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Cooking a Frozen Roast Without Thawing


Pam R
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Pam~

I have to say that I am so impressed with the results (and I LOVE pink lamb so much, hate grey lamb :sad: ) that I would try it in a sec.

Truly, more uniformly pink (inside to out) and juicy and tender...... I am amazed.

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Ok, I'm convinced. I have a chunk of wild boar in the freezer that I'm going to submit to this test. I'm not sure exactly what cut this would be called - it was shot in the street of a nearby village and the person who gave it to me called it a leg. But it's really sort of lump-shaped, so I'm going to think of it as a shoulder. I think there's still a bone in there, so that might make some timing difference.

I've never cooked boar, so if anyone has advice, I'm all ears.

Edited by Abra (log)
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Not exactly the same, but I never defrost anything I'm going to braise: brisket, short ribs, etc. They go in frozen and I just add some extra time.

No browning of the meat first then? How do you get the complex flavours that come from the fond if you're cooking from frozen?

I didn't want to alarm anybody in my original post, but Mom also put a turkey roast (rolled boneless breast, skin on) into the oven that day -- frozen.  It also turned out beautifully.

I always cook those turkey breasts from frozen. I seem to recall it says cook from frozen on the package.

I've never cooked a beef roast from frozen. I may have to give this a try.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Wow, this is a revolutionary technique. I just tried it tonight with a 3lb chuck roast. Took it out of the freezer and into a 425F oven for a few minutes, just to soften up the outsides, then I took it out and rubbed it with a mix of dried morels, sesame, salt, pepper & ancho. Back in for maybe an hour and a half and it was done. I pulled it at 130F and carryover took it up to 150F which was not what I was expecting. Seems like this method produces more carryover than usual.

Tasted some tonight and it was amazingly tender and juicy. Closer to sirloin in tenderness than a chuck and a bright, uniform pink. Only thing I would change is take it up to 450 or 475F next time to develop a better crust.

I don't know if it was worth cooking it a bit first before seasoning, my reasoning was it would help the seasoning adhere better. I think next time I see chuck on sale, I'll buy 3 or 4 and season them before I freeze them. Then I can have an easy roast dinner with ridiculously minimal prep work.

PS: I am a guy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Because it's Mother's Day in France I decided this would be the day to try my wild boar.

I rubbed the frozen-solid bone-in chunk with a mix of chopped garlic, juniper berries, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper, and olive oil, added a good splash of red wine to the pan, and set it to roast at 325.

gallery_16307_1993_2062.jpg

The one kilo chunk of meat was at 140 in just under 2 hours, and even a bit over in the thinner parts, so I was a little worried that it might be overdone. But as you can see it was beautifully rare and juicy throughout. Unlike some other meat upthread, this did spill a lot of juice on the carving board. I don't know whether that's just in the nature of boar, or whether it needed more resting.

gallery_16307_1993_53372.jpg

Here it is on the plate with a gratin Dauphinois. Because we're still drowning in cherries I served it with a sauce made from fresh cherries and some of the cherry pit wine I made last week. It made for a really delicious celebratory meal, and I thank those of you who went before in trying out this seemingly impossible cooking method.

This is a really nice technique, and I'm looking forward to trying it with a boneless piece of meat of a more uniform size.

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That looks beautiful and delicious ! I am not a fan of fruit sauces with meat but I'd gobble that up in a minute :laugh:

I have taken to buying tritips on sale, seasoning and freezing them just to have for this technique. I've probably made 5 or so (I like having a cooked one in the fridge to nibble one) and have never been disappointed. Thanks, PamR for the idea !

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  • 5 months later...

I have a rib roast in the freezer that I need to use. 3 1/3 lbs, bone in. I'm thinking of doing this with it today, maybe searing the outside in a pan before popping in a 325' oven, for.........2 hrs? Any thoughts?

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OMG, this was the best yet !

2 rib roast, 3.36 lbs., frozen solid. Rinsed, seasoned and seared, plunked in a 325' oven uncovered at 5:20. Checked 1 hour later, the core was still frozen. :shock:

Checked again at 7:45, the center measured 127'. Kept it in for a few more minutes, took out and rested until 8:05. 134'.................perfectly pink, incredibly tender, juicy but not much spilling out. Oh man.................... :wub:

So this one took almost three hours, for some reason, but SO worth it!

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Do you think it took longer because of the bones?  Have you done a bone-in roast before?

Pam~

I've only done boneless tritips, about 2 1/2-3 lbs in the past. this was AMAZING, tho. I'd love to have some guidance on how to predict how long it will take.

K

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I don't know if there is any guidance or guidelines. I think this is called 'taking one for the team' and we'll learn as we experiment. But I think it's all to do with the bones. When bones are involved, it always takes longer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried this method with a boneless leg of lamb roast today, though modified a bit from that laid down in the first post. I cooked it at 225F for a few hours then turned it down to 200F because it seemed like it was going to be done sooner than I wanted. The result, which took about five hours total, was good, but I made the mistake of following the cooking instructions on the package and cooked it to 145F. It was tender and juicy but overdone to my taste.

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  • 1 month later...

OK, for New Year's I am going to try to cook another rib roast. This one is 5 lbs, and was dry aged for 5 days before being frozen. Luckily it doesn't matter too much how accurately I can predict when it will be done but it'd sure be nice to have SOME idea. Since my 3 1/2 pounder took 3 hours, I am thinking this will take 3 1/2-4 ? I wonder if the aging will affect it?

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  • 1 year later...

How happy I am to have found this thread! I am making roast beef for sandwiches for our family Christmas gathering, and today I went to the butcher and picked up a 4.5 lb eye round roast with a nice layer of fat on top. I had been thinking sous vide, but couldn't decide among all the conflicting advice (great method, not so great, 24 hours, 6 hours, blah blah). I stuck the beast in the freezer and think I'll use this method (well, it's down to this or the Cooks Illustrated method of an overnight salting followed by a low temp roast). Here's my question, complete with preamble. My butcher will slice customers' cooked roasts free of charge - I would just need to bring it in first thing Friday morning. If I cook the roast Thursday night, what do I need to do to cool it safely in one big chunk? Can (or should) I do the sous vide cooling thing and ziploc it and chuck it in an ice bath? Or is fridge cooling ok?

Patty

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Yes, I think you'd want to let it rest properly and then bag it and plunge it into an ice bath. Then get it sliced and bring it back up to temp gently.

But I don't think I've seen this thread before so I'd like to play the devil's advocate. Yes, clearly this works. But is it best? I have my doubts.

ChefCrash took some nice pictures showing the sliced frozen roast but not the sliced traditional version. We lack a control. The pics of the slices clearly show some grey/brown overcooked sections on the outside (acceptable as they may be in proportion). But doing the same cut sous vide, I know that I got none of this.

This makes me wonder about the traditional preparation. Certainly, as the heat moves inward, we're less concerned with transferring heat via air as moisture. And perhaps a colder center mediates this. It's an interesting question.

But I still think I would do it sous vide and then heavily season the outside and blast the outside with heat before slicing thinly - folding the slices over each other to get some crust with every bite.

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Thank you, sincerely, for complicating this!

I am new to sous vide, having gotten a Sous Vide Supreme Demi only about 3 weeks ago. I really wanted to go with SV for this roast because I tend to overcook proteins and properly done SV makes that impossible. The original plan was to season (salt, pepper, Accent), sear, bag, sv (the question being how long assuming a temp of 131?), ice chill, dry, season, sear, then take to the butcher. How long do you think it should spend in the bath?

Patty

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How happy I am to have found this thread! I am making roast beef for sandwiches for our family Christmas gathering, and today I went to the butcher and picked up a 4.5 lb eye round roast with a nice layer of fat on top. I had been thinking sous vide, but couldn't decide among all the conflicting advice (great method, not so great, 24 hours, 6 hours, blah blah). I stuck the beast in the freezer and think I'll use this method (well, it's down to this or the Cooks Illustrated method of an overnight salting followed by a low temp roast). Here's my question, complete with preamble. My butcher will slice customers' cooked roasts free of charge - I would just need to bring it in first thing Friday morning. If I cook the roast Thursday night, what do I need to do to cool it safely in one big chunk? Can (or should) I do the sous vide cooling thing and ziploc it and chuck it in an ice bath? Or is fridge cooling ok?

Hello Patris

I don't recall any difference in gradation of color in the roasts (conventional vs. frozen), If there was any noticeable variance I certainly would have mentioned it.

You may also be interested in my Redneck sous vide attempt at roast beef using bottom round.

Regardless of the method you use, I wouldn't get too worked up over cooling the roast. I leave it out (covered), then refrigerate.

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Last Sunday I bought a 6 lb eye of round roast. Cut it in half and roasted one half as we usually do.

Season, place in a 325*F convection oven and remove at internal temperature of 130*. Internal temp going in the oven was 44*. It reached target temperature in 1 hour 15 minutes (75 minutes).

It came out great as usual. This is what it looked like.

gallery_39290_5704_14641.jpg

I wrapped the other (raw) half of the roast with plastic wrap, inserted the thermometer probe in it and placed it in the freezer.

Today, three days later, it was frozen hard. I took it out and seasoned it as I did the first. Rubbed it with a mixture of crushed garlic and olive oil and seasoned it with Thyme, Rosemary and lots of kosher salt.

I plugged the probe into the thermometer and hmmm... nothing. The stupid thing doesn't register below 32*F. Well, I know my freezer temp is -6* so I can assume the internal temperature is also that.

This thing was rock hard. It sat out only long enough to be unwrapped and seasoned.

gallery_39290_5704_18548.jpg

Oven set to 325* and preheated, the roc.. er..roast went in at 12:35pm. I really wanted to monitor the temperature climb rate but all it read was "Lo".

My wife and I had nothing to do. We're buried in snow and it's terribly cold out. She made Arabic coffee. I sat across from her at the kitchen table, sipping coffee trying not to make eye contact with her. I didn't know how to explain why, what, I was doing. My wife just doesn't understand us (you and me) ok? One of her automated responses "Why don't you throw it in the trash now and save some electricity?"

Half an hour later the display still read "Lo" and the wife was getting restless. I set the target temp. on the thermometer to 32* and followed her upstairs. Did I mention it was real cold? :raz:

Sure enough, just as things started to heat up in the bedroom, so did things in the kitchen, the alarm went off. OK, I know what you're thinking, but the clock in the bedroom is not synchronized with that of the stove's.

The core temperature reached 32* at 1:41pm (66 minutes).

I programed the next set point to 60* this time. For sure that'll give me half an hour right? Wrong! The alarm went off after only 20 minutes, at 2:01.

From here on the temperature rose at the rate of 10* every ~5 minutes. Final core temperature reached 130* after a total cooking time of 122 minutes (2 hours) at 2:37pm.

The roast looked the same as the one above. The temperature topped off at 147* at 2:50pm.

gallery_39290_5704_8622.jpg

Came back from grocery shopping at 6pm and started to slice the roast.

gallery_39290_5704_4859.jpg

As you can see the roast is still red in the center. Very juicy with no juice running on the board.

gallery_39290_5704_18218.jpg

Tomorrow at work, we'll be having roast beef sandwiches on pumpernickel with horseradish and watercress.

This is a chart of Temp vs. Cooking Time.

gallery_39290_5704_17488.jpg

No data was recorded between t=66 and t=85. There is however a video recording of nothing lasting exactly 19 minutes. Did I mention I'm fast? :wink:

Next time Eye-O-Round is on sale I'll be stocking up and freezing individual 3 lb portions.

I love this story. Good clean fun and a good meal to boot!

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  • 1 year later...

Did a ~4lb rib roast with this method today... it took over four hours. I was planning on it for dinner and ended up making grilled cheese sandwiches instead.

Started it about 3:30 PM in a 325F oven, then bumped the oven to 400F after an hour when it was still frozen solid less than an inch from the surface. Then dropped it to 250F at about 5:30 PM, as it was clear it wasn't going to be ready for dinner and it was getting pretty dark on the outside. I finally was able to get the probe into the center, but the temp was ~40F at 6 PM. Pulled it at 130F at about 7:45 PM. I haven't even cut into the roast to see how it looks yet. Well, dinner tomorrow is taken care of...

Edited by phatj (log)
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