How to cook a flank steak frozen post marination
September 17, 2010 6:51 AM   Subscribe

I froze a flank steak after it was marinated. How will this affect the texture of the cooked steak?

Earlier this summer I marinated two flank steaks overnight in a Thai-ish marinade - fish sauce, sugar, garlic, lime juice, pepper. Wound up cooking only one (high heat, cast iron pan - we don't have a grill, but similar concept). Was leaving town so I dried off the other steak and threw in it the freezer. My question: once I defrost it, can I cook it using the same high heat technique, or will the fact that it was frozen after being marinated mess with the texture? Should I opt for some sort of Thai ropa vieja thing instead, using a moist braise?
posted by yarrow to Food & Drink (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I often barbecue flank steaks that have been marinated then frozen (I marinate several at once). They turn out just fine. (Hint: flank steaks work better with a longer marinating time than just overnight/one day.)
posted by jeather at 6:59 AM on September 17, 2010


Freezing

Freezing rate plays a small role in tenderness. When meat is frozen very quickly, small ice crystals form; when meat is frozen slowly, large ice crystals are formed. While the formation of large crystals may serve to disrupt components of the muscle fibers in meat and thereby increase tenderness very slightly, the large ice crystals result in an increased loss of juices upon thawing. This increase in loss of juices results in meat that is less juicy upon cooking and therefore usually is perceived as being less tender.Freezing

Freezing rate plays a small role in tenderness. When meat is frozen very quickly, small ice crystals form; when meat is frozen slowly, large ice crystals are formed. While the formation of large crystals may serve to disrupt components of the muscle fibers in meat and thereby increase tenderness very slightly, the large ice crystals result in an increased loss of juices upon thawing. This increase in loss of juices results in meat that is less juicy upon cooking and therefore usually is perceived as being less tender.


Freezing brisket (Jewish style) in its sauce after cooking and prior to reheating and serving is said to enhance tenderness. Any drying would be compensated by the sauce it is served in and less of an issue after cooking anyway. Salt, sugar and alcohol lead to smaller crystals as they slow freezing. With any of these in the marinade it should help.
posted by caddis at 7:42 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the moral support (in the form of experience + theory)!
posted by yarrow at 9:09 AM on September 20, 2010


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