There are times wherein we cook TOO MUCH food because of a special celebration or an event.
Have you ever wondered if it is safe to place cooked steak inside your freezer? Have you ever considered throwing away your cooked steak because you do not want to risk contamination?
HAVE NO FEAR! You’ve come to the right place if you want the answer to those questions!
So can you freeze cooked steak? Read more about freezing cooked steaks and understand the many nuances and situations that could happen if you do such!
Freezing Cooked Steak – Is It Ok to Do So?
The short answer is YES; you can freeze cooked steak! Steak, cooked, or raw steak placed at low temperature are safe because the temperature inactivates the growth of harmful bacteria!
However, certain conditions have to be met BEFORE freezing the fresh steak.
The ESSENTIAL condition to meet is to make the steak fully cool down before placing it in the freezer. You essentially want the steak to be at ROOM TEMPERATURE.
The condition is important to meet because the moisture in the cooked steak will freeze when fresh, forming ice on the steak that can significantly AFFECT the taste of the steak.
When you freeze steak, you are extending its shelf life by about 2-3 months, as well as ensuring that its flavor, taste, and texture will not be lost. Let’s move on to how to freeze cooked steak!
How to Freeze Cooked Steak – The Best Way
We ALL know how expensive steak is and how it would feel terrible to waste such premium meat. That is why we provided the BEST WAY to freeze steak if it calls for it!
You can apply this method to other meat choices like t-bone, rib-eye, filet mignon, steak sandwich, and other meat options!
Here is OUR WAY on how to freeze cooked steak!
Step 1: Cool Down the Steak
As mentioned above, the most important condition to meet before freezing the steak is to ensure that the cooked steak is at ROOM TEMPERATURE before freezing the meat.
Cooked steaks that are immediately placed in the freezer when it’s still fresh can cause their taste and flavor to be lost due to the moisture that can be frozen.
Another reason why you should NOT place freshly cooked steaks in the freezer immediately is because the high heat will affect the other food placed in the freezer. You can thaw them unintentionally.
Ensure that the steak reaches room temperature. The taste and flavor will retain, and it can be used as leftover cooked steak!
Step 2: Store the Steak With the Right Material
When you freeze steak, you need to ensure that you have the BEST storing material for it.
A great material to store steaks in is heavy-duty aluminum foil. To wrap steak, use heavy-duty aluminum foil to cover them.
SECURELY wrap it to the point that there is no part of the steak EXPOSED.
You can use another layer of wrap through the plastic wrap for added protection and security.
The most crucial point of this step is to get the RIGHT MATERIAL for your storage for the steaks. Using the wrong storage can contaminate your steak and cause waste, which is NEVER good.
Step 3: Make Sure the Steak Is Properly Stored
Once the cooked steaks have been appropriately wrapped, it is now time to place them into an airtight container. If you do not want to use the container, you can use a freezer bag as an alternative!
Ensure that the steak is placed correctly in the container, and do NOT put too many steaks in one container. The process of storing the steaks will be useless if you cramp the steaks in one.
If you’re using an airtight container, ensure that the lid is securely locked.
If the lid is broken, find another container to use. Any exposure to the steaks will contaminate them!
If you’re using a freezer bag or freezer wrap, squeeze out as much air as you can from it and seal it as TIGHTLY as possible to avoid air exposure to the food.
Step 4: Label the Stored Steak and Freeze It!
Before you freeze steaks and store them, make a habit of NOTING DOWN THE DATE of the freezing steak as it starts freezing.
This is to identify how long the storage is.
- If you plan to store it for a short time, place it in the fridge.
- If you plan to keep it for a long time, put it in the freezer instead!
When using freezer bags and wanting more storage space, it is safe to place the bags on top of each other!
However, certain conditions have to be MET before doing this.
Ensure the steaks are COMPLETELY FROZEN. Only then can you stack them on top of each other.
Not only does this secure your frozen cooked steak, but it also increases the shelf life of the frozen meat!
Alternative Methods in Freezing Cooked Steak
If you want other methods or think that our chosen method does not suit your preferences, here are some of the best alternative methods for freezing cooked steak!
We guarantee these methods to be safe and ensure the food will be in GREAT shape!
Use a Vacuum Sealer
The vacuum sealer is a GREAT TOOL to freeze steak because it will squeeze out as much air in the package. It is also an excellent tool for storage – it ensures the steak is properly stored!
Its firm and thick properties allow the steak to be heavily protected from dryness and freezer burn!
Here’s how to effectively use the sealer to achieve frozen steak:
- Use a marker to write the date on the package
- CAREFULLY place the steak inside the package
- Place the package in the vacuum sealing machine
- Place the package in the bottom part of the freezer
Use a Freezer Paper
What’s the difference between freezer paper and a freezer bag?
The paper option is the more affordable and eco-friendly option! Here are the steps on how to properly use the freezer paper:
- Before placing the steak in the fridge, wrap the steak without air as much as possible.
- Place the wrapped steak in the center of the freezer paper and fold properly.
- Seal the paper using tape and ensure it does NOT expose the steak.
- Note down the date on the paper.
- Place the wrapped steak in the bottom part of the freezer.
Things to Avoid When Freezing Cooked Steak
Here are the most SIGNIFICANT things to avoid when freezing cooked steak.
You should take this SERIOUSLY because this could contaminate your steak and the other foods placed in your freezer!
Avoid Freezer Burn
What is freezer burn, and how can you tell if you’ve suffered from it? If you see ICE CRYSTALS on the surface of your steak or food, then the food has been freezer burned.
Freezer burn usually occurs when a freshly cooked steak is placed immediately in the freezer. The moisture can freeze up quickly, making the taste of the steak bland and have an odd taste.
Air exposure also makes the moisture disappear over periods, causing bland taste and food contamination.
There are two GREAT ways to prevent freezer burn!
Those ways are making frozen cooked steak be cooled down at room temperature and removing air from the storage container it is placed in!
Committing these two ways will ensure TOP QUALITY steak, a freezer burn-free steak, and a properly secured frozen cooked steak!
Avoid Placing the Steak in the Freezer While It’s Still Fresh Steak
As previously mentioned, placing fresh steak in the freezer will negatively affect the steak!
If you want to start cooking frozen steak but notice freezer burn, you may have placed the steak immediately in the freezer while still fresh.
Placing fresh steak in the freezer will INCREASE THE RISK of freezer burn and the risk of the other food in your freezer thawing.
Avoid Rushing When You Thaw Steak
So you want to reheat your steak? AVOID RUSHING!
It may be tempting to reheat your steak in a microwave, but because of the functionalities of the microwave, it can dry up the moisture almost IMMEDIATELY.
Reheat it using the oven or other traditional methods like cold water to retain its quality!
You can add things like rosemary and olive oil if you want to spice things up!
Tips and Tricks in Freezing Cooked Steak
You can never go wrong with essential tips and tricks on something that could save you GREAT food!
In a few minutes, you’ll increase your knowledge of steaks and how they properly function! Not only will this improve your understanding, but it will also improve safety and security in food.
These are the best ways to FULLY UTILIZE freezing your cooked steak!
High-Quality and Fresh Steak
One of the most basic but FUNDAMENTAL aspects of cooking steak is to cook the BEST QUALITY meat!
Even if they become leftover steak, the taste of the meat will not disappear, and it will taste like you cook fresh out the shallow pan!
If you want to eat the best steak, even if they become leftover steak, ensure that you purchase the BEST meat!
Buy raw steak of the highest quality, and we guarantee a great COOKING and EATING experience!
Refrigerating the Steak
Only refrigerate the steak if you plan on using it again in a few days!
If you plan to eat the steak in a few days, placing it in the refrigerator is the best call!
However, if you plan on eating or preserving the steak for long periods, we suggest NOT PLACING them in the fridge because it can be contaminated.
Clean Cutting Board
A basic tip in freezing great steak is using a clean cutting board!
Steaks can be easily contaminated with many things, so a clean cutting board ensures that it is SAFE and EDIBLE when cutting and storing the food.
Space for the Steak to be Placed
When cooking steak, it is best placed on a wire rack!
The wire rack allows the steak to absorb the hot air circulating the meat.
With the hot air being used to its fullest, the steak will come out as EXTREMELY fresh, juicy, and overall amazing food!
Recommended Temperature for Freezing Steak
The recommended temperature, especially if STORED for 2-3 months, is 0 degrees Fahrenheit when freezing steak.
The cold temperature denies the growth of harmful bacteria in the meat; further increases its shelf life and its safety to eat it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There are many questions asked from users regarding the topics, so we created the FAQs question section wherein we compile the most common questions.
Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding freezing cooked steak!
Does Freezing Cooked Steak Affect the Taste of the Steak?
The short answer is NO, with some exceptions! The taste of a frozen cooked steak will NOT disappear SO LONG AS the steak is cooked or used within 3 months.
Another aspect to consider is the way you REHEAT steak. We highly recommend when thawing steak, you do NOT use the microwave.
The microwave will DRY OUT the steak’s moisture, affecting the taste and flavor of the steak. This will affect the steak leftovers, making the taste bland.
The best way to reheat steak properly is to use the oven and the stovetop to ensure a juicy steak and retain moisture in the meat!
Is Leftover Steak Safe to Eat?
Leftover steak is at its SAFEST for consumption if the steak’s smell, taste, and appearance are NORMAL and good!
To identify whether the steak is good or bad, you should notice a sour smell or if the appearance of the steak seems off.
If you DO notice the sour smell, do NOT taste it. The odd smell is a CLEAR INDICATOR that the steak is not safe to eat anymore.
To avoid food poisoning, take repercussions before reheating the steak.
Does it have a slimy texture and smell weird? Are there ice crystals on the meat?
To prevent these issues, be CAREFUL with the steak!
Should I Freeze or Refrigerate Cooked Steak?
Freezing or refrigerating cooked steak depends on how LONG you want to store the meat.
If you plan on storing the meat within days or weeks, place the cooked steak in the fridge!
If you plan on storing the meat within months, place the cooked steak in the freezer!
No matter how basic it is, food storage is IMPORTANT in keeping your food safe. Not having the best storage can potentially kill people. Do NOT underestimate storing food the right way.
Delicious steaks and cooked meat are at their BEST and HIGHEST quality if the care in making them delicious and high-quality are there!
It takes A LOT of effort to make the steak retain its quality from cooked to frozen.
Indeed, that is the purpose of this article – to show you the best way to freeze cooked steak WHILE maintaining its quality.
We hope that you learned a thing or two about the process and that you somehow apply these methods in your cooking procedures!
Thank you for reading, and we hope that your steaks and meat are the most DELICIOUS things ever cooked!