Essential Tips for Freezing Steak Without Losing Quality

Want to stash a steak in the freezer? Here's how you should be freezing your steak.

Few meals are as decadent and delicious as a good home-cooked steak. If you’re not going to eat meat within a couple days of purchasing—or if you’ve stocked up on a sale—we’ve got good news: steak freezes really well. Here’s a complete guide to freezing steak.

How to Freeze Steak

Raw steak is easy to freeze. Remove from the grocery packaging, which probably has too much air in it, and wrap it well. Store steak in the coldest part of the freezer: the bottom shelf.

Here’s how to freeze anything.

How to Wrap Steaks for Freezing

It’s important to wrap steak (and all meats) well before freezing. Wrap in at least two layers, like plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or parchment paper in a freezer bag. Wrap the meat tightly, pressing as much air out of the packaging as possible, since exposure to air can cause freezer burn. Here’s how to get a practically airtight seal on your freezer bags. Label the package with the contents and the date, so you don’t lose track of a good steak in the freezer.

How Long Can You Freeze Steak?

For the best quality, juiciness and texture, use steak within six months of freezing. Steak may be safely frozen for longer, up to a year, but could be more susceptible to freezer burn.

Note that once you’ve defrosted steak or any other meat, it’s not safe to refreeze it. If you can’t eat it right away, cook it and then freeze again.

Here’s how long other common foods keep in the freezer.

Does Freezing Steak Affect Taste?

Nope! If you properly wrap your steak and don’t leave it for ages, steaks will taste delicious even after freezing. You can use a defrosted steak in any steak recipe.

Does Freezing Steak Make It Tough?

Nope! Freezing steak shouldn’t change the texture of steak. The cut of beef has the most bearing on tenderness: tender cuts, like filet, will remain tender, while fattier cuts, like flank, will remain chewier; here’s a guide to all the types of steak and how to cook each.

How to Defrost Steak

Defrost steak slowly, in the refrigerator; how long it’ll take depends on the thickness and size of the beef, but it’ll generally be overnight to about one full day. Midway through the defrost, remove the steak from its packaging, pat dry and place on a plate or container, uncovered; return to the fridge until completely defrosted. This will help the meat to dry, giving you the best texture and browning.

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Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.