How to Defrost Steak?

The best way to defrost a steak is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight. Take the frozen steak from the freezer, place it on a plate, and let it sit in the fridge until it thaws. Though it is the slowest method, it provides the best safety and preserves the flavor and texture of the steak.

Defrosting may take longer or shorter, depending on the steak’s size and thickness. Ideally, keep the frozen steak in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before you need to start cooking the steak. That should be more than enough time for the steak to thaw without compromising the quality of the steak. The steak is most vulnerable as it defrosts, so it is essential to protect it from bacteria during that time. The cold temperature in the fridge will do a good job of keeping bacteria controlled in these situations.

How to Defrost Steak Fast?

The fastest way to thaw a steak is to place it in a sealed plastic bag and then submerge it in a container filled with cold water. The only thing left is changing the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold. The steak should be ready to cook within 1-2 hours.

The exact thawing time using the cold water method depends on the thickness and size of the steak. You can combine this method with the refrigerator method by putting the container with cold water and steak in your fridge. This way you won’t have to change the water because it will always be cold.

You can also try submerging the steak in a container under trickling cool water. This is probably the fastest way to thaw a steak, but it has one major downside; it wastes a lot of water. The entire method is explained in detail in this video (by Adam Ragusea).

vacuum packed steak
vacuum packed frozen steak

Defrosting Steak FAQs

How to Defrost a Steak Without Ruining It?

Thaw the steak using methods that keep the temperature of the steak low enough to prevent the multiplication of bacteria. The refrigerator method is the best but, unfortunately, the slowest. Simply leave the steak in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours or use methods that involve cold water. The steak will retain its flavor, moisture, and texture using the refrigerator or cold water defrosting methods.

Why Should a Steak be Thawed in The Cold Rather Than Hot Water?

The hot water method will defrost most steaks in an hour or quicker, but it has a downside. Hot water will start to cook the steak slightly as it defrosts, leading to a tough and a little bit dry steak. Additionally, there is an increased risk of harmful bacteria finding their way to your steak. The cold water method lowers the dangers of bacterial contamination and preserves the steak’s flavor, moisture, and texture.

Is Defrosting Steak in a Microwave a Good Idea?

It’s a bad idea. While it is true that a microwave does have a defrost setting that can relatively quickly defrost a steak, the method will come with a few crucial downsides. The microwave will start to cook the steak slightly during the defrosting period. Additionally, the process will negatively affect the taste of the steak, and the meat will have a higher risk of being exposed to harmful bacteria. Therefore, we do not recommend using the microwave method.

How Long Does it Take For The Steak to Thaw?

Depending on the thickness and size of the steak, it will take about 24 hours if you leave it in the refrigerator. Or an hour to several hours (usually 2-3), using cold water methods.

Is it Safe to Cook Steak That is Still Frozen?

Cooking a frozen steak takes longer, but it is completely safe. What’s more, properly cooked frozen steak can be delicious. We recommend you read our other article that explains how to grill frozen steak.

Photo of author

Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam is the founder of Steak Revolution. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.