Freezing meat is a great way to save money, reduce waste, and reduce the number of trips you make to the grocery store. That saves you even more time and money! I know freezing has a bad reputation as a lot of people believe that it lowers the quality of ingredients and it can be a hassle to thaw meat before you can cook it. They don’t know about this simple and amazing technique to freeze and cook meat from frozen. This technique produces an end result proven to be superior to cooking thawed meat.
If you are interested, here is a video from America’s Test Kitchen that shows the process.
By using this method, you can buy meat in large quantities and freeze steaks/chops individually for use later. I like to look for buy one get one free deals or family saver deals on packs of meat like pork chops or steaks.
|I saved over $10 on these steaks!|
Place steaks on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Leave them in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight.
Leave a little space in between so they don’t stick together.
|After. There are very few ice crystals, which is exactly what we want.|
Then wrap each steak individually in plastic wrap and place them inside a resealable plastic bag . You can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Cooking Frozen Meat
Now that you know how to properly freeze meat and you have some frozen steaks on hand, it’s time to learn the best way to cook them. I use this method all the time and always have great results.
Steaks/Chops: Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Heat 1/8th inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet. You need more oil than normal in order to ensure an even sear and to keep the oil temperature from dropping too much when you add the cold meat. Sear frozen steaks for 90 seconds per side or until a nice brown crust has formed. Then transfer to a wire rack set into a rimmed sheet pan and cook in the oven until they reach desired doneness. It should be around 20 minutes, but I would use a meat thermometer to make sure. For pork, I always recommend cooking to 160 but for steak anywhere from 125 for very rare to 155 for well done is acceptable. However, the USDA recommends cooking steaks to at least 145 degrees F.
Here is an example of a meal I made using frozen meat:
|Herb and garlic roasted pork chop
with honey-balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts and
mashed purple potatoes w/ mushroom gravy.
Recipes for those Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Purple Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy coming soon!!
If you want to cook multiple steaks at once, just transfer the steaks to your sheet pan after searing and cook them all at once. This is also a good time to season your meat, if you want. I usually just use salt and pepper for steak. For pork chops, I like to add some herbs and garlic, but you can use any sauce, rub, or spice mix you want.
Don’t forget about frozen fish and poultry! These are healthier, leaner meats and can often be less expensive than beef even when it’s on sale. I use a similar method for freezing chicken fillets but, if you happen to have a vacuum sealer of some kind, that would be the best and easiest method to freeze individual fish or poultry fillets. You can also find individually wrapped and frozen fish in many grocery stores.
We eat a lot of salmon and chicken and it is helpful to know how to freeze it and save it for later in case you don’t use your fresh meat in time. It’s always better to freeze it than throw it away!
Fish/Poultry: Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
For frozen fish and poultry, you can skip the searing step and just season them and cook in a 400 degree oven until done. I recommend using a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I also add herbs like dill or thyme for fish and rosemary, oregano or sage for poultry.