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Yes, You Can Sous Vide Frozen Steaks

By Steve Dunn Published

Go from freezer to cooked in one simple step.

The only thing easier than defrosting steaks and cooking them with a sous vide machine? Dropping already-prepped packs of frozen steak straight into the water.

To see if frozen meat cooked as successfully as fresh or thawed meat, we ran an experiment: We seasoned two 1½-inch-thick steaks with salt and pepper and vacuum‑sealed them in a bag with oil (necessary for filling air gaps). When the steaks were fully frozen, we seasoned two fresh steaks and sealed them in another bag with oil. We used a probe thermometer to track how long it took each batch to reach 130°F in the water bath. Surprisingly, the frozen steaks took only 10 percent more time to hit 130°F. And after 3 hours of cooking and a quick sear, both sets were equally tender, juicy, and delicious.

Equipment Review Sous Vide Machines (Immersion Circulators)

If you’re planning to plunge into sous vide cooking, we’ve got the best tool for the job.

If you want to sous vide your steaks from frozen, here are two tips.

  • Most sous vide steak recipes give a range for the cooking time, so simply increase the recipe’s minimum time by 25 percent to allow for ample thawing time. For example, if the recipe’s range for cooking non-frozen steak is from 90 minutes to 3 hours, you should cook the frozen steaks for a minimum of 115 minutes. 

 

  • And make sure to add the oil and any stock, butter, herbs, or spices that your recipe requires when portioning and vacuum-sealing the steaks for freezing. That way, the bag is good to go right from the freezer.

Equipment Review Countertop Vacuum Sealers

If you regularly buy or prepare food in bulk, a vacuum sealer can save you time and money—but only if the machine is quick, effective, and easy to use.

SCIENCE Why Sous Vide is Perfect for Cooking Meat

Sous vide provides precision, prevents moisture loss, and guarantees the best-tasting steak, chicken, or roast you've ever cooked.

Recipe Sous Vide Seared Steaks

Cooking steaks sous vide is a game changer. The water bath technique takes all of the risk, guesswork, and stress out of the dinner-preparation equation.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.