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Thread: Freezing Sliced Steaks (Ribeyes, Filets, NY Strip, Porterhouse, etc.)

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Freezing Sliced Steaks (Ribeyes, Filets, NY Strip, Porterhouse, etc.)

    Many of us have experienced that reddish-pink liquid upon opening a bag of previously frozen meat that has thawed. That's referred to as "purge". When meat freezes, the water crystals expand and puncture the cell walls. Upon thawing, these ice crystals result in spilling out the juices that keep the meat tender and juicy. The longer it takes the meat to freeze, the larger the ice crystals will become and that will lead to more purge.

    The principle here is to freeze meat as quickly as possible as this will result in much smaller ice crystals. The best way is to place the meat in a cooler with dry ice. However, dry ice is not readily available everywhere. So, I've been experimenting with another method that virtually all of us can use - although it takes some hands-on time. Grab a baking sheet, spray it with Pam (or similar product) or line it with parchment paper, place the meat directly on it - do not wrap the meat - and place it in the freezer. Then set a timer for 10-15 min, flip the steaks, and set the timer for another 10-15 min and flip again. After the second flip, you can gradually increase the timer. I step up to 30 min, flip, and then another 30 min followed by another flip. After that, you can set the timer for an hour or two. At this point, flipping is optional. Once the meat is frozen, then wrap it in butcher paper or place in a re-sealable plastic bag and leave it in the freezer. You can do the quick freeze using any type of freezer (frost-free refrigerator/freezer or deep freezer). If you have a deep-freezer (one that is not frost-free), I would store the frozen meat in there as it will keep considerably longer than in a frost-free freezer.

    Upon thawing (I almost always thaw in the fridge -occasionally in cold water while wrapped), you will notice considerably less purge when using the quick-freeze method vs. wrapping the meat first and then freezing it. I've also noticed a considerable improvement in the taste and juiciness of the meat after it is grilled. I'm also experimenting with grilling the steaks when they are partially-thawed with good results. Some chefs and avid grillers cook steaks fully frozen and swear by the results. I have not tried that yet, although I cook my home-ground burger patties from frozen with excellent results. Regardless of whether you cook the steak fully-thawed or from frozen, you will experience much less purge if the steaks were frozen using the quick-freeze method.

    Note that I have tried this only with sliced steaks - not whole cuts like a packer brisket, eye round roast, whole rib roast, or pork shoulder.

    Just thought I would pass along this quick-freeze method.
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Freezing Sliced Steaks (Ribeyes, Filets, NY Strip, Porterhouse, etc.)

    Great. Now I'm hungry again. Thanks for the tips.
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    Re: Freezing Sliced Steaks (Ribeyes, Filets, NY Strip, Porterhouse, etc.)

    Right!!!! While that is some incredibly handy info and I am going to have to refer back to it at a later date. And I appreciate it. Right now, I am sitting in my pool sipping an adult beverage. And now I need a steak! Let's see what wins, pool and beverage vs steak!
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Freezing Sliced Steaks (Ribeyes, Filets, NY Strip, Porterhouse, etc.)

    Right now, I am sitting in my pool sipping an adult beverage. And now I need a steak! Let's see what wins, pool and beverage vs steak!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Freezing Sliced Steaks (Ribeyes, Filets, NY Strip, Porterhouse, etc.)

    I usually freeze first then vacuum pack the frozen meat.
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Freezing Sliced Steaks (Ribeyes, Filets, NY Strip, Porterhouse, etc.)

    Today for lunch, I grilled Flanken Cut Short Ribs (a thin cut of meat) directly from frozen. These beef ribs were quick frozen a couple of weeks ago. They came out great - tasty, juicy, and tender. They did take a few minutes longer vs. grilling them thawed. From a taste and flavor perspective, they were virtually identical to the thawed ones I grilled a few weeks ago.
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