Yes, you can sous vide frozen steak! Whether it’s strip, ribeye, or filet mignon, you can sous vide it from frozen. Pair with a delicious sauce or compound butter and you’ve got an incredible center plate on your hands. It’s always tender and never overcooked. You’re not sacrificing a thing by cooking from frozen and this can be an amazing meal prep strategy!
Once I learned I could sous vide steak from frozen, my life changed. So much so that I wrote an entire cookbook about it!
One of my favorite meal prep strategies is to go to Costco or head to Porter Road, grab a whole lot of whatever’s on sale, then season or marinade, vacuum seal, and freeze. This is amazing for a few reasons:
- I have a freezer full of ready to sous vide meals – no defrosting required!
- Past Chelsea made decisions for future Chelsea. I don’t have to wonder what’s for dinner or try to come up with something. I just look at what I have!
- This system makes it easy for me to batch prep a ton of meals at once.
Make sure to grab a copy of Sous Vide Meal Prep for endless seasoning, marinade, and sauce inspiration for any meat you want to sous vide from frozen, whether it’s steak to chicken to seafood!
This cookbook outlines my entire method for keeping your freezer stocked with ready to sous vide meals (and some great recipes to boot!).
Table of Contents
- What You Need to Sous Vide Frozen Steak
- Will the texture be different if I sous vide steaks from frozen?
- How to Season Frozen Steaks
- What cuts of steak can I sous vide from frozen?
- Time and Temp for Sous Vide Frozen Steak
- Where to Order Steaks Online
- What to Serve with Sous Vide Steak
- Sous Vide Frozen Steak with Blue Cheese Compound Butter Recipe
What You Need to Sous Vide Frozen Steak
The good news you don’t need much that you don’t already have in your kitchen! I highly recommend you have:
- An immersion circulator – I recommend the Joule
- A container (you can just use a stockpot, or my favorite sous vide containers are Everie containers)
- A vacuum sealer to really protect the steak from freezer burn
- Vacuum seal bags or rolls
These are things that are nice to have but not necessarily essential:
- Sous vide magnets – I use them to keep bags from floating while sous viding
- A good skillet (I’m partial to Finex)
- A grill press. Grill presses help me get that really good sear!
- Tongs. I like cheap, simple, metal tongs. Blame it on my days working in restaurants! I typically get them from restaurant supply stores but you can get metal tongs online, too.
What if I don’t have a vacuum sealer?
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, make sure to check out my whole post about air removal methods to explore your options. You can use a freezer safe, zipper top bag and remove the air by sealing the bag except for one inch, then submerging the bag in water to force the air through the opening (keep the zipper top above water, though!).
Removing as much air as possible helps prevent freezer burn, so it’s important!
Will the texture be different if I sous vide steaks from frozen?
The good news: absolutely not! You aren’t compromising a thing by cooking from frozen, so don’t think twice about it.
When we cook sous vide, the thing that will change the texture regardless of whether or not we are cooking from frozen is the amount of time we cook it (and even these differences aren’t huge). The longer we cook, the more moisture loss there is and the more the meat breaks down.
I usually don’t like to cook my steaks too long to retain as much moisture as possible.
How to Season Frozen Steaks
If you can, it’s best to season your steak before you sous vide it. But I recognize that’s not always the case, and you might be here because you have some steaks already vacuum sealed and frozen you want to cook. Let’s cover both scenarios!
How to Season Steak Before Freezing and Cooking
Seasoning your steak or any meat before freezing is the ultimate meal prep hack. That’s why I wrote Sous Vide Meal Prep! It’s full of recipes for rubs, marinades, and sauces for your from the freezer to sous vide meats.
Here are some of my favorite ways to season steak before vacuum sealing and freezing:
- Classic salt and pepper. Be generous with it! You can’t go wrong with salt and pepper and it gives you flexibility in case there’s a sauce or compound butter you’re really excited about!
- A homemade or store bought rub or seasoning blend.
- A marinade. The great thing about marinades when sous vide cooking is you cook the marinade, making it safe to eat! The marinade can double as a sauce after sous viding.
How to Season Steak After Freezing and Cooking
If you’re looking to sous vide frozen steak that hasn’t been seasoned, you still can! The flavor won’t be as strong but you can still make it taste great. Here are some tips for flavorful steak, even if it wasn’t seasoned before sous viding:
- After the steak is done sous viding, pat it completely dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel and season thoroughly with salt and pepper before searing.
- Make a really good sauce or compound butter to add flavor.
- To really ensure flavor, you can slice after searing and sprinkle lightly with flaked sea salt. This is especially helpful with thicker cuts.
What cuts of steak can I sous vide from frozen?
You can sous vide any cut of frozen steak you want! It doesn’t matter one bit. Whether you’re working with ribeye, filet mignon, strip steak, tri tip steak, etc., the results will be incredible. Don’t overthink it!
Make sure to check out all my sous vide beef recipes for plenty of inspiration!
Time and Temp for Sous Vide Frozen Steak
When sous viding steak from frozen, don’t worry about adjusting the temperature. If you have a favorite temp that you like to cook your steaks at, use that!
Why a higher temp for fattier cuts? I like to render the fat just a little bit more while still keeping the steak as close to medium rare as I can.
If you want to learn more about different temps for different cuts, my friend Jason of Amazing Food Made Easy has a great guide for beef times and temps.
Time and Temp Chart for Sous Vide Steaks from Frozen
To sous vide steaks from frozen, preheat a water bath to your desired temperature with an immersion circulator and cook for 2-4 hours. You are adding an hour to the minimum cook time (1 hour) when cooking from frozen. If your steak is really thick (more than 2 inches), go for a minimum time of 2.5 hours.
|Rare||125 degrees F||2-4 hours|
|Medium Rare||130 degrees F||2-4 hours|
|Medium||135 degrees F||2-4 hours|
|Well Done||145 degrees F||2-4 hours|
Where to Order Steaks Online
There are lots of businesses that sell meat you can order online and have delivered, but I’ve got a favorite: Porter Road.
Porter Road is one of my favorite sources for top quality, delicious meat. Many of their cuts are dry aged and you can truly taste the difference! Their meat comes from animals that are raised outside and fed a vegetarian diet.
This sounds corny, but I mean it: you really can taste the difference in their cuts. They come from animals that were raised outside and fed a vegetarian diet, each piece is hand cut, and many of their cuts are dry aged which adds such an incredible “oomph”.
Most cuts are delivered fresh, so you can season and vacuum seal before adding to the freezer!
What to Serve with Sous Vide Steak
I love a classic steak and potatoes meal, but there are so many sides that go amazingly with steak. In fact, I rounded up 14 steak sides for you to choose from!
Sous Vide Frozen Steak with Blue Cheese Compound Butter
Sous Vide Frozen Steak
- 2 steak cuts of your choice
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter, ghee, or neutral oil
Blue Cheese Compound Butter
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 tsp finely chopped chives
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- If you can, season the steaks with salt and pepper before vacuum sealing and freezing. If you're working with steaks that are already vacuum sealed and frozen, proceed to the next step.
- To sous vide steaks from frozen, preheat a water bath to your desired temperature with an immersion circulator, add the vacuum sealed steak, and cook for 2-4 hours. You are adding an hour to the minimum cook time (1 hour) when cooking from frozen. If your steak is really thick (more than 2 inches), go for a minimum time of 2.5 hours.
- While the steak is cooking, make the blue cheese compound butter. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients with a fork. Don't over mash: you want blue cheese chunks! Add to a small jar or wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate or freeze. When frozen, the butter will keep for up to 6 months.
- When the steak is done, remove from the water bath and bag and pat completely dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel. If the steak wasn't seasoned before you cooked it, season it now, liberally with salt and pepper.
- Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet, like cast iron, over high heat. Once smoking, add the ghee or neutral oil.
- Add the steak to the skillet and sear on both sides until dark brown. If you have a grill press, set it on top of the steaks while you sear.
- Remove the steaks to plates and top with 1-2 tbsp cold compound butter. Serve immediately.