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Here’s a juicy secret: Freezing and thawing strip steak before you cook it can make it more tender, finds a new study from Kansas City University.
Freezing may cause muscle fibres to swell and rupture, resulting in improved tenderness, says study author John Unruh, Ph.D.
The scientists—who froze the meat for two weeks, and then thawed it for 24 hours in the fridge—also tested other cuts of beef, like top round and rib-eye, but didn’t see any significant differences.
After you thaw the meat, make your steak even better with these tips from Men’s Health food and nutrition editor Paul Kita.
Before you cook, prep your meat.
Despite your hunger, resist the urge to transfer the steak directly from its package to the pan after it’s thawed.
Instead, pop the cut on a plate and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will allow the cold protein to approach room temperature, reducing your risk of blackening the outside of the steak—and overcooking it—before the inside cooks through.
Then, pat the steak dry with paper towels. You’ll achieve a better sear that way.
After you cook, give it a rest.
When the steak comes off the heat, transfer it to a cutting board and wait 5 minutes. Slice it too soon and the juices will flow out of the meat and onto your plate—instead of your mouth.
Better yet: In a small bowl, blend together some olive oil, sea salt, and chopped fresh rosemary, and drizzle the mixture onto your cutting board. The steak will pick up some of these flavours during its resting stage.