Contrary to what many people think, you can grill a frozen steak. More interestingly, our tests confirm that the results are surprisingly very good. The grilling frozen steak process takes longer than grilling thawed steak from room temperature, but the results are just as juicy, tender, and delicious with the perfect crisp crust.
This grilling technique is easy and good to know when you need to feed your guests something delicious at the last minute or when you forget to defrost a steak for yourself. Let’s not waste more time and go straight to the recipe below.
How to grill frozen steak: recipe
Before we begin, here are some essential factors and tips to consider to achieve perfect results:
- Use thick cuts: Steak cuts that do well when grilled from frozen should ideally be 1.5-2 inches thick.
- Use a grill that enables you to set up a two-zone fire, with one zone for direct heat and another for indirect heat.
- Steak must be frozen correctly: For even cooking, the steak must be frozen flat, without any irregular shapes.
- Use an instant-read meat thermometer. Also, remember to remove your steak when it is 5° below your desired doneness temperature to avoid overcooking it.
- Let your steak rest: about 5 minutes is enough.
Step 1: Fire up your grill
To allow for initial searing, preheat the grill to a high temperature, preferably around 450-600 °F. Ensure to create two heat zones for direct and indirect cooking. On a gas grill, after searing the steak, leave the burners on only one side of the grill. On a charcoal grill, spread the coals over only half of the grill.
Note: To skip preheating to a high temperature, use a grill with a searing station. In this case, preheat the grill only to about 250 °F for indirect cooking.
Step 2: Season the steak
While waiting for the grill to heat up, season the steak generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides, covering the edges as well. Press the spices into the meat firmly to ensure they adhere well.
Note: Don’t worry about using too many spices; you’ll lose many of them during cooking.
Step 3: Sear the steak
Place the frozen steak on the hot zone of the grill and cook over direct heat. For grill marks, cook the steak for 60-90 seconds, then rotate it 90 degrees and let it cook for another 60-90 seconds. Flip the steak over and repeat the same steps – cook for another 60-90 seconds, then rotate it 90 degrees and let it cook for a final 60-90 seconds.
The exact cooking time will depend on the level of sear you desire and the heat of your grill. Once you’ve achieved the desired grill marks, transfer the steak to the indirect heat side of the grill.
Step 4: Cook over indirect heat
Keep cooking the steak over indirect heat, maintaining a temperature of 200 to 250°F, until it reaches the internal temperature for the desired degree of doneness. Use an instant-read thermometer to control the internal temperature of the steak.
Note: Remove the steak from the grill 5 °F before reaching the internal target temperature.
Step 5: Let the steak rest before serving
Let it rest for around 5 minutes. Resting prevents moisture loss and reduces the risk of ending up with a dry and less flavorful steak. That’s why resting steak is essential.
While resting on the cutting board, the steak continues to cook. Its internal temperature rises, which is why removing the steak from the grill about 5 °F before it reaches its desired doneness is important.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to cook frozen steak indoors without a grill?
Yes, you can cook a frozen steak indoors using the oven and then finish it on the stove for a crispy crust. In a separate article, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to cook a frozen steak in the oven.
Is it required to defrost steak before grilling?
This recipe demonstrates how to grill a frozen steak without defrosting, allowing you to grill it immediately after taking it out of the freezer.
How long does it take to grill a frozen steak?
Grilling a frozen steak takes longer than grilling a thawed steak and will depend on several factors, such as the size and thickness of the steak, the cooking method and temperature of the grill, and the desired level of doneness. However, as a general rule, it can take around 50% longer to cook a frozen steak compared to a thawed one.