Can I Cook Frozen Steak? Answers to FAQs About Thawing Frozen Meat

We’re big fans of freezers around here. There’s nothing better than saving money on meat with bulk orders that fill your deep freezer, knowing that you’ll be enjoying juicy steaks and hamburgers fresh off the grill all summer long. 

But the rules change a bit when you’re cooking with frozen meat, and that can make some people nervous to cook it at all. We’re answering all of your freezer burning questions (pun intended), so that you can focus on firing up the grill. 

Can I cook meat from frozen? 

It’s definitely safe to cook meat straight from frozen — in fact, it’s a requirement for some poultry

Expect to spend more time cooking meat from frozen. It’ll take about 1.5x longer to cook anything from frozen, so if you’d normally bake your fresh chicken for 30 minutes, frozen chicken will take 45 minutes. 

For steak, we recommend only cooking thicker cuts from frozen to prevent any overcooking. You’ll need to hit your frozen cut with high heat first to develop a flavorful sear. You can do this on the grill or with a cast iron pan. Then, cook it the rest of the way using indirect heat on the grill or in a 400℉ oven to your desired temperature. As always, allow your meat to rest for the best results. 

Should I let meat thaw on the counter? 

You should never thaw raw meat on your countertop, or anywhere else that’s room temperature. At temperatures above 40℉, bacteria can grow on your food, putting you and your family at risk of food poisoning.

The best, safest way to thaw meat is in the refrigerator, where you can keep meat at a safe temperature as it defrosts.

How can I quickly thaw frozen meat? 

There’s nothing worse than coming home starving, only to remember that you forgot to thaw the chicken that you’d planned to cook for dinner. But there are a few workarounds to thaw your meat quickly if you’d rather not cook it from frozen.

While we can’t get the meat thawed immediately, we know how to speed up the process without compromising the quality. Put your package of frozen meat into a big bowl and cover it with cold water and check it every 20 minutes. Depending on the amount of meat, it should be ready to cook within an hour. 

We’re putting a big emphasis on cold here for a reason. Just like thawing meat on the counter, thawing meat in warm water isn’t safe due to bacterial growth.

Can I thaw meat in the microwave?

If you’re really on a time crunch, you can thaw frozen meat in the microwave. Make sure to remove it from the packaging and place it in a microwave-safe container, and then use the defrost setting on your microwave for 8-10 minutes per pound, flipping or stirring occasionally. 

If you’re using a microwave to thaw your meat, make sure to cook it immediately to prevent bacteria growth.

Can I refreeze leftover meat after it’s been thawed? 

If you thawed your meat in the refrigerator and then changed your mind, it’s perfectly safe to refreeze your meat. There may be some slight changes to the quality and texture, but you don’t need to worry about bacteria or food poisoning here. 

If you use the microwave or a bowl of cold water to thaw your meat, do not refreeze it or refrigerate it after it’s thawed. You need to cook the meat as soon as it’s thawed, or else it will spoil. 

Does freezer burn mean my food has gone bad? 

Freezer burn doesn’t mean your food is spoiled… but it might throw off the taste and quality of your meat. Freezer burn alters the texture, resulting in meat that might feel leathery or tough. You’ll also notice that freezer burned meat has less flavor. 

In order to prevent freezer burn, make sure to carefully wrap your meat in plastic wrap, tin foil, or wax paper, and then seal in an airtight container. 

Can frozen meat go bad?

According to the USDA, frozen meat kept constantly at 0℉ is safe to eat indefinitely. That being said, your meat will lose more and more flavor over time the longer it sits in the freezer. 

For the best experience, we wouldn’t recommend freezing your steak cuts, pork chops, and chicken for longer than 12 months. Ground meats can be stored for up to four months before the quality deteriorates. 

Is frozen meat just as healthy as fresh food? 

Absolutely! Like any food, freezing your meat will never reduce the nutritional value. You can count on plenty of protein and nutrients in your frozen delivery from the Prime House Direct. 

Whether you fill up your deep freezer once a year or do a monthly bulk shopping trip, the Prime House Direct has everything you need for delicious, protein-packed meals — at inflation-proof prices that the grocery store just can’t beat.

Plan your trip to one of our truckload events or get top-quality meat delivered to your doorstep today!