Do You Have to Thaw Frozen Meat Before Cooking?
Yesterday, as I prepared a delicious dish of chicken, veggies, and rice, I had a realization: I never thaw my meat! I just cook it frozen.
How do I do it? Be sure you have a big enough pot to accommodate the frozen meat. I have a big Dutch oven that can handle roasts, two big chicken breasts, and so on. A large crock pot can handle a whole chicken. Of course, with a whole chicken, you will have to watch for the time when you can take it out of the pot briefly and remove the innards, but that really is a small chore. I have done this before, but it is not something I usually do.
Here's how to cook the following from frozen:
- Steaks and chops
- Thicker poultry and small roasts
How to Cook Steaks and Chops
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
What You'll Need:
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Light Oil
- Seasonings, to taste
- Use a heavy cast iron skillet. Pour in just enough light oil to cover the bottom of the pan. I used peanut oil.
- Place your meat in the pan, season it as desired, and turn the heat to medium. If your meat is frozen together, that's okay. Just leave it that way for now. Cover the pan and set your timer for 10 minutes.
- When the 10 minutes are up, uncover the pan. Separate the meat if necessary, turn it, and season it again. Cover the pan once more and set your timer for 10 minutes.
- When the 10 minutes is up, check to see if your meat is done to your liking. Thin steaks and chops will be thoroughly thawed and completely cooked. Thicker ones will need a bit more time. Turn the meat and set your timer in 5-minute increments until it's done to your liking.
How to Cook Thicker Poultry and Small Roasts
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
What You'll Need:
- Dutch Oven
- Onions, chopped
- Peppers, chopped
- Garlic cloves, minced
- Meat: You'll need poultry or small roasts (2-3 lbs).
- 16oz Can Stewed Tomatoes
- Bag of Vegetables: They can be frozen vegetables (carrots, California mix, stew veggies) or fresh vegetables (carrots, potatoes, celery).
- Chicken or Beef Bouillon
- Pour just enough peanut oil into the bottom of your Dutch oven to cover the bottom. Add chopped onions, peppers, and garlic to suit your taste. Set the Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat, covered, while you get the meat ready to cook.
- Unwrap the meat and rinse it if necessary. I rinse it because unwrapping frozen meat involves so much handling that I just feel it is better to rinse it.
- Uncover your Dutch oven. Stir the veggies and move them to the sides so that you have space to put your meat in contact with the hot surface of the pan. Set the meat in the pan and season it as you wish. Cover and set your timer for 10 minutes.
- When the 10 minutes is up, turn the meat and season the other side. Stir the veggies around a bit to keep them from burning.
- Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the meat, and stir the veggies again.
- At this point, you will want to add liquids and more veggies. I add a can of stewed tomatoes and a bag of either fresh or frozen vegetables—I use what I have on hand. This is up to your taste. Just be sure you add enough veggies and moisture to just cover the meat. You can add chicken or beef bouillon to add more liquid.
- Add more seasonings to taste, cover the Dutch oven, and turn the heat to high. Bring the pot to a boil. Boil everything for 5 minutes, and then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low heat, depending on how hard it's boiling.
- Simmer for 30 minutes. Check for doneness and tenderness. Your meat may be ready at this point. If not, turn it and continue cooking it in 15-minute increments until it is done to your taste.
© 2009 justmesuzanne