Can you marinate steak while it defrosts? You may have all sorts of questions if you constantly look for ways to cook delicious steak for dinner.
No doubt, a steak that has been cooked to perfection and is both thick and juicy is the epitome of deliciousness.
For this reason, it is hard to compete with that restaurant-style steak cooked by professional chefs.
Thankfully, you can make it taste heavenly even when you do it at home, and that is when marination comes into play.
There are many things to consider here, but whether or not you can marinate frozen steak can confuse many.
So, can you do it?
Turns out, it is perfectly fine to marinate frozen steak and you can definitely do it while it defrosts.
Marinating Steak to Make It Taste Delicious
In order to impart a specific flavor to meat, you have to marinate it. And marination is all about dipping the meat in a marinade of choice for a specific time.
Meats benefit from marinades since they soften the meat and enhance the flavor.
You can also make them juicier and more flavorful by trying different marinating techniques.
The good thing is that you can easily find a marinade in stores or you can even make your own to add a unique flavor to your steak.
But mostly, people marinate it when they get a fresh piece of meat. This leaves you wondering if you can marinate the steak if you have frozen it for a while.
Fact: It is possible to freeze steak for up to 4-12 months, but it is better to use it sooner to ensure you experience the best flavor profile.
Why Does Marination Matter a Lot?
You can tenderize a piece of meat using a marinade because it helps break down the cellular structure of the meat.
It is for this reason that most people use marinades that have acidic properties.
But, basically, you can use citrus, vinegar, and wine to tenderize meat.
Different kinds of vinegar are great for marinating meat.
Some of the good options include apple cider, balsamic, champagne, red wine, and even rice.
You may not have considered it before, but citrus fruits can add a delicious acidic touch to any marinade.
You can always opt for oranges, limes, lemons, etc.
If you want, you can always use some wine to help tenderize meat. Just pick whatever you like and the wine will do its job perfectly.
Importance of Marinating Steak
You may have understood that marinating steak can help tenderize the meat, but it also has other benefits.
An excellent benefit of using a marinade is that it helps keep the meat moist when cooking, even when subjected to high heat on the grill.
The meat stays delicate and becomes juicier from the marinade, and the ultimate result is bursting with flavor.
Fact: You should not marinate your steak in ceramic or metal containers due to the acidic nature of the marinade.
Can You Marinate Steak While It Defrosts?
Okay, it is a good idea to freeze steak to use it later, and how you store it always plays a role in how well it will taste when you thaw it eventually.
But, if you are in a hurry and just do not want to wait for it to defrost, can you begin with the marination process early?
Yes, you can go ahead and marinate the steak even if it is still defrosting.
It would not affect its taste or lead to any health consequences.
However, it is not always that simple because you have to consider many things to achieve the right level of juiciness and tenderness when marinating frozen meat.
Marinating Frozen Steak for Better Taste
Marinating frozen steak should not be a problem, so long as you make sure you defrost it safely.
You need to understand that marinade will have an effect only once the meat has been partially thawed.
Other than that, you really do not have anything to worry.
In fact, marinating frozen steak is actually a good idea because the ice crystals may alter the meat's texture.
This allows for somewhat better penetration and imparts some flavor to your steak.
The marinade will not have much of an effect until the meat is at least partially thawed, but it should not hurt anything else either.
Ice crystals may alter the meat’s texture, allowing for somewhat better penetration, but this improvement should be minimal at most.
An Important Consideration
Sometimes, it is a better idea to marinate your steak and then freeze it. For instance, you can marinate once the outer layers seem frozen.
You can try marinating again when you finally decide to defrost it.
Marinating and Defrosting Steak at the Same Time
Quite obviously, you first need to thaw your steak before you could enjoy it. It may take some time for your steak to thaw, depending on how thick it is.
In most cases, you may have to defrost your steak for at least 12-18 hours in the refrigerator.
Does that mean you just cannot begin the cooking process until then? Probably not! The truth is that you can marinate and defrost at the same time.
As a matter of fact, it is recommended to marinate and defrost simultaneously because they both take a lot of time and beginning the process together can save time.
We suggest marinating and defrosting your steak in the refrigerator overnight for the best results.
This way, you will ensure the steak does not get too warm because it would provide a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive.
Marinating Frozen Steak in the Right Way
Okay, so you have gathered how important it is to marinade. And obviously, you can marinate and thaw steak at the same time.
But, you may be looking for a way to do everything properly. So, how do you marinate frozen steak?
Decide on the Flavor You Like
The very first step is to be clear about the flavor profile you truly want.
And it is just as important to find a good marinade recipe that works for you.
Using the internet is the best way to go.
Fact: A marinade recipe that contains at least one acidic component and some herbs will always work more efficiently.
Prepare the Marinade
Finding the best marinade recipe is only half the battle. You still have to make it in the right way.
Get all the ingredients and prepare a large batch to use.
Ensure that you have mixed the ingredients thoroughly before applying them to the meat.
Remember, if it is not mixed, you will not be able to coat the meat in the right way.
Once everything is ready, simply take your frozen steaks in a large container and begin marinating.
Remember, it is also fine to marinate the steak in the freezer bag.
Here is how to do it:
- Get your frozen steak, open the freezer bag, and simply add the marinade.
- Hold the bag carefully with the zipper side facing up.
- Press the bag gently to squeeze any excess air and seal it.
- Now, shake the bag gently to ensure the marinade moves around nicely.
- Then, leave your freezer bag in the fridge for about 12 hours.
- Do not forget to flip the steak after a couple of hours for even marination.
- Check it after 12 hours and get the steak out of the bag if it is thawed.
- It is ready to cook!
In case, you have not used a freezer bag in the first place, you can still marinate the frozen steak in a baking dish.
This is how to do it:
- Take a baking dish and add some marinade to it.
- Get the frozen steak and leave it in the dish.
- Get the remaining marinade and pour it right on top of the steak.
- Take a small piece of plastic wrap and press it on the steak.
- Now place it in the refrigerator to thaw.
- Leave it for 12 hours but remember to change sides after six hours.
- Once thawed, take it out of the fridge and it is ready to be cooked as you like.
Fact: As per the USDA guidelines, it is okay to marinate your frozen steak for a couple of days without a problem.
Can you marinate steak while it defrosts? While you may be a bit confused, know that it is actually fine to marinate steak while it thaws.
In fact, marinating frozen meat prevents the loss of moisture and taste that occurs during defrosting.
Just be sure to practice more care when freezing the steak and choosing a method to defrost to get the best results.