Grilling Frozen Steaks: How to Cook Them Without Thawing

Fresh steaks are ideal for cooking and grilling, but it is possible to cook frozen steaks too — and the meat might even come out juicier. You may be baffled at the idea of throwing a rock-solid steak on a grill, but this method can help when last-minute dinner guests pop over or you simply forgot to pull the steaks from the freezer the night before. However, you’ll need to learn a few tricks in order to pull off a flavorful, juicy, and tender steak straight from its frozen state.

Before firing up your grill, first ensure that your frozen steaks are still in their prime. Next, consider the amount of time you have. Cooking frozen steaks may take double the amount of time as fresh. Still, it’s much quicker than waiting for the steaks to fully defrost. Thicker cuts, like ribeye, are more ideal than thinner cuts, like skirt steak. Obviously, these cuts don’t require as much time on the grill, but there’s a chance the inside will overcook before the outside gets a nice char and fully defrosts. It’s also worth noting that it will be nearly impossible for any spices to stick to frozen meat, so hold off on the steak seasoning until after the meat is seared.

Use two heat zones to grill frozen steaks

bags of frozen steak

To properly grill frozen steaks, it’s best to use the two-zone grilling method. This means part of your grill will be hot enough to sear the steak, creating a nice crust and those classic grill marks. Meanwhile, the other area should have a lower temperature for the steak to finish cooking over indirect heat so the center has enough time to get to your desired temperature. It could take 10 minutes (or more) to sear the steaks over direct heat, flipping halfway through, then an additional 10 minutes to finish off. Use your meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature. For medium doneness, this should be between 140 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. 

RECOMMENDED:  Avoid Using the Thermometer Dial on Your Grill

For anyone who doesn’t have an outdoor grill, know that you can certainly cook frozen steaks on the stovetop with a grill pan or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. And to really perfect grilled frozen steak, check out Look’s essential grilling tips while you wait for the grill to heat up.

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