How to Cook Frozen Steaks

An America's Test Kitchen Recipe

Hello, Meal Procrastinators. Hey, Spontaneous People. Want to cook a steak, like right now? like ASAP? Just pull a steak or two from the freezer and an hour later, you'll sit down to perfectly cooked steaks. No thawing needed!
Hello, Picky Planners. Because cooking steaks from their frozen state yields the perfect steak – seared on the outside, evenly cooked all the way to the center.
Intrigued? Read on! This is effortless cooking with fine, fine results. These steaks? It's like you've pampered good meat for hours.

Frozen Steaks, another Quick Supper ♥ How to cook steaks straight from the freezer, no microwave, no thawing required. Meat is perfectly, evenly cooked.

How to Cook a Frozen Steak Straight from the Freezer Without Thawing or the Microwave. "Plain" But Perfect. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Perfect for Date Night & Cooking for One or Two. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Low Carb. High Protein.

Who Dreams About Recipes?

This one came to me in the middle of the night. Well, sort of.

I wasn't really dreaming, I was falling asleep to the dulcet tones of Christopher Kimball's voice, listening to the America's Test Kitchen podcast. So much information, so many tips! If you're a podcast fan and a cook, this podcast definitely belongs on your playlist.

But back to that "dream," the one about pulling a frozen steak straight from the freezer, searing it, then putting it into a low oven to finish.

Steaks Cooked Straight from the Freezer!

For a year now, it's been our go-to method for cooking steaks on the fly. Just last Friday, after a long, long week, we were on our way out to dinner.

Instead? I pulled steaks from the freezer, warmed up some Slow Cooker Grits made earlier in the day and fixed a green salad with tomatoes from the garden.

With a bottle of wine? It was the best "free meal" ever – and it didn't hurt that St. Louis' beloved Cardinals beat the Cubbies!

About This Recipe: How to Cook Frozen Steaks

  • This recipe is all about technique, one tested until perfect by America's Test Kitchen. We adopted this technique as our go-recipe for cooking steaks, especially for last-minute impromptu steak dinners.
  • The steaks are cooked straight from the freezer, no thawing, no microwaving, no anything, just straight from the freezer.
  • The recipe works best for one or two steaks. That said, for cooking for more people, you can easily use more than one pan and even more than one oven rack.
  • The technique calls for a cast iron skillet, the steaks plus a little seasoning and butter, a quick sear on the stove and finishing the steaks in a slow oven. I've also included a vegetable side dish that cooks in the same skillet once the steaks are done. That makes this recipe another One-Pot Supper Recipes, a Kitchen Parade specialty.
  • The steaks look so pretty, nice and juicy, nice and seared.
  • This is a time-friendly recipe, you'll spend about 5 minutes hands-on time, the rest is all hands-off until the steaks come out of the oven under an hour later. So if you want to sit down with a beer and some appetizers, cook a vegetable or make a salad, maybe even throw together a dessert, this is your recipe.
  • This is a calorie-friendly recipe, for steak, that is. So many steaks are doused in butter and heavy sauces, it's just not necessary, especially with good meat.
  • I use another recipe for less-tender steaks, see Steak & Poblanos a Quick Supper, how to turn an inexpensive cut into a tender, tasty steak.
  • Not quite what you're looking for? Check out my other beef recipes.
Frozen Steaks, another Quick Supper ♥ How to cook steaks straight from the freezer, no microwave, no thawing required. Meat is perfectly, evenly cooked.

How to Cook Frozen Steaks Without Thawing First

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in three easy steps, that includes a vegetable side dish. You can definitely do this!

  • START ON THE STOVE Pull a couple of steaks out of the freezer, preferably t-bones. Don't thaw the steaks, don't throw them in the microwave, just unwrap them.
  • Melt a little butter in a hot cast iron skillet. This is gonna seem weird but just go with it, sprinkle the skillet (not the steak!) with your favorite steak seasoning or meat rub or just salt and pepper.
  • Drop the steaks into the hot skillet, they'll sizzle. Let the steaks sear (that is, brown a bit) on the bottom side, just for a minute or two.
  • Flip the steaks over, season the top side and let the bottom side sear.
  • MOVE TO A LOW OVEN, 275F / 130C. Move the entire skillet right into the heated-up oven and cook the steaks to your desired doneness, about 35 - 45 minutes for rare to medium rare.
  • Along the way, insert a digital thermometer into the meat, avoiding the bone, and set the alarm for about five degrees less than the optimal internal temperature, for rare to medium rare, that's 140F / 60C.
  • If you like, pull the steaks out of the oven and move the steaks to plates (preferably warm!) for a minute or two to use the same skillet to quickly sauté a few vegetables back on the stove, gathering up all that steak-y fond and goodness.
  • Now dig into your much-anticipated steak feast, reveling in how simple this steak-cooking technique really is and wondering, really, why we cook steaks any other way.

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this technique for cooking a couple of steaks from the freezer inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Frozen Steaks, another Quick Supper ♥ How to cook steaks straight from the freezer, no microwave, no thawing required. Meat is perfectly, evenly cooked.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: less than an hour
Makes 1 - 2 steaks
  • Butter
  • Your favorite steak seasoning or meat rub
  • 1 or 2 steaks, preferably t-bones
  • Zucchini, cut in fat half moons
  • Red pepper, cut in large pieces
  • Small onion, cut in large pieces

Heat the oven to 275F/130C.

STEAKS, START on the STOVE Place a pat of butter, just a tablespoon or two, into a cast-iron skillet. Turn the fire onto medium-high, slosh the butter across the skillet. Liberally sprinkle the skillet's surface with seasoning. Add the steak, let sear without moving for a minute or two. Sprinkle seasoning on the top side, then flip and sear the other side.

STEAKS, MOVE to the OVEN Insert a digital thermometer like our favorite ThermoPro Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) into the thickest area of the steak, avoiding the bones. (If need be, it's easier to insert the probe after the steaks have been in the oven a few minutes.) Cook the steaks to your desired temperature, we like them quite rare so cook to 140F/60C, it takes about 35 - 45 minutes.

WHILE THE STEAKS COOK This is such a relaxed technique for cooking steaks! There's plenty of time to prep some vegetables, make a salad, set the table or you know, just sip a glass of wine while the oven does all the work.

SKILLET VEGETABLES, BACK to the STOVE Move the cooked steaks onto warm plates, cover with foil to keep warm. Drop the vegetables into the buttery, salty, steaky juices in the hot skillet and quickly sauté on the stovetop at high temperature until just done and still quite crisp.

ALANNA's TIPS If you like, prep the frozen steaks just a little: slice off obvious fat and whack the frozen surface with the knife blade, roughing it up a bit. Why "season" the skillet instead of the meat itself? Because the spices don't adhere well to frozen meat. Word to the wise. This technique works best for one or two steaks, you want to avoid crowding the meat in the skillet. With two steaks, be sure to check each one for doneness, one can take longer than the other. Because Frozen Steaks are cooked at low temperature, the cooking is slow and even. No need for a rest period!

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Assumes 4 ounces t-bone (meat only) cooked in 1/2 tablespoon butter, a whole steak would obviously be more. Per serving: 303 Calories; 21g Tot Fat; 11g Sat Fat; 79mg Cholesterol; 101mg Sodium; 1g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 22g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 8 & PointsPlus 7 & SmartPoints 10 & Freestyle 10 & myWW green 10 & blue 10 & purple 10 & future WW points

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.