Can You Marinate Frozen Steak?


As any home cook knows, there are times when you forget to take the steak out of the freezer to thaw in time for dinner.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this predicament, you may have wondered if it’s possible to marinate frozen steak.

Here is a detailed guide to help you out.

Can You Marinate Frozen Steak?

Yes, you can marinate frozen steak while it is thawing. Marinating frozen steak is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to your steak without having to thaw it first. This process, while time-saving, has some limitations too.

The most apparent benefit of marinating frozen steak is that you save time.

Thawing can be a long process and if you are pressed for time, then marinating while the meat thaws is a great way to save a few hours.

But there are some limitations too.

First of all, you will need to marinate the steak for a much longer time than usual. This is because the frozen meat is unresponsive to the imagination process.

So, the marination process will not kick in full swing unless it has reasonable thawed.

This is a crucial aspect to take care of; if you do not consider this, you may have stiff and unflavored steak.

Secondly, thawing releases water; this means the marinade coating may not stick to the surface of the steak.

Further, the consistency of the marinade will become thin (due to water). In such a case, you may end up with steak with inconsistent flavor and tenderness.

To ensure this does not happen – you need to ensure the steak is properly covered with marinade at least once during the process.

If you see the coating is not proper, you need to redo it.

If your steak is completely dipped in the marinade, it will still be a good idea to shake it a bit so that water does not gather at one portion of the steak.

How Long Can You Marinate Frozen Steak?

According to USDA, you can marinate the frozen steak for up to 2 days without any issues. After that, the meat may start to get mushy as the marinade penetrates its layers.

The above guideline is valid for the usual steak, this will for sure will be longer as frozen steak also needs thawing.

But as most recipes call for 12 hours of marination, this is a good enough guideline.

What’s The Best Way To Marinate Frozen Steak? Process & Key Precautions

Marinating frozen steak is slightly different from marinating the usual steak. Here is a step by step process for the same –

  1. Prepare your marinade. Ensure that you prepare a bit more marinade than usual, just to ensure the steak is appropriately covered and does not lose consistency due to the watering of frozen steak.
  2. Take a glass/plastic bowl/freezer bag, and put the frozen steak and marinade. Ensure the steak is completely covered.
  3. Keep in the fridge for 3-4 hours
  4. Take out and mix the marinade (if in a bowl) or shake it if in freezer bags to mix the marinade with the water released.
  5. Keep back in the fridge for 8-12 hours

It is very important that you should never marinate frozen meat at room temperature. It should always be marinated in the fridge.

Otherwise, there is a serious possibility of harmful bacteria breeding in the meat.

Here are some awesome tips of cooking frozen steak –

What All Marinades Can You Use To Marinate Frozen Steak?

Some of the best marinades you can use to marinate steak include soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, and red wine. The marinades you can use for frozen steak are the same as what you use for the usual steak.

Steak works best with complexly flavored marinades. Thus, red wine and vinegar work great.

Citrus may overpower the steak flavor; thus, it may be used in moderation or when a recipe requires it.

Final Words

So, these are a few things to keep in mind when marinating frozen steak. I hope it will help you!

Finally, don’t forget to give the steak plenty of time to absorb the flavors of the marinade.

With these tips in mind, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a delicious, flavorful steak even if you forgot to thaw it ahead of time!

Do share this with your family and friends who love steak!

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About Irene Clark

Irene is a supermom of 4 kids who always has a smile on her face. She's an amazing dancer - you should see her moves! - and she loves to eat, especially with wine. She also loves pop music and travels across the country with her family and friends.

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