Cooking from Frozen

It might be covered under some other topic, but I sure as heck can’t find it ergo here is y question. I forgot to take frozen sirloin steaks out of the fridge. It was time to start cooking and they are frozen. Can I cook from frozen and what do I use for target time and temperature. Will the frozen steaks keep the water from reaching pre heat and thereby adjust itself for reaching the proper temperature and will the steaks be cooked as desired?

When cooking from frozen, I just bring my water up to target temp (usually 130F) and drop in the steaks, as per normal, then add about 45 min to an hour to the cooking time. So, if you normally cook your steaks at 130F for 60 min, then go for 130F for 1hr45m to 2hrs.

I also go up one pot size (I use a 6L stock pot for two striploin steaks). From frozen I use an 8L pot for the same two steaks. It adds thermal mass to the cook and the temp doesn’t seem to drop as far when you drop the frozen steaks.

1 Like

Thanks, KyleMW. At least I have an idea and know that it can be done.

Andrew, yes, it’s frequently addressed here but i can’t seem to find my previous detailed comments here either.

To answer your questions:

  • You can always cook from frozen.
  • Always use your usual cooking target temperature for sirloin steak unless you want a different doneness result. No temperature change, no result change, every time. Isn’t your Anova wonderful?
  • No. Do as you always do, start by preheating your water bath to the target temperature.
  • I do not understand how water can adjust itself.

Consider what happens.
Your Anova applies heat to water up to target temperature, you add frozen steaks, water temperature drops, Anova keeps on heating and water returns to target temperature, steaks cook as desired. Andrew is happy as long as he doesn’t go changing the temperature sometime in the process.

What about the time?
You have some options.
You can guess, add an hour, use a larger water vessel, or precisely cook your steaks to your desired degree of doneness based on your SV cooking knowledge and the undisclosed thickness of your frozen sirloin steaks.
For 1-inch thick steaks the cooking time will be about 1 3/4 hours at your target temperature based on your desired degree of doneness which is alright to keep a secret as it doesn’t really matter to anyone else.
For 1 1/2-inch thick frozen steaks, about 3 1/4 hours will do you.
If Andrew is a big spender and has 2-inch thick frozen steaks they will need 5 1/4 hours to be cooked as desired.

If you are interested in adding to your SV knowledge bank you might find it useful to refer to the following resource:

Thanks for your input, I managed to get the steaks defrosted before cooking time…we ate a little later. It is amazing how the steaks turn out perfectly cooked. I use a skillet for browning. What is your opinion of culinary blow torches?

Apensa, my pleasure to be of assistance. I’m glad to know you are enjoying your successful SV cooking. I use a cast iron skillet too.

My opinion is you don’t need 3,500F flames to add colour, flavour, and maybe more to your food.

I know that will horrify some of our Community, particularly those that cook by the creed that if some is good then a lot has to be better than good. After having two bouts with cancer i’m not eager to invite the chance of another if i can avoid it.

Happy cooking.

My biggest problem regarding torches is that I don’t know that I want to use a blazing fire on a counter top therefore I would move outside and if I am going to do that, I might as well fire up the BBQ. I too use a cast iron skillet.

Another concern of mine, in addition to not inhaling CO i am trying to cook without having single purpose tools.

I have used an indoor electric grill for searing a cooked steak. Just one minute per side. There were nice grill marks and no smoke.

Yes, I can see where that would work. I remember as a child m mom and dad had a large round aluminum electric grill and the aroma that would fill the house when they grilled meat. I have never been able to find an indoor grill that wold produce the same results. What brand/model do you use?

Yes. We are running out of counter space.

Why not just put the frozen steaks into the water, at the start of preheating, and let the meat come up to temperature, as the water bath is preheating? Start your timer, when the water reaches target temperature, and add an additional half hour or so, and you’re done!.

I’m sure that would work. Speaking of setting the time, when and how do you do that. I can change it from my phone app but how and when can I change, or even see a time setting on the unit itself?

M_Hand, why not?

Your technique will be just fine as long as all you cook is frozen meat that’s about 1-inch thick. With frozen meat that’s much thicker it could still be frozen when you start the timer. You likely won’t know. Then you’re guessing and hoping rather than being in control of your cooking.

Your Anova allows you to measure and plan each cook according to the specific item so it will be consistently cooked to precisely your standard every time.

I routinely buy prime ribeye steaks when they are on sale. My butcher cuts them 1-1/2", just the way I like them. When I get them home, I season them with kosher salt and pepper, vacuum seal and freeze them. I prefer to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, I think that the meat retains a bit more juice and texture. Generally though, I get home and take a steak straight from the freezer and put it in the pot, set my Anova to 132 and come back in 2-1/2 or 3 hours to a perfectly medium rare steak ready for a screaming hot cast iron skillet ( if its cold outside) or my propane ice melter. One of the best things about Sous Vide is the fact that timing is not very critical.

That’s generally correct with meat as long as you provide sufficient minimum time for the food to reach temperature equilibrium and you are using a cook-serve procedure.

With fish and eggs timing is more critical, particularly if you want to achieve Pasteurization.

I’m learning that. It is really a great system and worth the extra time it takes from fridge to plate.

I am new to Sous Vide and have had a great start with steaks. My question: I occasionally buy a whole striploin or beef tenderloin and cut the up into steaks and individually vacuum seal them and freeze them. When cooking on the BBQ I would thaw them season them and cook them. If I am vacuum sealing and freezing with the intention of cooking sous vide do I season them before vacuum sealing or season them after sous vide cooking and before searing? I have in the past heard that you should not put salt on steaks until just before cooking

Hi @tomles

Some people season before the sous vide, some only just prior to sear. It seems to be a matter of personal preference and most don’t see significant difference in the end result. My suggestion is to try it both ways. If you want to be sure you make “the right choice for you” you could cut a piece of meat in half, season one half and not the other, then cook both the same. After drying both, season the half you did not season “pre sous vide” and sear both…then compare! (Using two halve of the same piece of meat will help ensure that it’s only your seasoning step that differs when you compare.)
Best of luck…and let us know what works best for you!

Thanks so much, Mike. I will definitely try that.