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Storing, Thawing, & Cooking


Previous Page Omaha Steaks are aged cuts of grain-fed beef, flash-frozen at the peak of flavor. Our natural aging process imparts a distinct flavor and tenderness to the beef. Here's how to care for your Omaha Steaks.

Storing
All Omaha Steaks are vacuum sealed in plastic wrap. This special packaging keeps the meat fresh and flavorful up to three months in a freezing compartment that's working properly.

Thawing
Do not thaw at room temperature. For best results, thaw in the refrigerator. This allows for juicier, more flavorful steaks. Remove steaks or other items from the corrugated box and place in a single layer on a tray. Always leave the wrapper on while thawing. Here are some approximate guidelines for thawing.:

Timetable for Defrosting Meats in the Refrigerator
Meat Refrigerator (36 to 40° F)
Large Roast 4 to 7 hours per pound
Small Roast 3 to 5 hours per pound
1 inch Steak 12 to 14 hours
Whole Turkey 1 day per 4 to 5 pounds
Poultry Parts 1 day per 1 to 2 pounds


For quick, safe, thawing...thaw steaks in cold water while still in their wrapper. For example, Filet Mignons will take approximately 30-45 minutes to thaw.

The microwave oven provides an alternative for thawing your steaks, although it is our least recommended method. If you choose to thaw your steaks in the microwave, keep the following in mind: Leave meat in wrapping, do not puncture, watch carefully as the outer portions will thaw first. Standing time will complete thawing in the center. Meats thawed in the microwave will lose more of their natural juices, and therefore the final product may be drier and less tender than when thawed in the refrigerator.

Refreezing
Meat that is thawed at refrigerated temperatures (36°F to 40°F) can be refrozen. Refreeze defrosted meat within 1-2 days of holding at refrigerated temperatures. Do not refreeze defrosted meat that is held at room temperature for more than two hours. If the vacuum wrap has been removed, rewrap the steaks in a wrapper suitable for frozen products.

Cooking
When cooking your steaks, follow the chart on the inside of the back cover. Turn your steak when the meat juices start to bubble up through the meat to the top of the steak. To test for doneness, press the meat with your finger. Rare meat will be soft and wobbly, medium will have a springy firmness and well done will feel very firm and unyielding. A steak will cook a little after you remove it from the grill or oven, so stop broiling when the steak tests slightly less done than desired. For great results everytime, use an instant read kitchen thermometer (click here for more information). Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of your steak, hamburger or chops away from any bone or marbling. Thermometer readings should be: 120°F to 125°F for rare; 130°F to 135°F. for medium rare and 140°F to 145°F for medium. Although steaks are optimum in flavor and texture when cooked to no more than medium doneness, some people prefer their steaks well done. The internal temperature for medium well steak is 155°F and well done 160°F. Keep in mind that overcooking causes greater shrinkage and decreased tenderness.

Cooking from Frozen
Although it is preferable to cook your steaks, burgers and roasts from a thawed state, it is possible to obtain satisfactory results without thawing. Place meat farther from the heat when broiling or grilling. Broil or grill 1 1/2 to 2 times the required time for unfrozen steaks, burgers and chops. Roast 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 times that required for unfrozen roasts.

Toaster Ovens
Satisfactory results can be obtained with this method. Use temperatures and times listed for oven baking. Slight time adjustments may be necessary. Consult your owner's manual.

Conventional Ovens
Times and temperatures in this guide are based on conventional ovens. Keep in mind that household current can affect the temperature in a conventional electric oven, particularly at peak load times. If you are in doubt as to whether your oven is regulated correctly, an oven thermometer can be invaluable in the accurate preparation of your products from Omaha Steaks. When cooking several items in the oven at the same time, make sure there is sufficient space between the foods so that hot air can circulate around them. Roasting time and temperature do not need to be increased.

Broiling in the Oven
Broiling is a rapid, high heat cooking method that is used for tender cuts of meat and fish. A two-part pan is used for broiling meat. Always preheat the oven. Turn oven control to "Broil" and leave the oven door ajar, when using an electric oven. Check to make sure the food is 2-3" away from the heat.

Roasting
All of our roasts are especially easy to prepare in the oven. You will want to leave the roasts uncovered so they will brown nicely for you. If a roast has a netting, leave it on while cooking. A meat thermometer is the most accurate way to determine doneness in large cuts of meat. Thermometer readings should be: 120°-130°F for rare, 130°-140°F for medium-rare, and 140°-150°F for medium.

Convection Ovens
With convection ovens you can roast in 1/3 less time or bake at temperatures 25-50 degrees lower than a conventional oven. Please take the time to check your owner's manual regarding the type of cooking pans recommended for use in your convection oven.

Microwave Ovens
Many of our items can easily be prepared in the microwave. Look for the microwave symbol. Red meats, roasts, steaks and chops are at their best when cooked by traditional broilers, grills, and ovens. Tender red meats cook unevenly in the microwave oven. Microwaving does not result in the characteristic flavor and browned appearance, and it is difficult to achieve the exact doneness desired. Microwave times listed in the guide are based on a 750 watt power microwave. Adjustments in time may be necessary when using your particular wattage microwave.

Grilling Techniques
Although there are many shapes and sizes of outdoor grills (gas and charcoal), there are some general tips that apply to almost all outdoor cooking. A grill lid regulates temperature. Keeping the lid on will speed up cooking time and reduce flare-ups. Raising the lid lowers the temperature.
Always preheat a grill or let the charcoal acquire a thin coating of gray ash and red glow. The Steak Cooking Chart can serve as a basis for grilling or oven broiling, however, keep in mind that cooking time will vary with weather, fire, placement on the grill and degree of doneness desired, so check food carefully. Cooking bone-in cuts will take longer than boneless cuts.

Indoor Grills
There are many types of indoor grills available for sale. Excellent results in the test kitchen have been achieved with a contact grill. This grill cooks meat from both sides simultaneously at a high temperature, searing and completing cooking in 1/2 the time of one sided grilling. Cooking times for this method are given throughout this guide when appropriate and are referred to as CONTACT GRILL.

When cooking steaks, refer to the steak cooking chart. Use 1/2 the total cooking time listed.

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