You just realized that you forgot to thaw that steak for dinner. Call for pizza? No need! Here’s how our expert chef cooks delicious frozen steak outside on the grill and inside in the oven. Important: Use a thick steak—one-and-a-half inches thick is ideal. With thinner steaks, the inside will thaw and overcook before the outside chars.
If using a gas grill, turn all the burners on high and close the lid. After 15 minutes, turn off the burners except one (the direct heat). If using a charcoal grill, fill it with charcoal, light and let burn until it is partially ashed over. Move the charcoal to one side of the grill (this is the direct heat). Leave the steak in the freezer while you prepare the grill. Then for either type of grill, follow the instructions below…
• Oil the cooking grate. I hold a wad of paper towels with tongs, dip it into canola oil and swab the grate.
• Place the frozen steak on the grill over the direct heat, and close the lid. Grill until the bottom of the steak is nicely charred—about seven minutes. Then flip the steak and season the cooked side with salt and pepper. Close the lid, and grill for about seven more minutes until that side is charred.
• Flip the steak and move it to indirect heat by placing it about six inches away from the direct heat. Season the side that’s now on top with salt and pepper. Cover the grill, and cook approximately 10 to 15 minutes (no additional flipping needed). Check the steak with a thermometer after 10 minutes. Cook until the meat registers 120°F in the center. Remove and let rest for five minutes—the steak will cook a bit more. If you want it medium, cook until the steak is between 125°F and 130°F.
Preheat your oven on bake to 275°F.
• Fill a skillet with one-eighth inch of canola oil. Heat on high just until the oil starts to smoke. (Careful—don’t overheat the oil!) Place frozen steak in the skillet, and cook until the bottom is brown and crusty, about 90 seconds. Flip the steak, and season the cooked side with salt and pepper. Cook for another 90 seconds on the second side. When you remove the steak, season that side.
• Turn the stovetop off, put a wire rack on a baking sheet and move the steak to the rack. Place in the preheated oven on the middle rack. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until a meat thermometer registers 120°F to 125°F for a medium-rare steak (there will be less carryover cooking than with grilling, so closer to 125°F is better) or 130°F for medium.
The delicious bottom line: In testing conducted at Cook’s Illustrated, frozen steaks cooked indoors with the skillet/oven method retained more moisture than steaks that were thawed first…and frozen steaks cooked on the grill were just as juicy as steaks that had been thawed and then grilled. Enjoy!