Perhaps you've been taught to take your steaks out of the freezer and let them thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking. This is wrong, according to Cook's Illustrated Senior Editor Dan Souza. In a side-by-side experiment for America's Test Kitchen, Souza finds that frozen meat takes a bit longer to cook than the thawed variety. But, the quality of the finished product is so much better. In the video I have attached to this article, Souza demonstrates us how to properly freeze the meat and later prepare it straight from the freezer. It's not the same as cooking with fresh beef, mind you, but it's quite possibly the next best thing:
He used eight strip loin steaks cut in half. He froze the steaks, then thawed a half of each steak in the fridge over night, keeping the other side frozen.
Souza then seared both sets of steaks in a hot skillet for 90 seconds on both sides before transferring them to a 275-degree oven until they were cooked to medium rare (125 degrees).
His team discovered that the frozen steak not only lost less moisture and cooked more evenly, but it also tasted better than its thawed counterpart. The frozen steak had a much thinner band of overcooked meat (known as a “gray band”) surrounding the pink interior than the thawed beef, too.
The frozen steaks also browned nearly as fast as the thawed steaks in the skillet, though they did take 18 to 20 minutes of cooking time in the oven (compared with 10 to 15 for the thawed steaks).
Of course to get these results, the steaks need to be frozen properly. Simply storing them in a bag can cause ice or moisture to form on the steak, which can in turn cause flare-ups when you’re searing the steak in oil.
Instead, Souza said the best way to freeze the steaks was to set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Once they’re fully frozen, wrap each steak in plastic wrap and put them into a plastic bag.