Grilling Steaks – Tips for Grilling Burgers & Steaks
How to Grill a Steak or a Burger from Frozen
Customers who’ve bought beef from us at Farmers Markets or signed up for Champion Beef at a trade show, have heard us sing the praises of grilling your burger from frozen, rather than thawing them out first. It’s exciting to our customers because it makes burger night so much more convenient than it would be otherwise.
But what really bakes their noodles is when they find out that they can also grill even a really nice steak from frozen as well. Grillmeisters have been told since time immemorial that we need to thaw our steaks first, and handle them with kid gloves. While this is usually fine for the weekend, it makes it harder to justify the additional time necessary to give yourself a special weeknight meal.
So today we’re discussing grilling steak – tips for taking a gourmet steak from frozen to finished in less than an hour. We’ll throw in some additional tips for choosing your steak as well, and some burger grilling tips also.
Something something Snow Creek Ranch.
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To Thaw or Not to Thaw – Tips for Grilling Burgers & Steaks
At Snow Creek Ranch, we flash freeze our steaks, burgers and roasts immediately after processing them. So when you buy a steak from us at the market or receive a shipment from Champion Beef, it’s as fresh as it can possibly be.
Grilling frozen steaks is having a bit of a moment right now, and we’re totally behind this movement. But there are some legitimate reasons to thaw your steaks first. Mostly for seasoning and flavor intensity. One of our favorite steak grilling tips is to salt and pepper your steak generously, then place it on a rack in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or even as long as overnight. The salt draws out moisture from the steak, which is then reabsorbed, intensifying the flavor. The muscle fibers begin to break down as well.
So letting your steak thaw for an hour or more can help with the flavor. You can also cut down on the necessary grilling time.
Grilling Steak – Tips for Cooking Frozen Meats
Grilling your steak from frozen helps to solve a couple of the most common problems home grillers run into with steaks: 1) thawing time, or 2) that grey interior banding you can get when you’re looking for a nicely charred crust. When you grill from frozen, you wind up with a uniformly pink interior and a more tender, juicier steak.
And it cuts your total time from freezer to plate by at least 50%, from upwards of 2 hours, down to about 45 minutes. Plus, it allows you to get a nice seared crust without overcooking.
This technique works best with a thick steak, so it’s perfect for our premier cuts, which are generally an inch-and-a-quarter or thicker. Porterhouse, T-Bones or Ribeyes are great for this, while with thinner cuts, like flank, skirt or bavette, it’s harder to control the temperature of the steak.
When you set up your grill, you want to make sure you have 2 heat zones. One for direct heat, and one for ambient heat. If you don’t have a grill, you can still use this technique on the stove top; just use a cast iron skillet and you’ll be fine.
Incidentally, most of these steak grilling tips work equally well as burger grilling tips, too.
Simply leave your frozen patties out on a counter cutting board just long enough so that you can split them apart with a butter knife, spatula, or clean screwdriver.
One big difference between tips for grilling a steak or tips for grilling a burger is that for a burger, you want to keep the flame or burner on low to prevent overcooking the center of the patty.
Now, I love all kinds of steaks, from the most modest cuts like Sirloin Tip or Bavette, to the most buttery Filet. But one of the great things about Snow Creek Ranch premium steaks is that – from the top of our price range to the bottom – they are all amazing on the grill. From the Top Sirloin, through the Porterhouse, every one of these cuts stays tender, juicy, and intensely flavorful, even with very little prep.
One of our samplers – like the Rancher’s Choice – is a great way to test these steak grilling tips or burger grilling tips on several steaks, to see which ones you and your family love the most.
Steaks – Frozen Premium Steaks: 8-12 ounces per person
- New York Strip
- Top Sirloin
Burger – 1 2 lb. Package of Snow Creek Ranch World Famous Steak Burger Patties: 6 1/3 lb. patties per package
Coarse Kosher Salt
Olive Oil if you’re working on the stove top
Directions & Steak or Burger Grilling Tips
Steaks – Cooking Time: 45 minutes
- Season your steak liberally with salt & coarsely ground pepper.
- Light your charcoal, or start your gas grill, & make sure your thermometer & resting plate are handy.
- On the stove top, set your burner to medium & put enough olive oil in it to cover the bottom.
- When your coals have ashed over, arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate to create a 2-zone grill.
If you’re cooking with gas, let the grill preheat for about 5 minutes. On the stove top, preheat your cast iron skillet for a few minutes, until the oil just begins to smoke.
- Place your steak on the cooler part of the grill & close the lid, leaving the vents open.
- Take the temperature every few minutes until you get to about 105º for medium rare, or 115º for medium. You’re looking at 10-15 minutes total.
- Move the steak to the hot part of the grill (or turn the heat up to medium high on the stove top).
- Flip your steak as often as you want to. The whole only-flip-once concept is just bogus. I flip mine every 30 seconds, until I get a nice deep char and the internal temperature is about 130º for medium rare, & 135º-140º for medium. This could take a while, so be sure to check your temperature often.
- When your steaks are to temperature, transfer them to your resting plate & let them rest for 8-10 minutes.
- Carve & serve.
Remember, Snow Creek Ranch steaks are JUICY, so that means you’re going to get some flare-ups, especially after the steaks have been on the grill for 20 minutes or more. When you do get flare-up, move the steaks around to areas of the grill where there are no flames, and let the juice burn off.
Tips for Grilling Burgers
These burger grilling tips are designed to get your Pre-formed Patties to taste as much like the sample you tasted at the market or show as possible.
The secret to great world-famous steakburgers the Snow Creek way is low and slow. That is cook over lowish heat and take your time.
Burger – Cooking Time: 25 minutes
- Pull your pre-formed patties out of the freezer & unwrap.
- Preheat your grill or stove top to medium-low heat.
- On the stove top, set your burner to medium-low & put enough olive oil in it to cover the bottom. Preheat your cast iron skillet for a few minutes.
- Use a butter knife, screwdriver, or spatula to pop off the patties you want to grill. Any patties you don’t want right away, wrap them up really tightly & put them back in the freezer. They’ll keep almost indefinitely.
- Grill from frozen on medium-low heat. Salt one side of the patty generously & grill for 7 minutes, then flip. Salt the 2nd side, grill for 7 more minutes & flip again. Then grill for about 5 or 6 more minutes (just enough time to melt your cheese). Your burgers should then be about medium, with a little pink in the middle. 130º-135º.
- Let your burgers rest for 6-8 minutes on your resting plate.
Our pre-formed patties are just as juicy as our steaks are, so jump back up to the steak directions for instructions on how to deal with flare-ups.