November 21

Can I Sous Vide Frozen Steak? | 5 Simple Steps and Plenty of Useful Tips!


Author: Cornelia Suehr and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

I’m a big fan of sous vide cooking. It’s easy, convenient, and very tasty. One question that comes to my mind is: can I sous vide frozen steak?

I did extensive research plus testing and found that you can sous vide frozen steak but there is one thing to keep in mind. Add an extra hour to your cook time so that the frozen steak has enough time to fully defrost before reaching its final temperature.

Key Takeaways

  • Sous vide cooking is a great way to cook any cut of beef. It's especially useful when you're cooking a tough cut like chuck roast or brisket, where traditional grilling and braising can take hours.
  • You can sous vide steak that is frozen, but it will take longer to cook. Also, the time needed to cook frozen steak depends on its thickness of it plus the level of doneness that you want
  • The key to sous vide frozen steak is to add an hour more to the cooking time. So if your recipe calls for a 2-hour cook time, start with a 3-hour cook time with frozen meat.
  • With sous vide cooking, you don't have to worry about the steak sitting out for an hour or two while it comes up to room temperature before cooking. You just cook frozen steak the way it is.
steaks, tomatoes and spices

Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking Frozen Steak

Sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed and submerged in a temperature-controlled water bath for longer than normal cooking times. The result is very tender sous vide meat with a consistent texture and flavor.

The meat is cooked at a low temperature, usually around 134 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time. This allows the meat to cook through evenly, while also infusing it with flavors from the surrounding liquid.

It Is Cost Effective

 You can purchase bulk packs of steaks, which are often sold at a discount, and store them in your freezer until you are ready to cook them. This will save you money over purchasing individual cuts of steak from the grocery store.

Sous Vide Cooking Is Convenient

No need to keep an eye on the food while it is being cooked because there is no risk of overcooking or undercooking anything thanks to the precision control offered by sous vide machines today.

It is Safe

The only real risk with sous vide cooking is food poisoning from bacteria on your hands or in your kitchen. Make sure you wash your hands well before handling any meat, poultry, or eggs; these are the most likely sources of bacterial contamination.

Saves you Time

When you cook sous vide, the meat does not need to be thawed first hence saving you time.

You simply place your frozen steaks into your vacuum bag, season them, and seal it up. Then, you can start cooking right away.

Equipment required for Cooking Sous Vide Frozen Steaks

Sous vide cooking uses a vacuum sealer and sous vide bags to prepare the foods before they are placed into the water bath. They are then cooked in a temperature-controlled environment for several hours. The result is a tender and juicy piece of meat that is full of flavor.

garlic, onion and steaks in bags

The first step in sous vide cooking fresh or frozen steak is getting all of your equipment together. You will need:

A Vacuum Sealer

This machine sucks all of the air out of the plastic bag with the frozen steak. This will ensure that the steaks are sealed properly so they don't leak while they're in the water bath. You can find an inexpensive vacuum sealer online or at any kitchen supply store.

Sous Vide Bags

Purchase special bags designed specifically for sous vide cooking, or you can use Ziploc bags or other brands that have been tested and found safe to use with food.

These are also available online or at most kitchen supply stores. They come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different types of food, including steaks and roasts, chicken breasts, and whole chickens.

a person putting a steak in bag into the sous vide machine

Sous Vide Machine

This is the most important piece of equipment required for sous vide cooking frozen and fresh steaks, but it's also one of the most expensive items on this list. The Anova Precision Cooker is one of our top sous vide cooker picks because it's affordable, small enough to take anywhere, and offers great performance for its price point.

There are also great options that will get you started with sous vide cooking for less than $200.

Cast Iron Skillet

You will need a cast iron skillet for searing steaks after they have been cooked sous vide for about 3 hours. The skillet will give them a nice crust on both sides that tastes delicious.

cookers in the kitchen

How to Sous Vide Frozen Steak-Step by Step

As I mentioned before, you can sous vide frozen steak. It will take longer to cook, but the results will be just as good as if the steak were fresh.

Step 1: Buy Frozen Steaks

The first thing you'll need to do is get your hands on frozen steaks. Most grocery stores sell frozen steaks at a lower price than fresh ones, so this is a great way to save money. Also, if you don't have access to a local butcher shop or farmer's market, buying frozen beef can be one of the best ways to ensure that your beef steak is always fresh and healthy.

Step 2: Prepare Your Frozen Steak for Sous Vide

To prepare your sous vide steak, take it out of its original packaging and pat it dry with paper towels until there is no more moisture on the surface. Then season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides.

Step 3: Vacuum Seal the Sous Vide Bag with Frozen Steak

Place your frozen steak in a sous vide bag and vacuum seal it. It's important that you completely remove all of the air from inside because if there is any left, it could ruin your meal when cooking sous vide.

Step 4: Prepare Your Sous Vide Machine

If you don't already have one, buy a sous vide machine. They start around $100 and go up from there. The models that cost more are typically easier to use and more versatile. They also come with their own cooking water circulators plus a container for sous vide water bath, so there's no need to buy them separately.

Fill the container with water. Make sure that there is enough water surrounding your steak.

Step 5: Cooking Frozen Steak

Next, place the bags in your sous vide water bath set to the desired temperature and time. I like my steak medium rare so I set my circulator for 134°F/57°C to run for 3 and half hours.

This temperature range ensures that your steak won't be undercooked or overcooked; just perfectly medium rare.

Finally, once cooking is complete, remove the steak from its bag and pat dry again with paper towels before searing on all sides in a hot pan over high heat for about two minutes per side or until browned all.

steaks in cooking process

What Is the Texture of Sous Vide Steaks from Frozen?

Sous vide steak is a great way to get tender and juicy steaks.

The texture of sous vide steaks from frozen is not significantly different from fresh steaks. However, the frozen steaks take longer to sous vide because they have more ice crystals in them than fresh ones

It's important to remember that sous vide cooking doesn't require any added fats so it's a healthy way to cook.

How Long Does It Take to Sous Vide Frozen Steak?

It takes longer to sous vide frozen steak than a fresh steak. The reason is that the heat has to penetrate the frozen meat, which is thicker.

The difference could be even more if your steak is thicker. If you're cooking a frozen steak, add an extra hour to your cook time. For example, if your recipe calls for 2 hours of cooking time at 134 degrees Fahrenheit, then add another hour to get a total of 3 hours.

In any case, sous vide is a splendid method to prepare any cut of beef. It will save time when cooking chuck roast or brisket, where traditional grilling can take much longer.

a person showing meat in a bag ready for sous vide

Any Difference If You Sous Vide Ribeye from Frozen?

No, there is no difference if you sous vide Ribeye from frozen. The reason is that Ribeye is a tender cut that will not take very long to cook, same with filet mignon.

The ribeye is one of the most popular cuts of steak because it's tender and flavorful.

Ribeye steaks are high in fat content, and the fat is distributed throughout the meat, making it juicy and tender. The marbling in the meat provides an excellent flavor when cooked with sous vide cooking methods.

What's The Best Temperature for Sous Vide Frozen Steak?

The best temperature for sous vide frozen steak will depend on the level of doneness that you want.

Frozen Steak: 130°F (55°C)

This is the lowest temperature that can be used to effectively cook frozen steak.

Medium: 140 °F (60 C)

This is also another good temperature for sous vide frozen steak. Medium steaks have enough tenderness not to end up as an overcooked sous vide meal.

The most important thing is that you get the right temperature and then leave it alone.  If you start messing with the water bath by jiggling the dial up and down or trying to raise the temperature quickly, it will only make things worse.

sous vide meat with spices and tomatoes

About the author

Cornelia Suehr

A professional chef and a passionate writer on all topics related to cooking, baking, appliances and kitchenware. Her posts resonate with foodies, home chefs and professionals.


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