How To Freeze Steak?

Of course, you can freeze steak, but it’s important to do it correctly. Freezing meat prevents the growth of bacteria responsible for food spoilage. This process is safe and has no negative effects on the meat. In this article, I’ll walk you through how to correctly freeze steak to ensure it keeps its texture and flavor when it’s time to thaw.

How to Freeze Steak the Right Way?

When you freeze a steak, it’s crucial to ensure it’s properly wrapped in airtight packaging. Without this, the steak risks damage from dehydration and oxidation due to exposure to air, a process known as “freezer burn“. To prevent freezer burn, make sure your bag has no holes.

The best and most straightforward way to freeze a steak is by placing it in a special plastic bag and using a vacuum sealer to seal the bag. The final step is to place the steak in the freezer at the lowest possible temperature.

Note: It’s important to freeze the steak as quickly as possible. Why? Slow freezing produces large ice crystals, which damage the cells. Consequently, meat with these large crystals tends to lose more liquids – and, thus, flavors – during thawing.

Don’t have a vacuum sealer? No worries. Simply wrap the steak tightly with plastic wrap and place it in a ziplock bag. Make sure to close the bag tightly and squeeze out all the air you can. Finally, place the steak in the freezer. Remember, leaving excess air in the bag increases the chances of getting freezer burn, which can significantly affect the quality of your steaks. For a visual guide, refer to the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: wrapping strip steak in foil
wrapping-strip-steak-in-foil-step-2
Step 2: wrapping strip steak in foil
wrapping strip steak in foil - step 3
Step 3: wrapping strip steak in foil
Wrapped steak in a ziplock bag
Step 4: Wrapped steak in a ziplock bag

If you want to ensure that there isn’t much air in the Ziplock bag, try submerging it in a water bowl. This trick effectively removes a significant amount of air. Although it may not be as effective as a vacuum seal, it will undoubtedly get the job done.

Wrapped steak in ziplock bag submerged in water
Wrapped steak in a ziplock bag submerged in water

Whether you have a ribeye steak, filet mignon, or any other cut of beef, you can use any of the above methods to freeze it.

Tips for Freezing Steak

  • Freeze raw steak immediately after purchase. This preserves freshness and prevents bacterial growth.
  • Use special bags for freezing. These are designed to withstand low temperatures and protect your steak from freezer burn.
  • Aim for flat packaging. The flatter you can make your bags, the more freezer space you will save. Avoid non-standard steak shapes, as they can lead to inefficient storage.
  • Remove excess air. Roll your bag to squeeze the air out before placing your steak in the freezer. Alternatively, consider investing in a vacuum sealer. This handy device lets you wrap steak tightly, maximizing freshness and space efficiency.
  • Label bags accurately. Before placing them in the freezer, mark each bag with the date and type of steak. This helps to keep track of your inventory and ensures you use older steaks first.
  • Strategize steak placement. When adding new steaks to your freezer, position the older ones at the top to ensure they are used first.
  • Freeze steaks quickly and at a very low temperature. Quick freezing at a low temperature helps to maintain the steak’s texture and flavor.
two vacuum packed strip steaks on a wood cutting board with logo steak revolution
Two vacuum-packed strip steaks on a wood cutting board

FAQs

Does freezing steak affect its taste or tenderness? 

Yes, freezing may affect steak taste and tenderness. While a frozen steak may not match the quality of a fresh one, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has lost its flavor or texture. In fact, many people won’t notice a significant difference between a fresh steak and a properly frozen one. However, it’s crucial to consider the duration of storage in the freezer and the method used for thawing. For optimal taste and tenderness, avoid storing the steak in the freezer for more than three months.

When it comes to thawing, in my opinion, a slow approach is best. Ideally, you should defrost the steak in the refrigerator. However, if you’re in a hurry, try the cold water thawing method.

For how long can you freeze steak?

According to the USDA, steak kept in the freezer at 0°F will always be safe to eat. However, if you want to preserve the best taste and texture, do not keep steak in the freezer for more than 3-4 months. The longer you keep a steak in the freezer, the more you lose flavor and texture. Additionally, there is always a risk of freezer burn.

Should you freeze steak?

If, for whatever reason, you don’t plan to cook a fresh steak within three days, I recommend freezing it as soon as possible for later use. Freezing your steak is far better than taking the risk of spoilage after just a few days in the refrigerator.

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow is a Polish entrepreneur and writer who founded Steak Revolution in 2020 because of his passion for steaks. Adam has been cooking steaks for over 5 years, so he understands well all aspects of steak, from the types of steaks and their cooking times to choosing the best cooking technique for any steak.