anything to give your steak dinner that intense flavor you want.
Here’s how to use a sous vide precision cooker to cook your frozen steak.
- Steak thickness: The sous vide steak thickness should be between one and 2 1/2 inches for the best results. Thicker steaks you’ll need to add a longer cook time.
- Bag it: You want to put each steak in its own sous vide bag, and make sure to prepare the steak before freezing. Add any seasoning or marinade ingredients at that time so that you do not have to unpackage and repackage when you go to cook it.
- Flat freeze: For the best results, make sure you freeze it flat. Do not let it bend up because this can make it more difficult to sous vide. You may end up having to thaw it first. It can affect the evenness of cooking as well.
- Meal Prep: When you’re ready to cook your sous vide steak, take it out of the freezer and prep your sous vide machine and the water bath container.
- Temperature Range: For medium-rare, you want to maintain a temperature of about 135 degrees. Medium at 140 degrees. If you’d rather have a well-done steak, then cook at 160 degrees. While cooking, you need to keep it fully submerged in the water at all times for even results.
- Cook it: If you’re not using a vacuum seal bag and using the stove top method, you need to be careful about submerging the bag. To avoid getting water into the bag, clip it onto the side of your pot. However, be sure the water fully covers the steak.
- Sear it: Your sous vide steak will come out ready to eat, but if you like an outer edge crust, sear it first. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel and then use a kitchen torch or a cast iron skillet with butter to sear the steak.
For a steak doneness and temperature guide, I have a handy temperature chart in the Best Steak Cut for Sous Vide article.
How good will sous vide frozen steak taste compared to a fresh steak? Check out this video comparison.
Ready to Sous Vide?
Once you learn how to sous vide frozen steak, you may never go back to your old traditional method of cooking. It’s quite easy once you get some practice with it. Plus, not having to remember to defrost your meat is a huge perk.
This tasty cooking method retains the natural fat in the steak to provide you with a tender bite. In addition, you can make several at one time without concern about crowding the pan.
It is an excellent cooking method that provides you with a tasty result. Discovering sous vide can allow you to finally cook a perfect steak of which you can be proud. Whether you have fresh meat or frozen steak, it’s going to be tasty.
Sous vide cooking is fun and flexible, allowing for creativity with your meal prep. You can use many kinds of food – beef, pork chops, fish, vegetables, and more.
There are many recipes for amazing dishes, but as you learn and cook sous vide more, you’ll soon have your own sous vide cookbook!
Sous Vide Frozen Steak FAQs
Yes, you can sous vide frozen steak and enjoy a perfect steak. When cooking it, the rule is to cook it for the regular cook time plus half. The regular cooking time needs to be increased by 50%. For example, if you sous vide for 2 hours normally, cook the frozen steak for 3 hours.
How long you sous vide steak depends on how well-done you would like your steak, the thickness of the cut, and what kind of meat you have.
I like my steaks Medium-Rare and cook it at 132ºF / 55.5ºC for 3 hours. For Medium doneness, set the temperature to 135-144ºF / 57-62ºC for 1-4 hours. For Medium-Well, use 145-155ºF / 63-68ºC for 1-3 hours.
Defrost steak in sous vide in temperatures under 40°F. Much like defrosting meat in the room or in a bowl of water, you don’t use high temperatures to defrost. Higher temperatures are for cooking, but if you want, you can always sous vide frozen steak directly.
This all depends on the type of packaging the store uses. As a general rule of thumb, you should always repackage your steak in a proper sous vide bag that’s made of high-quality, BPA-free polyethylene or polypropylene.
Yes, you can easily sous vide meat and then freeze it for future meals. Sous vide and freeze is a great for meal planning with minimal effort. The faster the meat cools down and freezes, the higher quality the meat will be, so you can give it an ice bath after sous vide and before putting it in the freezer.
Yes, you can sous vide a frozen roast. Just be sure to add 50% of your normal cooking time to the total sous vide cooking time.
There you have it! Now you know exactly how to (and why!) to cook your frozen steak in the sous vide.
If you want to learn more about cooking steak, check out the best cut for a steak cooked in the sous vide!
You can also check out the difference between 2 popular cooking methods – sous vide vs reverse searing!