You can sous vide from frozen. Just add an extra 60 minutes to the cook time to account for defrosting. There’s no need to thaw it first. If it’s a really thin steak or chop, then adding 30 extra minutes is enough.

Sous vide is a great way to cook frozen foods because you don’t have to worry about defrosting first, so it actually saves a lot of time if you forget to take something out of the freezer for dinner the day before you need it.

It’s Super Convenient

Doing a little prep work and freezing your food is great for sous vide meal planning.

Buy in bulk, season your meat at least with salt, or go with a full marinade in the bag. Vacuum seal portions and freeze. Just be sure to write on the bag so you know exactly what’s in there and the date.

The day you want to cook it, just drop it in the water bath at the recipe-specified time plus 60 minutes, and you will be enjoying perfectly cooked, tender, and flavorful meat, seafood, or vegetables.

You can even add your protein to the water bath before it comes up to temperature, as long as you don’t start your timer until it’s at temp.

If your food is vacuum-sealed properly, there’s a good chance you won’t even be able to tell it was frozen.

You Have Options

When it comes to cooking from frozen, you can do it two ways. Each has its advantages. The second method requires a little more upfront work, but less time in the water bath the second time around.

  1. Season, Seal, and Freeze – Season or marinate your raw protein or vegetables, vacuum seal them, and freeze them for later.
  2. Cook, Chill, Freeze – Instead of freezing the raw food, you can batch-cook similar proteins or vegetables, chill them rapidly, and then freeze them. When you want to eat them, they just need to be defrosted and reheated from frozen in the sous vide water bath.

Foods that are Great from Frozen

  • Chicken breasts, thighs, or whole birds
  • Steaks
  • Pork Chops
  • Seafood like salmon, cod, or shrimp. *Note that most seafood has a much shorter cook time and when frozen it defrosts more quickly than other proteins. Because of that, only add 5 to 10 minutes extra to the time.
  • Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, corn, and potatoes

Check out all the Sous Vide Recipes for more inspiration and cooking times. And if you have a smoker, learn all about Sous Vide BBQ.

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