Grilling Frozen Steak? By looking back on the gastronomical movements in history brings to mind the question, “Who?” Who was the first person brave enough to eat the first egg? Who was the first person to first crack open an oyster, and determine that the slimy insides would be delectable? Who was the first person to attempt to grill a frozen piece of meat?
Well, the last question is fairly deducible. It must have been a man. Only an impatient man would throw such caution to the wind, and place a frozen hunk of meat on a grill. That first man paved the way, now you are the person that will perfect it.
The rules here are simple, the stylings we will use will make you the master of the grill. Your friends will ask you: how to grill frozen steak, just the way you did.
Supplies Needed to Grill Frozen Steak
Before you begin, you will need a few things:
- Grill; Charcoal or Gas
- Charcoal, lump or briquette. If you are choosing to use a gas grill, make sure your propane is filled.
- Black pepper and kosher salt, 2:1 ratio
- A frozen steak to grill, Ideally your cut is going to be at least 1” to 1 ½ “ in thickness
How to Prepare your Grill
It is always best to get the fire going while you prep your meal.
You might want to try to ignite the charcoal in a charcoal chimney. This holds the coals over a gap. You light some newspaper under the coals, and they ignite. This will take about 10 minutes.
Once the coals are turning gray you will pour them into your grill.
We find dividing the grill in half, one side for direct heat, one side for indirect contact.
The best feature of using a chimney to start your fire is that you won’t have to use any lighter fluid.
This can give your meat an off taste if you don’t let it burn off completely.
Most gas grills have been developed to grill your food without any off flavors from the gas.
How to Select the Best Cut for Grilling
If you usually find yourself grilling food, especially beef cuts, then the type of meat cut you buy makes a big difference.
A rib eye cut is a great way to begin. This cut contains the best marbling. Marbling is the fat that runs throughout the meat. It lends flavor to the meat. As opposed to the filet mignon which is very lean.
The more fat in your steak, the higher the grade it gets. We will discuss grades shortly but first, find out which are the common brands:
- Wagyu - This is Japanese-bred cattle. Very famous for its marbling. Within the family of Wagyu is Kobe beef.
Kobe beef is a narrowed down strain of Wagyu. Among the many people who love the flavor of Kobe beef, are Mr. and Mrs. Bryant. Their love of this brand prompted them to name their son after it. You may know him for his skills on the basketball court.
- Angus - This is a common brand and refers to Certified Angus Beef. This beef comes from ranches in the United States
Brands such as Wagyu tend to be expensive, while Angus brands are more in line with the average household budget.
You want to be the best at grilling beef cuts and consistency is key for you. So you should decide and pick the type of meat you will cook on a regular basis.
As you look at where your meat came from you will hear things like grass fed, grain fed and open pasture.
Grass fed beef tends to have a yellow tint within the fat. While grain fed beef tends to have more white fat.
Grain fed beef has a more consistent flavor to it each time you purchase it.
Grass fed will have more flavors, but they can differ from one day to the next. This is because there are more variables to how the fat was built. Different grasses, different pastures. These grass fed flavors lend to distinguishing notes in the fat.
In the way a wine connoisseur might distinguish an aged cabernet from one cask to another, you might get a flavor today from your grass fed steak, and tomorrow you may not get the same desired results from your grass fed meat.
Grain fed tends to return consistent flavors, something you’ll want when you grill your frozen steak.
Beef Quality Grades
Your beef has been inspected and graded for your pleasure.
A lot of food science and agriculture training has been conducted to make your decision easy.
The only thing to consider is your taste and your budget.
There are up to eight classifications in beef grades but most local markets will carry these three grades: Select, Choice and Prime.
- Select - This is the leanest of the grades. It is tougher, has little marbling, and is least expensive.
- Choice - This grade contains more fat than a select cut but less marbling than a prime cut. It tends to have a coarse texture and is a little less expensive than prime.
- Prime - This is the most superior grade. It tends to be juicier, flavorful and, great marbling. It is more expensive than the other grades, but you will enjoy it.
I hope you now have chosen your beef.
Now, there are some people who like to freeze their meat on purpose while some others just decide to grill spontaneously and their find out that their beef is frozen.
No matter which situation are you in, the method for grilling frozen steak is the same.
The thicker the cut is, the more control you have in hitting the desired temperature; Rare, Medium-Rare, Medium, Medium-Well or Well Done.
If you want Medium-Well to Well Done, a thin cut just at or below 1” is perfect. Otherwise, aim for a thicker cut.
If you can work with your butcher, together you can make consistent decisions to accommodate your grilling needs.
How to Prepare a Frozen Steak for Grilling
Note: If your steak is already frozen and you have already prepared it, you don't have to read this step.
Freeze your meat by laying them uncovered on a heavy cookie sheet and placing in the freezer. Freezing your meat in this manner works in two ways to benefit you:
First, it creates a flat surface which is ideal for grilling.
Second, it draws out the moisture. When you grill your meat, the less moisture in it will mean less splattering.
After you freeze your cuts, place them in a zipper type freezer bag until you are ready to start your grilling.
How to Grill Frozen Steak
By now you have prepared your side dishes. You have opened your favorite bottle of wine to breathe and your fire is ready. You know your fire is ready when the coals are gray.
The direct heat side temperature should be at 500° or higher. The indirect heat side should be at 325° to 350°.
Prior to cooking, place a piece of tin foil, shiny side down on the grill for one minute. After one minute, use tongs to remove it and begin brushing down your grill so it is clean to cook on.
Now, take your frozen meat cut out and place it on the direct heat side.
After three to four minutes of grilling, give the steak a quarter turn; this will sear the bottom side with perfect grill marks.
After five to seven minutes total cooking on one side, flip it on the other side.
Continue cooking on the second side for another five minutes.
Ideally, you want to check your internal temperature with a thermometer.
At this point, the internal temperature should be at 75° to 90°. Each side of your meat should have a beautiful crust seared on to it.
Now take your semi-grilled cut off the grill and season it. Pepper and kosher salt, 2:1 ratio.
After you season it, place the meat again on the grill, in the indirect-heat side of the grill. It should cook for about 10 more minutes.
You want to season at this point for two reasons: First, it is very hard to get the seasoning to stick to a frozen meat cut. Second, peppering your steak prior to searing at a high temperature will burn the pepper and give it an off flavor. Avoid that from happening by seasoning just prior to moving the steak to the indirect heat side of your grill.
How Do You Like Your Steak?
Each person has different tastes. In fact, what one person thinks is Medium-Rare, another person may think is Medium, and a third person might think it is Rare.
A non-scientific method involves feeling the bounce in the steak to determine the doneness. An accurate method involves the thermometer. The temperatures you want to look for are:
- Rare, 115°-120°
- Medium-Rare, 120°-125°
- Medium, 130°-135°
- Medium-Well, 140°-145°
- Well Done, 150° or above
Serving your Grilled Frozen Steak
After you finish grilling at your desired doneness, take it off the heat, cover it loosely, and let it rest for about five minutes.
This will allow the juices to settle and stop flowing. Cutting into it before then will give the juices a means of escape, and can cause your meat to dry out quicker.
Now you can sit down with good friends, good conversation, and a perfectly grilled steak.
Serve with some sautéed string beans and garlic, fried potatoes and some grilled onions and mushrooms. Enjoy with a nice Pinot Noir, a brown ale or porter, unsweet iced tea, or just a refreshing glass of ice water.
Benefits of grilling frozen steak are many. If you forget to prepare your freezer food, it’s never too late. Just grab and go.
Additionally, when you grill a frozen steak it tends to lose less moisture through the cooking process than a thawed steak would. It also has less tendency to overcook.
Lastly, when we sampled the frozen and thawed cooked steaks at our house, we unanimously chose the frozen over the thawed in a prime rib eye, T-bone cook off.