How Well Does The Frozen Steak Trick Work?

Last week, we ran a hint suggesting you could cook a steak better by starting from frozen, since a frozen steak is harder to burn when it hits the pan. I was intrigued enough to give it a try.

Despite what the original post said about starting with a frozen steak fresh from a freezer, the actual source recipe recommends freezing the steak only for an hour, so that's what I did. A quick sear, an hour in the oven (at a very low temperature) and the steak was done. And it was good — a nice outside, a soft inside, and an abundance of flavour.

But for all that, I'm not sure that it was any better than if I'd cooked the same steak in a frypan, and it certainly wasn't any quicker. The secret to good steak, I've always believed, is to make sure you don't constantly turn the meat: start on one side, flip when it's half done, and let it rest a little when you're finished. If you can't make that work, the oven-cooking trick is definitely useful, but again I'm not entirely sure how much difference the freezing made. Bottom line? I won't be doing it again, but it works fine if you want to try it.


Comments

    Where's the control? You should have cooked one frozen steak and one unfrozen steak so you could actually test this hypothesis properly.

    If you're just going to answer the question in the headline with "I'm not sure", what's the point?

    The "oven trick" is great for all sorts of meat that you want a nice flame grilled finish to, but not burnt to a crisp or raw on the inside. I often give (good) sausages a quick once over on the BBQ, get them nice and brown with some grill lines, then put them in the over for half an hour to actually cook through. Works great with chicken as well.

    Mr Hanky... is that you?

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    The whole "only turn a steak once" thing is a real myth as well, if you constantly turn it every 15 seconds the outside gets very nice and crispy while keeping the middle uncooked. heston blumenthal demos the technique in "how to cook like heston" and it works equally well to the one turn method. Next time i feel like 3 steaks I will try the three methods and see which one i prefer.

      Throw it in a sandwich press (or even a toaster if you're feeling brave), and you don't have to turn it at all. Both sides cook simultaneously and evenly.

      My own experience with people turning steaks repeatedly is they end up tough on the outside and unpleasant in the middle. So I'm going to stick with my method. Doing a controlled test with a non-frozen oven steak would compare all three methods, but my aim was to see how well the suggested method worked compared to what I normally do.

    Helson Blumathal reckons to start the steak at room temperature and turn every 15 seconds. Check out his cooking show when it airs in Aus probably later this year.

    or just order it cooked......come on people :-)

      If I wanted a tough piece of leather on my plate I'd go to Betts and Betts Simo

        I'd say he is implying he is a person who gets other people to cook his steaks at a restaurant rather than doing it himself.

    I have found my own method

    Slightly score the steak both sides with a sharp knife ( 20- 30 times) then salt and pepper. Cook on BBQ or grill turning once or twice ( doesnt matter) but UNDER COOK THE THING.

    Whatever type of steak you like UNDERCOOK IT. Then wrap in alfoil for same cooking time and it turns out perfect every single time

      Make a youtube video

    as i pointed out in the related post, the best and only real best way to cook steak "let the meat get to room temperature FIRST!!!!", when cooking, start on the presentation side and let it cook between 3-7 minutes (depending on whether you like rare or well done) turn it once and only once and finish off cooking on the other side. 99% of the time you end up with properly cooked steak. seriously its not that hard.

    besides this method is only usefull if you have a pan that you can actually put in the over, if you dont and use and oven dish or roasting pan, think of the extra cleanup you have to do after you have finished cooking!

    I don't cook steak often myself at home, prefering to enjoy a nice cut when i'm at a nice restaraunt. But for me I just get out George Foreman... preheat it to HOT HOT HOT... chuck on a couple pieces of porterhouse until the outsides are nice and crispy, let it rest. Dinner is served.

    I cook the steak in the oven for a couple of hours at 60 deg C, up too 6hrs, then put it on a extemely hot pan or BBQ. You then cook to your desired eating requirements, for me it Med rare, I cook for about 4 min on each side, then let it rest for 10min, and hey preston, the perfect steak. It looks great on the outside, but melts in your mouth.
    I do this with a steak that is at least 2.5cm thick.

    I use to be a single flipper but since reading this link Ive changed my meat cooking methods. My cooked meat has improved by leaps and bounds.
    As Nathan said above, turn every 15 seconds.
    But thats not always possible when you have a BBQ full of meat, so just keep up a good rotation with everything.

    http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/02/the-burger-lab-how-many-times-should-you-flip-a-burger-while-cooking.html

    Always cook on a plate, never on a grill otherwise all the juices drip off.
    People watch me now and say "What are you doing? You should only turn once!"
    I just say "Yeah, whatever." Then I listen to them commenting on how tender and juicy the steak is while theyre eating it.

    Shouldn't you have tested this before you published it as a "hint" yesterday?

    A first for a hack/tips website - they actually test the hack rather than just reposting it. Between this and the wd40 iphone button farce, there is an opportunity for a hack site that actually tests things prior to posting them!

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