A Comprehensive Guide: Can You Freeze Cooked Steak? 

Who doesn’t love a juicy, flavorful steak? It’s one of the most versatile cuts of meat you can buy. You can cook steak in almost any way – pan-fried, on the grill, oven-roasted or sous vide.

Most of the time, we buy the steak cut and freeze it for later use. However, when you cook the steak and can’t finish it, a question may pop up in your mind — can you freeze cooked steak and enjoy it later?

Raw and cooked steaks have a long shelf life (about 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator). Freezing them both makes them last longer and improves their taste when they are thawed again.

Freezing cooked steak will also allow you to cook it at your leisure without worrying about eating it before its expiration date.

Read on for more information about how to freeze steak efficiently, its benefits, and how to do it safely.

Types of Steak

steak of different meat type image set

Before we get into the details of freezing cooked steak, let’s talk about the different types of steaks you can freeze and how you should handle each one.

Chuck Steak

Chuck steak is a tough and inexpensive cut often used for slow cooking. It has a lot of connective tissue that breaks down during long, slow cooking to make it tender, but it doesn’t work well for quick cooking methods like grilling or sautéing.

The best cut for freezing is chuck steak (which contains both the cow’s shoulder and arm muscles), as it has a high fat content.

Ribeye Steak

Ribeye is one of the steak’s most tender and flavorful cuts. It’s also one of the most expensive. Always buy ribeye steak fresh, not frozen. This cut is full of intramuscular fat, which makes it ideal for freezing. The high-fat content will help keep the steak moist during freezing.

Flank Steak

Flank steak is another tough and inexpensive cut that’s best cooked slowly. Because of its long fibers, you should slice it against the grain before serving. This cut has a lower fat content, which means it will dry out more quickly when frozen.

Filet Mignon

This cut comes from the tenderloin and is one of the most tender steaks you can buy. It’s also one of the most expensive. Always buy filet mignon fresh, not frozen. This is another piece with low fat, making it an unsuitable choice to freeze it.

New York Steak

New York steak is another member of the slow cooking group, but unlike the flank steak, it’s best served rare or medium-rare. This steak is usually sold in large cuts, often rolled and tied.

This cut contains moderate fat so that it will hold up well in the freezer. One should avoid freezing very fatty steaks, as they will become rancid more quickly.

Can You Freeze Cooked Steak?

You can freeze a cooked steak, and it will last up to 12 months in a freezer that maintains a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also freeze raw steak for up to 12 months and take it out whenever you plan to cook it.

Cooked meat freezes better than raw meat because the cooking process kills any bacteria and pathogens that may be in the meat, making it safe to consume. On the other hand, raw meat has not undergone this process, making it more susceptible to harmful bacteria.

The best way to freeze cooked steak is to cool it to room temperature first and then place it in freezer bags or sealable plastic containers. Remove as much air as possible from the bags or containers to prevent freezer burn.

You can freeze a cooked piece of steak as it is or add other ingredients such as herbs, spices, or marinades to the bags or containers for flavor. These ingredients can also improve the texture of steak when frozen for a long time.

If you plan to buy a cooler to store the steak and sous vide it late, this buying guide can provide you with the best five coolers with its reviews.

How to Freeze Cooked Steak?

Freezing cooked steak is a simple process that doesn’t take long. Once your cooked steak is cooled to room temperature, you can place it in freezer bags or sealable plastic containers.

Make sure to remove as much air as possible from the bags or containers, as this will help prevent freezer burn.

Once the steak is frozen, you can store it in various places, depending on how and when you plan to use it. You can keep the steak in your freezer if you want to thaw and eat it later.

Remember that frozen food takes longer to thaw than fresh food, so plan and ensure you have enough time to thaw your steak before you want to eat it.

If you want to cook and eat your frozen steak at the same time, you can store it in your refrigerator. Just make sure that the cooked steak is wrapped well to prevent it from contaminating other foods in your refrigerator.

If you are looking forward to sous vide your frozen steak, you can check this well-elaborated article explaining the steps to sous vide the frozen steak.

Which Type of Meat Should You Freeze?

Woman Putting Raw Meat in Refrigerator

Certain pieces of meat are best suited for freezing, while others should be avoided as they are unsuitable for long-term storage.

You also need to consider how you plan to cook the meat after it has been thawed. This will help you decide which cut of meat for how long you should freeze.

Burgers and Minced Meat

These are best frozen for no longer than three months. While they can be stored in the refrigerator for longer, freezing them will help them stay fresh for longer.

Steak

Steak can be frozen for up to 12 months, but you should plan on eating it within six months after it has been thawed. This will help it stay fresh while allowing you enough time to cook and eat it. Meanwhile, this article can help you select the best cut for steak before freezing it.

Roasts and Large Cuts

Roasts and large cuts should not be frozen for longer than three months, as they may become dry or tough after that time has passed.

Benefits of Freezing Cooked Steak

Cooked steak is best used as an ingredient in other dishes, like casseroles, soups, and stews. If you find yourself with an abundance of cooked steaks with an expiration date close at hand, freezing them will make them last longer.

It will also allow you to use the meat at your convenience. If you plan on freezing cooked steak, you can make sure to use it up before it expires by following a few simple steps:

  • Find out how long each kind of steak lasts when frozen. This will help you analyze how long you can store it before eating it.
  • Make sure that the meat is completely cooled before you freeze it. Hot meat will not freeze as quickly, which could cause it to retain bacteria.
  • Use airtight freezer bags or sealable plastic containers to store your cooked steak. These will keep the meat fresh for longer and prevent it from drying.
  • Label each package with the date that you froze the steak and the date it should be eaten before. This will help you remember when to eat it.

A Kansas State University study concluded that steak’s tenderness improves when it’s frozen.

Disadvantages of Freezing Cooked Steak

You might wonder why you should freeze a cooked steak instead of just storing it in the refrigerator. The straightforward answer to this is that it can last longer when frozen – cooked steak doesn’t stay fresh as long when stored in the fridge as fresh steak does.

A frozen cooked steak can last up to three months, whereas a fresh steak can be stored for much longer durations of about six months to one year.

An important thing to note here is that it is more difficult to tell if cooked steak is bad when it’s frozen. You can, however, use the same signs you would use to determine if the refrigerated, fresh steak has gone bad. If it smells bad, has a slimy texture, or looks darker than usual, it has probably gone bad. The best way to tell if the frozen, cooked steak has gone bad is to use a food thermometer.

Research by National Center for Biotechnology Information reported that the freezing of meat could damage its ultrastructure and cause some biochemical reactions at a cellular level. It can reduce moisture levels and cause protein denaturation and oxidation.

The Takeaway

If you find yourself with a lot of steak with an expiration date close at hand, freezing it can make it last longer. You need to determine how long the meat will last when you freeze it. You can also decide whether or not to add any extras.

As for the question “can you freeze cooked steak?” we have elaborated in detail that it is possible.

You can freeze cooked steak in multiple ways, depending on how and when you plan to use it. Both raw and cooked steaks have a long shelf life, and freezing them makes them last even longer.

The best way to freeze cooked steak is to cool your steak down to room temperature and then place it in freezer bags or sealable plastic containers. Remove as much air as possible from the bags or containers to prevent freezer burn.

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