Grilling a Frozen Steak - 1 Grilling a Frozen Steak? You read that right. I’m not talk­ing about a steak par­tial­ly thawed and thrown on the grill. I’m talk­ing about a rock solid, frozen steak put direct­ly onto a 500+ degree grill. No, not off to the side to indi­rect and slow cook until the steak is thawed. I’m talk­ing about throw­ing that chunk of meat direct­ly onto a melt-your-face hot grill grate. This post is pri­mar­i­ly short videos I took for my Insta­gram account as I felt that pic­tures wouldn’t do the process jus­tice. That and I fig­ured a whole lot of folks wouldn’t believe me if I only did pic­tures.

Speak­ing of my Insta­gram Account. If you real­ly want to see the crazy stuff I grill on a reg­u­lar basis (rather than what FB allows through their throt­tling algo­rithms) then fol­low my IG account. I post all kinds of stuff that doesn’t make the web­site but is still cool to see for any grilling fanat­ic.

Grilling a Frozen Steak Ingredients:

1 steak, frozen solid
salt
pep­per

Here’s my frozen steak:

Grilling a Frozen Steak - 2

It’s very impor­tant that your frozen steak be as flat as pos­si­ble. The steak will still eat well if it’s not flat, but the grill marks won’t be as good. So let’s get into this. Here is my steak that is sea­soned on both sides with noth­ing more than some coarse Himalayan sea salt and fresh cracked black pep­per and placed direct­ly onto my three burn­er Infrared grill (that grill makes a MEAN steak):

***Pro Tip ~ Always close the lid after putting the steak on, rotat­ing, and flip­ping to help thaw the steak out as it is sear­ing***

And here is the steak on the grill to prove it’s the same steak:

Here is the frozen steak, after 4–5 min­utes of sear­ing and ready to rotate to get those awe­some cross hatch grill marks. This is our first peek under­neath:

We’ve been grilling a frozen steak and at this point it’s been seared for 4–5 min­utes, rotat­ed 90 degrees and seared for anoth­er 4–5 min­utes. The times here will vary based on the heat of the grill. Just know that if you nor­mal­ly sear for 2–3 min­utes before rotat­ing, this will take a cou­ple more min­utes per sear ses­sion. Here is that frozen steak being flipped over to show the cross hatch grill marks:

And now the frozen steak has been flipped and seared again for 4–5 min­utes, rotat­ed and seared for anoth­er 4–5 min­utes and the now we’re going to take it off the grill to let it rest:

I like a rare steak. Should you want it more done, place the steak on an upper rack or on the side of the grill with no direct heat and close the lid for 4–6 min­utes, depend­ing on the size of the steak and heat of the grill, to achieve a medi­um rare steak. Anoth­er 4–6 min­utes on the grill, but not over direct heat, and the steak will be medi­um. Anoth­er 4–6 for medi­um well. You get the idea.

How do you know the done­ness of the steak with­out slic­ing into it? Sim­ply put, slic­ing into it before the rest­ing will result in a dry steak, par­tic­u­lar­ly if sliced on the grill. Here’s how to tell a steak is done with­out slic­ing into it — the Thumb Test.

I let that steak rest for 2–3 min­utes so the juices, in an excit­ed steak from the heat, have a chance to calm down and redis­trib­ute through­out the for­mer­ly frozen steak. And now I’m going to slice into that glo­ri­ous piece of Cer­ti­fied Angus Beef:

Here’s a still of the for­mer­ly frozen steak sliced:

Grilling a Frozen Steak - 3

And here’s a shot of just one bite:

Grilling a Frozen Steak - 4

Invari­ably, if you’ve read this far, you’re ask­ing whether aloud or in your head, “But how was it?” I’ll tell you how it was. The meat is cooked more even­ly through­out the inside with this process. Did I men­tion the steak is juicier than a thawed steak. No, the mid­dle is not frozen or cold. It’s not tough or chewy. It’s as ten­der as any great steak should be. It eats just like a reg­u­lar steak, but a lit­tle bet­ter, par­tic­u­lar­ly since I didn’t have to take the time to wait for it to thaw before slap­ping that frozen steak on the grill. I cook most of my steaks this way now. Give it a try. Every­one who has tells me that it’s a home run, so grab a bat and step up to the plate. Here comes a fat pitch to knock out of the ball park. I showed you exact­ly how to do it. All you have to do is swing the bat!

As always, if you have any ques­tions, leave them below or send me an email

4.5 from 8 reviews
Grilling a Frozen Steak
Author: 
Recipe type: Steak
Cuisine: Steak
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Grilling a Frozen Steak is not crazy talk. It’s legit­i­mate­ly easy and deli­cious and now my go to for the vast major­i­ty of my steak grilling.
Ingre­di­ents
  • 1 Frozen Steak
  • Salt
  • Pep­per
Instruc­tions
  1. Start grill and let it get above 500 degrees
  2. Salt steak
  3. Pep­per steak
  4. Place steak on 500+ degree grill and close the lid (close the lid after every step of this process)
  5. After nice, thick grill marks appear, rotate steak 90 degrees which should take 4–5 min­utes depend­ing on the heat of the grill (do not flip, just rotate)
  6. Once cross hatch grill marks appear (anoth­er 4–5 min­utes) flip the steak over and repeat on the oth­er side
  7. Once the steak has cross hatch grill marks on both sides, it’s rare and can be served
  8. Should you want it more done, place the steak on an upper rack or on the side of the grill with no direct heat and close the lid for 4–6 min­utes, depend­ing on the size of the steak and heat of the grill, to achieve a medi­um rare steak.
  9. Anoth­er 4–6 min­utes on the grill, but not over direct heat, and the steak will be medi­um
  10. Anoth­er 4–6 for medi­um well
  11. You get the idea
  12. Remove from the heat, allow to rest for 2–5 min­utes depend­ing on the thick­ness of the steak and slice
 
Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Orig­i­nal Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to col­lege with a suit­case and a grill where he over­cooked, under­cooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thou­sands of fail­ures, and quite a few suc­cess­es, near­ly two decades lat­er he start­ed a web­site to show step by step, pic­ture by pic­ture, fool­proof instruc­tions on how to make great things out of doors so that oth­ers don’t have to repeat the mis­takes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

@GrillinFool

https://t.co/lVWgniik3V#Grill­Porn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
HOLY SHHHHH.… MOTHER FUUUUU… Real­ly hard hold­ing back the extra spicy superla­tives on this one. That is what d…… https://t.co/rbJEnKoRXD — 18 hours ago
Scott Thomas

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29 comments

Scott: I remem­ber BBQ’s at your Grand­pa Russ’s, seems he was always try­ing to per­fect the cook­ing of pig snoots. Lots of oth­er great things of course, not just snoots.

Reply

Wayne,

I’m not sure we ever tru­ly per­fect­ed those snoots, but man were they good!

.……Scott

Please stop spread­ing the myth that cut­ting into a steak will cause it to be dry. This has been de-bunked so many times it’s not even worth includ­ing links. 

Also, my father’s thumb is tougher than mine which is tougher than my wife’s. Will each of us using the thumb test get iden­ti­cal results?

Reply

Tim,

Uh, no. Sor­ry, but every chef worth his apron will tell you rest­ing is vital to a juicy steak. Slic­ing into it before the juices come to a rest will send a great deal of that mois­ture onto the plate. The first bite won’t be dry, but the last bite will be much dry­er than the first…

.……Scott

Scott,
I just grilled a 12 ounce Angus Beef Strip Steak, Bone-In USDA Choice bought from Har­ris Teeter Gro­cery Store, sell date was 8/4/2013. Frozen in a home freez­er with no addi­tion­al wrap­ping and a thumb whole punc­ture in the store wrap­ping. Oth­er than the 1 square inch of freez­er burn at the punc­ture spot, the steak was as good or bet­ter than any steak I have had at a steak­house any­where in the nation, hands down. I fla­vored it with Mon­tre­al Steak sea­son­ing so fla­vor may have been enhanced over just salt and pep­per, but ten­der­ness, cutabil­i­ty, and chewa­bil­i­ty was like it was a fresh steak pur­chased yes­ter­day. In fact writ­ing this post makes me hun­gry of a repeat. 

Reply

John,

And nobody believes you, right? Well, I believe you! I know the method works. It’s bril­liant real­ly…

.……Scott

I fol­lowed your direc­tions to the let­ter and I had a per­fect steak. It was juicy and cooked just the way I like it. I don’t usu­al­ly freeze steaks, how­ev­er I was going out of town and threw it in the freez­er. The next time steaks are on sale, I’m buy­ing sev­er­al and will put them in the freez­er and fol­low your instruc­tions. Good job, thanks.

Reply

Bob,

I know it’s crazy, but now I eat more frozen steaks than thawed…

.……Scott

Most peo­ple can­not believe this until they stum­ble into that favorite restau­rant of theirs to not find what you would think was Fresh Cut Steaks, Instead Box­es of steaks like Stam­pede that can be pur­chased at local stores for about 8–10 Dol­lars for 6 Sir­loin, NY Strip, and Ribeye … Sir­loins typ­i­cal­ly being the least expen­sive and most used at places like Apple­bees. But yes, I get the same great results as well with Mon­tre­al as my choice as well. Some­times I’ll make a hon­ey glaze or may­be a ran­dom mix­ture of quick­ly ground herbs/spices .… My father was a chef, and yes always did what most good steak cooks do and used the bot­tom of the thumb ten­don test (I’ll call it that any­ways) where rare is soft­est and fur­thest to well being the tough ten­don about 1/2 inch below my thumb towards my wrist. Works like a charm … Best advice and stands true for what­ev­er you do is do not cut it just touch it with the tongs to test the tough­ness … I like a Med Rare, but can get the exact same results for anyone’s taste by sim­ply trust­ing my father’s advice, and then the fact that I served at quite a few restau­rants and saw frozen box­es of all sorts of meat.

I also cook frozen steak but use a dif­fer­ent method.
Before grilling or sea­son­ing I put the steak on a wire rack over a sheet pan in a 250^ oven and slow­ly bring it up to an inter­nal temp of 100^
Then I sea­son it and fin­ish it on the grill.

Reply

That’s pret­ty inter­est­ing. I’ve nev­er tried it that way… Why not try that in a smok­er to infuse with some smoke rather than in the oven?

.…..Scott

This sounds great! I have nev­er thought of putting some­thing frozen right on the grill. I love your idea of putting a steak in the smok­er as well. Can’t wait to try both!

Reply

Mea­gan,

I cook more frozen steaks than I do thawed ones now…

.……Scott

We bought a dri­ve by steak com­pa­ny box o meat.…and the direc­tions were to put on frozen..gooder than grits I tells ya..I do chick­en frozen, too…

Reply

Matt,

My dad does frozen chick­en all the time too. None of this makes sense to me, but it works!

first frozen steak on the grill! surly not the last. I’ve done frozen in the oven and it was good but even my 9 year old “food crit­ic” agrees this is hands down bet­ter.
thank you much­ly.

Reply

Mike, glad you enjoyed it. I now cook more frozen steaks than I do thawed steaks…

.……Scott

When you say 500+ do you mean try to keep it around 500? My grill gets up to 700 which is tech­ni­cal­ly (+)

Reply

Kev­in,

700 is just fine. The more BTU’s the bet­ter!

.……Scott

You do mean rotate 90 degrees, no? Well, you do because you did! ;) 

Reply

Peer,

Yep, I did rotate 90. Fixed. Thanks for catch­ing that!

Hel­lo;
I recent­ly dis­cov­ered this and we love it. It also works on frozen rack of lamb and scal­lops! The scal­lops turn out SO ten­der and deli­cious with a nice crust.
The only prob­lem I’ve run into is big flare-ups with the steak and lamb. How do you/would you han­dle that? To get the ini­tial sear, the meat needs to be over the hot­ter area, cor­rect?
Thank you,
Lora 

Reply

Chef Lora,

That’s great info. Thanks. 

As for your ques­tion. You could put it just to the edge of the hot coals so that the fat drips down just next to the fire…

.……Scott

I BUY STEAKS FRESH & ON SALE; MAYBE 4 TO 8 BONELESS RIB EYE. I ALSO MAKE SURE I HAVE QUART SIZE FREEZER BAGS. I PREPARE A MARINATE USING ITALIAN SALAD DRESSING WITH SALT, PEPPER, GARLIC POWDER MIXED ALL TOGETHER. I DIP EACH STEAK IN MY MARINADE FOR TASTE AND TENDERIZING. I WOULD THE SAME THING FOR ANY MEAT OR FISH. I LET MEAT SIT IN THE REFRIGERATOR FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS .…AND THEN I PUT IT IN THE FREEZER. WHEN IT’S TIME TO PAN FRY OR CHAR BROIL IT I COOK IT JUST AS YOU MENTION. STEAK AT FULL HEAT AND CHICKEN ( LEG QUARTERS ) OFF DIRECT FLAME AFTER INITIAL SEARING. AND LOWER HEAT FOR 1/2 TO 3/4 OF AN HOUR. 

Reply

i had 2 ny strip steaks been in freez­er 8 months in a bag­gy not sealed very well and a lit­tle freez­er burn threw them on my tru infra red bbq as per your instruc­tions and enjoyed a great steak, ten­der and juicy. poor dog­gies just lost out on old freez­er steaks!! 

Reply

I tried this, came out great, but I real­ly like the thawed taste better…just my per­son­al pref­er­ence, as I like to rub my sea­son­ings I use into the steak before cook­ing it…with it being frozen, makes that a lit­tle hard! Ha But none the less, came out good. 

Reply

Jeff,

There’s a sim­ple fix. Take the steak out of the freez­er and hit the top with some salt. In about 2 min­utes you will see a sheen on the top of the steak where the salt has melt­ed the top a bit. Hit it with a rub and pat it into the meat. Flip over and repeat. Then go throw the slight­ly thawed steak on the grill!

.……Scott

Fan­tas­tic! I fol­lowed your instruc­tions to the let­ter with a 1.3# ribeye, bone in, fresh frozen from Pub­lix. My pics look like your pics! The tex­ture and fla­vor were won­der­ful! I am a con­vert. Thanks!

Reply

Hell of a post. I’ve done this before with chick­en and beef. Only dif­fer­ence for me is just adding some more sea­son­ing on the orig­i­nal froze steak to my per­son­al fla­vor taste. Great post.

Reply

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