Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

weinoo

Cooking a Steak From Frozen Per America's Test Kitchen

Recommended Posts

Nothing was said about seasoning the steak--  which would my concern with the frozen steak


Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is predicated on a 1 inch thick steak something I rarely bother with. I'd like to know what happens when you try this with a 2 inch thick steak. Or with the half-inch thick steaks my supermarket thinks everybody wants!

This is just the beginning of an experiment and frankly makes little sense to me.

If I am left with only frozen steaks to cook it is because I find myself in an emergency situation. Chances are slim to none that I froze my steaks according to their instructions expecting to find myself in such a situation. But that's just me.

Edited 'cause I forgot my manners. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, weinoo.


Edited by Anna N (log)
  • Like 1

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is predicated on a 1 inch thick steak something I rarely bother with. I'd like to know what happens when you try this with a 2 inch thick steak. Or with the half-inch thick steaks my supermarket thinks everybody wants!

This is just the beginning of an experiment and frankly makes little sense to me.

If I am left with only frozen steaks to cook it is because I find myself in an emergency situation. Chances are slim to none that I froze my steaks according to their instructions expecting to find myself in such a situation. But that's just me.

Edited 'cause I forgot my manners. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, weinoo.

 

The searing is just to brown the outside, the actual cooking is done in a low oven so the effect should be the same regardless of the thickness of the steak.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, don't shoot me - I'm only the messenger!

. Didn't mean to shoot you which is why I went back and apologized. I'm guessing our posts crossed In the ether. I appreciate that they question received wisdom don't quite see the logic in this one.

My preference is to cook and eat a never frozen steak. If I find myself in a bind then I will take a frozen steak and drop it into a SousVide bath. Steaks do not seem to suffer too much from this treatment. If that is not an option then I might defrost in hot water as per Harold McGee. I can't for the life of me see a scenario where I would buy steak, freeze it deliberately just so I could cook it from frozen unless the end result was truly superior. And if I haven't frozen it with this in mind then it won't work anyway. I dunno know. Seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem. Discuss.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The searing is just to brown the outside, the actual cooking is done in a low oven so the effect should be the same regardless of the thickness of the steak.

Hmmm. I suspect that a thin frozen steak would be overcooked in the browning stage long before it went into the oven.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. Didn't mean to shoot you which is why I went back and apologized. I'm guessing our posts crossed In the ether. I appreciate that they question received wisdom don't quite see the logic in this one.

My preference is to cook and eat a never frozen steak. If I find myself in a bind then I will take a frozen steak and drop it into a SousVide bath. Steaks do not seem to suffer too much from this treatment. If that is not an option then I might defrost in hot water as per Harold McGee. I can't for the life of me see a scenario where I would buy steak, freeze it deliberately just so I could cook it from frozen unless the end result was truly superior. And if I haven't frozen it with this in mind then it won't work anyway. I dunno know. Seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem. Discuss.

 

The video clearly states that a fresh steak is superior to either of the frozen steaks and it's not advocating you should freeze fresh steaks just to use this method.

 

As for why you might have frozen steaks, you could be buying an entire quarter/half/whole cow and freezing it. You could be buying an entire primal to save money. You could have planned to have steaks for a dinner party and then your guests cancelled. There's lots of reasons why you might have frozen steaks on hand.

 

Hmmm. I suspect that a thin frozen steak would be overcooked in the browning stage long before it went into the oven.

 

You can see the cross section of the steak as they cut into it, Anything in the thin band is going to be cooked via the searing but anything outside of that is cooked via oven heat. For any steak thicker than a thin slice of bread, you're going to still have a pink middle.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen Dan Souza's other "Science" cooking videos. Just like this one, interesting, but far from being scientific.

 

Which is understandable, he does not have a science background, just like the other main characters in the Test Kitchen, entertainers, none are trained in the business.

 

I would think that the most important consideration in making this experienment valid is to absoultely make sure that the pan and the oil is at exact temperature for all the frying, otherwise the temperature of frying can be off by 100F from one to the other.

 

No! the amount of oil under the steak is about the same, and the thermal mass is about the same. You don't have to use that much oil.

 

Conductivity of fat is different, fat also prevents evaporation, the fat cap on his test pieces are all different. I would cut out all the fat for this experiment.

 

 

dcarch

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jewel Foods had a store in Wilmette in 1969 that carried only frozen steaks .  They touted the benefits over fresh meat using much of the same arguments being made by CI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as did a store in Newton MA called Sallet's  I used to get their steaks all the time

 

kept forever in the freezer and they had cuts that at the time the regular stores did not carry

 

and they were fairly priced

 

sadly, they went out of business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me of a previous eGullet discussion "Cooking a Frozen Roast Without Thawing".

Turns out that roasting a frozen roast works out just as well as cooking a frozen steak.

 

eGullet was ahead of the curve on this one. Suck it, ATK!  :wink:  :laugh:

  • Like 2

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm. I suspect that a thin frozen steak would be overcooked in the browning stage long before it went into the oven.

True, if the steak is thin enough. But it will be less overcooked than if the same thin steak was seared similarly starting from a non-frozen steak.

Course, if a steak is thin enough to overcook via this method, you probably shouldn't be attempting to build a crust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a different angle.  I live in a part of the country where beef on-the-hoof is all around me.  However, the only really reliable place that I can go to buy great steaks here is Costco.  So I have to buy in bulk and then freeze.  Now, I'm a home cook and certainly no chef, but my steaks are terrific.  We're not all in the same realm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont think no saw any comments on it, but thats kind of alot of oil they used in the pan, yeah?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont think no saw any comments on it, but thats kind of alot of oil they used in the pan, yeah?

 

You're trying to sear the sides of the steak as well, so you need to use a fair bit of oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost all of my steaks are cooked from frozen. Why? Because when they go on sale I stock up! And sometimes they'll have a roast on sale, but not the cut sliced into steaks. I'll buy the roast and slice it myself. That would end up being too much meat to cook it all fresh. Just like weedy, I sous vide them first then do a quick reverse sear. Since I vacuum seal them for freezing, it's very easy to pop them in the SVS for an hour. Defrost and cook to perfect doneness in one step.

  • Like 1

Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My T shirt site: Guy Bling

My NEW Ribs site: BlasphemyRibs.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would argue if you're cooking from frozen, the ATK method produces a superior product. Searing the meat when frozen is going to result in a thinner band of grey meat and the subsequent dry heat of oven cooking preserves the crust better. In a low oven, the temperature banding for meat is minimal to imperceptible. Plus, cooking from frozen allows you to spend time better searing the fat cap on the sides of the steak, leading to crispy rendered fat. The one downside is that you have to monitor your meat so it doesn't get overcooked and you get less flexibility on when to serve.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So that's where the whole cryo-freeze then deep-fry technique comes from...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a method of controlling the protein temperature to achieve the desired outcome. In making Beef Wellington, for example, the problem is cooking the pastry to a golden brown whilst not overcooking the rare beef inside. I've achieved this by cooking the protein to rare sous vide, then searing and freezing the protein. The frozen beef is then wrapped in the pastry (crepes and mushroom) and placed in a hot oven more appropriate to browning the pastry. The pastry is done perfectly and by the time this occurs the beef has defrosted and reheated. Perfect beef and perfect pastry.

 

The same process is also used in certain pies where cooking the pastry properly would overcook the filling.

 

Nathan Myhrvold has demonstrated this technique in his Modernist Cuisine "Cryoburgers." 


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I often use the sear and then oven method with just cold steak, very little grey banding if any. Sear one side, flip and put in oven at the lowest possible temp (never measured what that actually is). Works well. Might try this if I feel like cooking a steak and did not defrost one. I'm not gonna do the freeze open then pack step, a splatter screen will do fine. And the slightly longer cook time can be handy too, pressure cook some potatoes or make some other side during that time and get a salad ready.

 

I often buy steak in bulk at cosco, never found a difference between fresh and frozen. Maybe side by side I would, but I doubt I'd care one way or the other.

  • Like 1

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got around to trying this.  To recap, the idea is to sear a frozen steak, then bake in a slow oven until it reaches target internal temp.  I made a few tweaks - using a slightly lower oven temp (250ºF) and pulling a few degrees early to allow for equalization - but basically ran the recipe as presented.  Figuring out when to insert the thermometer (probe on wire) was probably the trickiest thing of the whole exercise (@ 20 minutes worked for me).

 

Bottom line, the recipe delivers as advertised, but it's not a method I'll be adding to my repertoire.  That is, yes, the interior was pink almost all the way to the surface.  And, yes, the surface looked pretty.  But the steak simply didn't taste as good as I get by conventional methods (generally pan-frying, flipping several times).  FWIW, I have the same objection to SV/LT steak, so I'm not picking on CI.  Conversely, anyone who likes SV/LT steak probably will like this also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Conventional wisdom holds that frozen steaks should be thawed before cooking, but we wondered if steaks could be cooked straight from the freezer."

 

Yeah, sure you did

 

Nathan beat Christopher to it by at least a couple years.....

 

http://www.nytimes.com/video/dining/100000001264267/in-the-kitchen-with-nathan-myhrvold.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/dining/modernist-cuisine-adapted-to-home-entertaining.html?ref=dining&pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://modernistcuisine.com/recipes/low-temp-oven-steak/


~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem. Discuss.

 

 

Fresh is certainly ideal, but for those of us who raise much of our own beef, most of it ends up in the freezer...that's just the way it is and we make the best of it.

This technique is an interesting option in that situation.


~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...