For Safety, Thaw Your Steak First Before Cooking It in the Crock-Pot
When you forget to take the steaks out of the freezer, it can put a real damper on dinner – especially if you planned to slow cook them in the Crock-Pot while you're at work. While you can cook frozen steak on the stovetop or in the oven, it's not safe to cook a frozen steak in the Crock-Pot, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The slow-cooking process may cause bacterial contamination before the meat has a chance to reach the safe cooking temperature, which is greater than 140F. Improperly cooked beef may lead to a house full of sick kids, so thaw the steak first.
- If you forgot to take the steak out of the freezer, you can quickly thaw it in the microwave. Use the defrost button, and consult your microwave's manual to determine how long to set it for based on theweight of your steak. Be sure to check regularly so you don'taccidentally start cooking the meat. Thawing steak in themicrowave takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
- You can also place your steak in a bowl of cold water to defrost. It takes a littlelonger, 30 minutes to an hour, but you don't risk early cooking. Be sureto change the water once it gets warm to prevent bacterialcontamination.
- Of course, you can also put your steaks in the fridge to defrost for dinner tomorrow, and make something else for dinner. Breakfast for dinner is always a good idea when you forget to defrost the meat. Cereal and milk, pancakes, or scrambled eggs and toast can be on the table in no time.
Once the steak is thawed, you can start cooking it in your Crock-Pot.
Total Time: 7 to 8 hours | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 4
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin steak
- Season the steak with salt and pepper.
- In a 6-quart Crock-Pot, add your seasoned steak and pour in the beef broth.
- Cover the Crock-Pot and cook on high for 6 hours.
- Add quartered red potatoes and chunky cut carrots to the Crock-Pot before you start cooking to make it a complete meal.
- To add a little more flavor to the thawed meat, after seasoning, sear it in a medium skillet over medium-high heat in melted butter for 1 to 2 minutes per side.
- Lean steaks, such as flank steak, make a good Crock-Pot meat. The slow-cooking makes these tougher cuts very tender. Cook as above or useto make stuffed flank steak. Beat the steak with a meat mallet to makeit a 1/2-inch thick. Season the steak with salt and pepper, and spread goatcheese and sprinkle with halved grape tomatoes on one side. Roll themeat and tie it with kitchen string. Brown all sides in a skillet overmedium heat in oil, then place it in a 6-quart Crock-Pot. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup beef broth and 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and pour it over the meat. Cover your Crock-Pot, and cook on low for 8hours.
- TheKitchn: Can You Cook Frozen Steak in the Slow-Cooker
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Slow Cookers and Food Safety
- Foodsafety.gov: Cook
- Real Simple: How to Quickly Thaw Meat
- Adapted from: Little House Living: Slow Cooker Steak With Carmelized Onions
- Crock-Pot: Can You Cook Steak in Your Crock-Pot?
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and sharing her love of food, nutrition and health with anyone who'll listen for almost 20 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post and Diabetes Self-Management.