Flank steak is a cut of beef that can be frozen for up to one year if properly stored. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, if you use safe freezing techniques and secure wrapping of your flank steak, it can be enjoyed throughout the year. It is also important to understand how to correctly thaw the steak to meet safety procedures.
When preparing your meat, choose a high quality cut of flank steak and make sure it is chilled first. Flank steak needs to be at a temperature of 32 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit before being frozen. You can also choose to cut the flank steak into serving sizes rather than a large piece of meat if you prefer.
Wrapping the Steak
It is important to securely wrap the flank steak so that moisture can’t get in while it’s in the freezer. If moisture does get in, it can cause bacteria to grow on the meat while it’s frozen. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap, then wrap it in butcher paper or freezer paper. Tape the paper together securely around the meat and it will be ready to freeze.
To ensure the safety of the flank steak and the best quality of the meat, freeze food at a temperature of 0 degrees or lower. The freezer needs to be that cold so that it can freeze the flank steak within a 24-hour period. The flank steak needs to stay frozen at a maximum temperature of 0 degrees to maintain a high quality of taste and texture.
Thawing the Steak
To thaw your flank steak, it is safest to remove it from the freezer in its current wrapping and let it thaw in the refrigerator. If you are in a hurry, you can thaw the flank steak under running water. The water needs to be constantly running at a cool temperature — about 70 degrees Fahrenheit — to safely thaw the flank steak. You can also thaw the flank steak in a microwave but only if you will be cooking the meat immediately. Otherwise you run a high risk of bacteria developing in the flank steak.
References and ResourcesNational Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing Animal Products
"How to Freeze: Everything You Need to Know about Freezing"; Carolyn Humpheries; 2003
"Home Freezing Handbook (Basic Basics)"; Carol Bowen; 2008
"Preserving Summer's Bounty: A Quick and Easy Guide to Freezing, Canning, and Preserving, and Drying What You Grow"; Rodale Food Center and Susan McClure; 1998