Tips and Tricks on How to Grill a Frozen Steak

Nothing beats some yummy good old juicy steak! But what happens when you forgot to defrost your meat and have some guests showing up in a few? Yikes! Likely the first thought running through your head is, “there’s not enough time to thaw out those cuts. Dinner’s ruined!”

But is it? Did you know you can just as easily grill up frozen steak to a tender, savory flavor in just under an hour? Better believe it. Forget about having to make last-minute changes and find out how to make do with those icy pieces. Ready?

Preparation Tips

Before anything, there are a couple few tricks and tips you should know of when dealing with rock-hard meat.  These seemingly small hacks could potentially better your results as opposed to approaching the cooking blindly. Remember, it’s not ordinary meat you’re dealing with, so you can’t possibly give the same treatment.

With frozen slices, here is what to do;

  1.   Freeze it Correctly

In case you missed this the first time, now you’re in the know.  You want to place the beef on a totally flat surface while in the freezer. Why so? It helps expose more of the exterior while on the grill. Tools such as baking sheets and sheet pans are perfect for the job. This way, any bumps that would otherwise cause the steak not to lay flat on the grates are smoothened out.

  1.   Cut out Thick Slices

You may be no stranger to overcooked meat often characterized by the grey banding just beneath the surface and on the sides. Judging by statistics, half the time, it’s the case with thin slices. The external charring imposed too much heat on the inside and now the product is overdone.

Thick slices on the other hand can withstand more time on the fire without graying and when frozen especially; there’s an additional lower temperature to serve as an insulator. This results in crispy brown outsides paired with a medium-rare finish. The perfect combo!

  1.   Get a Meat Thermometer

The steak business cannot go unmentioned without a digital meat thermometer in the picture. It’s the only sure way to monitor doneness and control the temperatures without missing a beat. Go for an instant-read thermometer for the sake of accurate and fast readings. When grilling, even the slightest delay could ruin your preferred level of doneness so don’t slack on this.

  1.   Use a Two Fire Zone Set-up

Simply put this is a dual cooking method where both direct and indirect heat is used. In case you’re wondering, the primary direct heat caters to searing the outside while the indirect source cooks up the interior gradually.

To get this right, turn one of your burners and keep the other on low if you’re using a gas grill. With a charcoal version, lump the charcoal to one side of the ashtray and let the temperature rise.  Cooking experts prefer the above technique for the reason that it gives a pink-to-pink corner outcome and nothing like the banding.

Now that you’re set with the groundwork and tools, it’s time to start grilling!

Step by Step Guide

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Step 1:  Fire up your cooker

Here, ensure that your grill grates are well heated before the meat goes on top. Moreover, take a few seconds to scrub off any sticky build-up, grease, and debris that can compromise your meat flavor. Rancid acid is nothing to have on your steak. On average you need about 15 minutes for your charcoal griller to get to the right temperature and 5 for your gas cooker.

Step 2: Proceed to Sear

When your grill is ready, slap the frozen beef onto the rails first facing the hot side. The amino acids and sugars burn in what is known as a Maillard reaction to realize that golden, crispy outside that we all love. Maintain the cuts for about 5-7minutes flipping them over to achieve a nice brown coat.

Be sure to have your thermometer close by as you do not want the internal temperature rising above 90°F

Step 3: Season Generously

At this point, you can add on your condiments. It’s pointless to try the season prior because the frozen meat will not hold onto the spices. That said, best aim for high dissolving salt and adhering spices. Kosher salt is a great start. Add it in amounts to your preference, as well as other favorite flavors.

Step 4: Switch Heat Zones

It’s now time to move over to the cooler setup. This is where most of the preparation gets done slowly and steadily. Don’t rush this stage as heat energy is needed to travel to the center. Depending on how you want your meat cooked, observe the reading to know when to pull out your BBQ.

A pro tip, carefully inserts the thermometer through the cut side and push it all the way to the center without touching any bone or fat (if there is).

Also, experts recommend that you take out your meal when the temperature registers 5-10°F below the desired doneness.  This is because when the meat is resting, the temperature will continue to rise to get to the ideal mark. Pulling out right on temperature gives room for an overcook.

Refer to this handy temperature guide for help.

Step 5:  Plate Up

All that’s left is to dig in! Serve with your favorite sauces, dips, and drinks, and enjoy the juiciness.

Check our complete guide and learn how to grill frozen burgers


  1.   Will my meat dry out?

Although frozen meats may take significantly longer to cook than their cousin, the amount of moisture loss has been proven to be arguably the same- 17% in both.

  1.   Is grilling frozen steak effective?

Short answer- yes! The very low temperatures inside seal in the moisture when cooking. And as you know, less overcooked meats translate to juicy bites!


Seeing as frozen steak offers better results when cut up correctly and prepared as it should,  a lot more grill diehards are warming up to the idea. Steer away from those disappointing greys and hop onto the new bandwagon. You have everything you need to know!

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