You Can Air-Fry a Frozen Steak Completely.
People love to argue about steak. It’s fun because there are so many variables to disagree on: cut (rib eye or New York?), method of preparation (marinade or salt?), method of preparation (back fry? Sous vide? Simple pan fry?). .The possibilities for invectives are endless.
Take the steak you see above – a steak that has been frozen and then placed in the deep fryer for 11 minutes. Looking at the photo, you can see that there are a few things to criticize if you’re so inclined. A slight gray streak is visible and browning is uneven; for some, these problems would be enough to abandon the cooking method entirely.
But steak has its perks. First, it’s a very cheap haircut, so I don’t tend to attach any importance to it. I bought 12 fillets for 25 bucks because I’m training for a powerlifting competition and I need a lot of protein (you have to eat meat to build meat). I froze them because I can’t eat 12 steaks in a week. And while I could pan fry one of these , I was still thrilled with the successful air frying of frozen shrimp and wanted to see if I could do the same for a frozen steak.
And, as it turns out, you can cook a decent steak in a deep fryer. Despite the gray streak, it was incredibly juicy, with lots of pink in the center, intense meat flavor, well-pulled fat, and nice little brown spots. In addition, it took 11 minutes to prepare the dish, which is important for a person who has just returned from a workout and is completely hungry. (I’m also not sure that most people would be able to feel the gray bar if they were blindfolded. Perhaps this is a question worth investigating in the future.)
Will I air-fry very thick, bone-in, well-done ribs? No. But this method works well for weekday frozen tenderloin. (Again, I can’t stress enough how spicy this thing was.)
Frozen steak air fried
In many deep fried steak recipes, you set the temperature around 370℉, but I turned it up to 400℉ to brown it as much as possible. (After cooking several steaks at different temperatures, I found that lowering the temperature didn’t really help to minimize the gray streak, and at 370℉ the steak even came out gray and cold in the center.)
- 1 frozen fillet steak, about 8 ounces and 1-1/2″ thick
- Vegetable oil
Set the fryer to 400℉. Drizzle a little oil on the steak and rub it to lightly coat. Salt generously. Place the steak in the air fryer basket and cook for 11 minutes, flipping halfway through. Your steak may cook a little faster or slower depending on its size and thickness, so adjust as needed and use an instant read thermometer to find the sweet spot. (Remember: 125℉ is medium rare.)