Last updated on January 12th, 2024 at 09:10 am

Can you salt frozen meat | how to do it the right way

Can you salt frozen meat
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You get home only to find that you never took out the meat from the freezer. You spot a few steaks in the back of the freezer. You’re first thought is to phone the pizza joint and order pizza for the whole family.

But then you remember, you can throw a frozen steak on the grill. And, chances are, it’ll be the best steak you ever had. But, can you salt frozen meat?

Yes, you can salt frozen meat, but the effect of the salt is significantly better if you salt thawed meat. During the thawing process, as the juices are released from the meat, the salt will also wash off. In order to salt frozen meat, and have the salt remain on the surface of the meat, it is best advised to thaw at least the surface of the meat first, in order to ensure that the salt sticks to the exterior of the meat. 

How to get salt to stick to frozen meat?

If you aim to season your steak before cooking it, but the steak is still frozen, do not worry, there is a technique that may help the salt to stick to the meat.

While it is possible to salt the frozen steak and cook it, the idea is to get the salt or other seasonings to stick to the meat. In order to achieve this, it may be best to either slightly defrost the meat first or to make a wet rub. 

The wet rub will allow the salt or other seasonings to sit against the surface of the frozen meat without washing away. The tip, however, is to ensure that you cook the meat while it is still frozen and while the meat has the wet rub on it, as soon as possible. 

You can cook a frozen steak, and it will probably be more tender and juicy than a fresh steak, provided that you stored the meat correctly and that you use the correct cooking technique to reach the desired doneness.

By properly freezing the meat before cooking it, you will be able to ensure that the meat is just as tender and juicy as a fresh steak. 

Do not wait for the meat to thaw first. Cook the meat with a wet rub while it is still frozen. 

How to salt frozen meat?

Your main focus is to add flavor to the meat before, during, and after the cooking process. Meat that has not been properly spiced tastes very bland and unappetizing. 

The first step is to set your stovetop to medium-high heat and place your skillet on the stovetop. Drizzle a few drops of oil with a high smoke point into the pan, such as canola oil or vegetable oil. 

Remove the frozen meat from its packaging. When the skillet is hot enough, place the meat in the skillet and sear for approximately 10–14 minutes, or until it has a nice caramelized crust. 

Proceed to season the steak with salt before flipping it over. Keep in mind that meat cooked from frozen will take longer to cook. Repeat on both sides of the steak. 

When the top layer of the steak has been thawed throughout the cooking process, the salt will stick better to the surface of the meat and infuse with the meat to give you a deliciously deep, smokey, salty taste. 

No matter what you do or try, the salt simply won’t stick to the surface of the frozen meat. It’s best to season the meat after it has been partially warmed up.

Should you salt frozen meat?

There is no point in salting frozen meat. The salt will not stick to the surface of the meat. It will simply wash off the meat as it is being thawed. If your intention is to spice the meat before cooking it, then there is a specific technique that needs to be applied in order to successfully spice the meat. 

Does salt help defrost meat?

There is a technique which can be applied to help meet defrost faster by using salt.

Remove the frozen meat from the freezer. Fill a bowl with cold water and add salt to the water. Place the meat in the saltwater bowl and place the bowl in the refrigerator to defrost.

This is because saltwater has a lower freezing point than standard water alone, which allows it to defrost faster. The ions in the saltwater substantially bring down its melting point, which means it melts rather fast. And so does anything placed in saltwater. 

Can I salt my meat before freezing it?

No. Salting meat before freezing will not only draw the moisture out of the meat but will also oxidize the fat of the meat. It will result in rancid tasting meat, and it will also dramatically shorten the time that the meat can stay in the freezer compared to meat that was not salted before freezing. 

Salting large cuts of frozen meat vs salting smaller cuts

When I freeze meat, I make different package sizes. I cut meat into cubes and make portions for 5 people. I usually never salt cubed or minced meat because I don’t see any benefit in pre salting cubed or minced meat. Also, you can salt the meat in a second when you are preparing it.

When I freeze brisket or ribs, I freeze whole pieces because I want to smoke them.

But what does this have to do with salting the meat? Well, when I make packages, I usually flatten them. Flattened packages take less freezer space and can potentially be salted while still frozen.

When I take the meat out of the freezer, I place it in a container with a draining tray. I salt the meat on one side. Since the meat was placed in the freezer flat, salt doesn’t fall off when I salt the meat. In the thawing process, salt penetrates through the meat, making one side of the meat nicely salted and ready to use.

It is a different story if you salt frozen turkey or chicken breast since the shape of the meat is oval. The salt will fall off, and as already mentioned in this article, there is no use in salting frozen meat that is not flat.


I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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