The Defrosting Switch That Will Leave You With Crispier Fried Steak

When it comes to whipping up a delicious steak dinner, be it for a crowd or a small group, everyone has a preference on the doneness of their steak, and what cut they fancy. However, one thing is for certain: The majority of people want their steaks to have a browned, crispy surface, whether it's achieved on the grill or in a cast-iron skillet. This can unfortunately be harder to achieve if you're starting with a steak that was previously frozen and defrosted improperly.

If you're one that likes to buy in bulk, freezing your meat is a common practice, as it helps keep it fresh for up to a year. Furthermore, storing in the freezer shouldn't change the texture of your beef, ensuring it tastes as fresh as the day you bought it. But, while freezing your meat in the packaging it came in is normal and acceptable, frost collects in the package and around the sides during the freezing process. Then, during the thawing process, that frost melts and adds moisture, even if you're allowing your meat to defrost in the refrigerator. Because of this, it's difficult to get a good sear on your steak, and instead, that excess moisture causes your protein to steam instead of fry. 

Fortunately, there is an easy solution to reduce this unwanted moisture, and it involves and nice pat down during the halfway point of thawing.

Unpackage and pat down

If you want that unbelievable crust on your next batch of freezer steaks, there is a tip that should be performed halfway through the defrosting process that will optimize your results. It involves removing your meat from its packaging, patting each side dry with a paper towel, transferring to a plate, and returning it to the fridge until it's completely thawed. This ensures that the condensation collected during the thawing process is stripped, which allows their surfaces to dehydrate faster and results in a Maillard reaction (or browning).

Some proteins are packaged in containers that can be stubborn to remove once frozen. To save yourself some trouble, try removing the packages beforehand, and properly wrapping them so that they freeze for much longer. To do this, wrap each steak with plastic wrap, sealing it as compact as possible, and transfer them to a freezer-safe storage bag. From there, transfer them to the freezer, set your freezer to zero degrees Fahrenheit or as close to it as possible, and store them for up to three months for optimal freshness.