Can you freeze steak? As a fan of steak, I am sure that leftover steak will break your heart. When steaks are on a big sale, you want to buy a lot but are afraid that they will expire before you can eat all of them.
In these cases, you may wonder “how can I store it longer?” If you are asking this question, you have just come to the right place. I strongly suggest you read this post, as it contains a lot of useful information that will provide you with the most complete answer.
Let’s learn something new now!
Can You Freeze Steak?
There are a lot of questions about freezing different types of meats, such as “is it possible to freeze lunch meat, pork, or beef?”. Overall, you can absolutely freeze steak. It is the best way to store your steak for a long time while maintaining its freshness and tasty flavor.
However, that question is less often asked than these questions. How to freeze steak? How long does frozen steak last? How to thaw and reheat frozen steak? Seeing how important they are, I’ve gathered all of the answers in this informative article for you.
To freeze steak, you just need to buy a fresh one, wrap it carefully, and put it in the freezer. It’s that easy.
Continue to learn more!
Why Should You Freeze Steaks?
Before going into detail, I want to outline some advantages of freezing steaks so that you have some good reasons to freeze your steak today.
First, freezing steak can reduce enzyme activity, which can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. As a result, the steak’s quality remains the same over time. The taste of frozen steak is just as good as fresh steak.
In addition, freezing steak helps you to save a lot of time going to market. It takes minimal effort to prepare for freezing and thawing steak.
Finally, you don’t have to worry about running out of steak at important events. Given that you suddenly decided to serve steak, you always have it available in your freezer.
And now, you can make tons of delicious foods with your leftover steaks as well. Since if you freeze them properly, their taste will be just the same.
Now I guess you have seen many benefits of freezing steak and want to get straight to the procedure. I won’t let you wait any longer.
This experiment will show you whether frozen steak is as tasty as fresh steak. Watch this video:
How Long Does Steak Last In The Freezer?
You can freeze all types of steak, including raw steak, cooked steak, and marinated steak. Their shelf lives in the freezer are quite different. See the table below to learn how long they can stay in the freezer.
|Types of steak||Shelf life in the freezer|
|Raw steak||6-12 months|
|Cooked steak||3 months|
|Marinated steak||3 months|
Interestingly, freezing your steak at 0 degree Fahrenheit will make it last forever (1). But its taste will not be the same after 12 months.
Raw steak lives very long in the freezer. You can store it for up to 12 months. Its shelf life depends on the freshness of the steak and storage condition. Raw steak lasts much longer if it is fresh and properly stored.
Dealing with leftover steak is one of the most concerning issues. Luckily, there is a solution. Freezing cooked steak helps you to keep it delicious over time, which is very tempting. It can safely stay in the freezer for 3 months. You should consume it by then.
Freezing marinated steak makes it even more tender and flavorful. Therefore, it is a great idea to do so. How long it can last depends on how well and how long you have marinated your steak. Steaks that have fewer condiments last much longer than others.
The Excellent Methods To Freeze Steak
While steak and beef have several differences, they still are quite similar. One of their shared characteristics is that they’re both easy to freeze. As long as you follow this how-to guide, you can store your steak for a very long time.
You only need a few minutes to prepare and freeze the steak. I will show you how simple and easy it is. There are two ways that you can wrap the steak before putting it in the freezer. They can be used to wrap both raw steak and cooked steak.
Method 1: Use A Vacuum Sealer
A vacuum sealer is an effective tool to freeze steak since it can squeeze out any air in the package. It is firmer and thicker than other types of bags, which can protect the steak from dryness and freezer burn.
What You Need
- Raw or cooked steak
- Vacuum sealer
- Sharpie pen
These 4 simple steps to freeze steaks using a vacuum sealer.
Step 1: Use the sharpie pen to write the current date on the package.
Step 2: Put the clean steak inside the package. Slide it to the bottom.
Step 3: Put the package in the vacuum sealing machine.
Step 4: Place the package in the bottom part of the freezer.
Note: Make sure that the steak and package is not contaminated before freezing. If the steak interacts with other foods, some harmful bacteria may grow even when there is no air in the package.
Method 2: Use A Freezer Paper
A more affordable and environment-friendly option is freezer papers. They are thick paper and have a plastic coat to prevent air.
What You Need
- Raw, cooked, or marinated steak
- A piece of freezer paper
- A zip-top bag
- A plastic layer
- Sharpie pen
With 5 straightforward steps, you can store your steak for months.
Step 1: Wrap the steak tightly with a plastic layer, squeeze out as much air as possible. For marinated steak, put it in a zip-top bag instead of a plastic layer.
Step 2: Put the wrapped steak in the middle of a freezer paper and fold it.
Step 3: Seal the freezer paper using the tape.
Step 4: Write the date you freeze the steak on the paper using the sharpie pen.
Step 5: Put the wrapped steak in the bottom part of the freezer.
Not sure about the wrapping technique? Check it out now!
Pro Tips For Freezing Steak
Want more useful tips? There you are. These tips are particularly helpful when you buy steak in a large quantity.
- Choose fresh and high-quality steaks.
- Refrigerate the steak before cutting it into portions. This will help to produce even cuts.
- Use a clean cutting board to cut the steak.
- Spare some space between each portion of steak to facilitate air circulation.
- Freeze steak at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
How To Prevent Freezer Burn?
As I have mentioned, frozen steak can easily develop freezer burn if not stored properly. To understand it better and get some tips to prevent it, you should read this section very carefully.
Overview Of Freezer Burn
Freezer burn comes in the form of small ice crystals surrounding frozen steak. You will see some discolored and dry areas on your steak. Freezer burn is caused by moisture loss when steak has been frozen for too long or stored not properly. (2)
Steak contains water. As a result, water loss makes the steak dehydrated, resulting in freezer burn. It may change the color, texture, and taste of the steak.
However, it isn’t one of those symptoms showing your steak has spoiled. That is to say, you can still eat steak with freezer burn, but it’s just not delicious anymore.
How To Keep Your Steak Away From Freezer Burn?
Don’t worry when you see how bad freeze burn affects the quality of frozen steak. There are some ways to keep your steak safe in the freezer. You shouldn’t miss it.
- Make sure you wrap the steak carefully, trying to squeeze out as much air in the package as possible.
- Use the smallest package that fits the steak. The smaller it is, the more unlikely that air will find its way into the package.
- Place a cup of water somewhere in the freezer. This will help to add moisture to it. Replace other cups after 2-3 months.
- Immerse the steak in water before freezing. Adding moisture to the steak will protect it from being dehydrated.
- Rewrap the steak when you have stored it for too long.
Thawing Steak Can No Longer Concern You
Knowing how to store the steak properly is not enough to ensure a delicious steak dish. You need to learn how to defrost it while keeping its original taste and flavor. Here is the ultimate guide to thaw steak.
Thawing steak takes several minutes to several hours, depending on how you thaw it and how thick it is.
In The Fridge
The safest way to defrost steak is to put it in the fridge on a quality thawing tray. The steak will gradually thaw within 24 hours. Since it will take a long time, I suggest you thaw it the day before to ensure that it has enough time to return to its original state.
Remember to place the steak on a plate before refrigerating to avoid drippings.
In Cold Water
If you have less time, thawing steak in cold water is a good alternative. Make sure you do not use lukewarm or hot water because high temperature will trigger the growth of harmful bacteria, which will spoil your steak.
Dip the package of steak into a bowl of cold water. Your steak needs around 6-10 hours to thaw completely, depending on its size.
In The Microwave
You can use the defrost option on the microwave to thaw steak. This is the fastest way to thaw steak but also the most dangerous one. Unless you are in a hurry, I don’t recommend this method since it may dry out the steak, making it tough and less tasty.
Make sure that you keep an eye on the steak. Just put it in the microwave for as long as it is thawed. Otherwise, you will cook it instead of thawing it.
Find out the best way to thaw steak here!
The Most Effective Methods To Reheat Steak
For cooked steak, many people are concerned about reheating it. Actually, reheating cooked steak without drying it out is a challenging job. But I have these tips for you. Check them out!
Use The Oven
Oven is an excellent device to bake steak, especially when you’ve learned the proper length of time to cook steak at 400 F. In addition, you can also use it to reheat frozen steak. Reheating steak in the oven takes more time than other methods. However, it is the best way to retain the taste of cooked steak. I highly recommend this method.
You will need to reheat the oven first, then put the steak on a wire rack held by a baking sheet, and place it in the oven. Let it be there for around 20 minutes. In the meantime, heat the skillet at high heat and add some oil or butter.
After 20 minutes, lower the heat of the skillet and move the steak from the stove to the skillet. 30 seconds later, flip the other side.
This brief instruction makes reheating steak an extremely easy job.
Use The Stove
Another method to reheat steak is using the stove. This is also an excellent way to maintain the flavor and texture of the steak.
Put the thawed steak into a clean freezer bag. Then, pour water into the pot and heat it. Put the bag in and wait for 5 minutes. You can put in some seasoning to make the steak more flavourful.
In the heated pan, add some oil or butter. Then take out the freezer bag and move the steak to the pan. Put the lid on the flip the steak every 30 seconds until it is ready to serve.
Use The Microwave
This is the fastest method to reheat cooked steak. However, I only recommend this when you don’t have time because it may dry out the steak and affect its taste and texture. But you don’t have to worry. There is a small technique that can help you to optimize the steak’s quality.
Put the steak on a dish, and pour some leftover steak juice over the steak. Next, cover the plate with a lid or wrap it with a plastic layer and put it into the microwave. Set the microwave at a medium level of heat.
The leftover juice helps to add moisture to the steak, preventing it from drying out.
Also, since the steak has already been cooked, figuring out when the reheating process completes can be quite a challenge. Thus, you may prepare a precise meat thermometer with wireless technology. This tool can help you know the exact temperature of your meat.
How To Become An Expert In Choosing Fresh Steak
To optimize the shelf life of frozen steak and maintain its quality, you should learn to choose fresh steak. Keep these tips in mind to select high-quality steak in the supermarket.
- Buy steak from the butcher instead of going to the supermarket.
- Never buy steak that passes the sell-by date.
- Look for the steak that is recommended by the USDA.
- Choose steak that has a purplish red or cherry red color.
- Buy steak that has some small and spreaded marbling.
- Pick steak that is firm to the touch.
- Choose a moist steak, but avoid steak that has too much dripping.
- Do not choose frozen steaks with ice crystals.
- Buy an evenly cut portion of steak.
Although I have provided you a lot of information about freezing steak, I haven’t talked about some other issues that may also be important. Therefore, I made this FAQ section to help you further with every question that you may have. Read along!
Choose The Freshest Steak And Freeze It Today!
Can you freeze steak? Now it is an easy question. I have shown you the best methods to freeze steak, thaw steak, reheat steak, and choose fresh steak. Now it’s your turn to make the most out of this post.
You need some time to practice these techniques as a beginner, but it won’t take you long. Everything is so straightforward after you read this post.
Do you have any secret method to store, thaw, reheat, and choose fresh steak? Share your thoughts with me and everyone else in the comment section.
- Web.extension.illinois.edu. 2021. Storing Meat in Your Freezer – Meat Safety for the Consumer – University of Illinois Extension. [online] Available at: <https://web.extension.illinois.edu/meatsafety/freezer.cfm>
- The Library of Congress. 2021. What is “freezer burn?”. [online] Available at: <https://www.loc.gov/everyday-mysteries/food-and-nutrition/item/what-is-freezer-burn/>
Table of Contents
- Can You Freeze Steak?
- Why Should You Freeze Steaks?
- How Long Does Steak Last In The Freezer?
- The Excellent Methods To Freeze Steak
- Pro Tips For Freezing Steak
- How To Prevent Freezer Burn?
- Thawing Steak Can No Longer Concern You
- The Most Effective Methods To Reheat Steak
- How To Become An Expert In Choosing Fresh Steak
- Choose The Freshest Steak And Freeze It Today!