Should You Cook Steak-Umm Frozen Or Thaw It First?

Steak-Umm package with sandwich on top
Steak-Umm package with sandwich on top - steak_umm/Instagram

If you've never had a Steak-Umm, then you're missing out on one of the easiest frozen meat products on the market. These thinly sliced steaks cook up in minutes, and they're perfect on anything from a homemade Philly cheesesteak to quick steak tacos. But when it comes to handling these ultra-thin steaks, you need to keep one thing in mind: Always cook them from frozen.

Steak-Umms are delicate because of how thin they are. On the box, the instructions say to cook from frozen, which is essential to ensuring the steak doesn't crumble when you cook it. Plus, letting them thaw first means you risk overcooking the steak because each slice cooks in no time. And you don't want to store these in the refrigerator -- not only will they thaw completely, but like any raw meat, they'll go bad within just a few days if they aren't kept in the freezer.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

Always Cook Steak-Umms From Frozen

Steak-Umm package on shelf
Steak-Umm package on shelf - The Image Party/Shutterstock

From a food safety perspective, letting the Steak-Umms thaw isn't dangerous (assuming they haven't been left at room temperature for more than two hours, which is the maximum time allowed per the USDA). However, the steaks are packaged on top of one another with a thin piece of parchment paper between them. If they're not kept frozen, they'll practically crumble in your hands when you try to break them apart from each other if they're not frozen, due to their thinness.

Of course, crumbled steak isn't the worst thing; if you're looking for a chopped cheesesteak, then there isn't much harm here. But if you want to keep that somewhat unusual rectangular shape intact or have the ability to fold them over nicely, then cook them from frozen every time.

There are three types of Steak-Umm products: 100% beef, 100% Angus beef, and chicken breast steaks, all of which should be prepared the same way: From frozen and cooked for around a minute on the first side, then 15 to 20 seconds when flipped, making sure all the pink is gone.

How To Use Steak-Umm Products

Steak-Umm chicken steaks in a sandwich
Steak-Umm chicken steaks in a sandwich

This frozen meat isn't exactly cheap, but it's easier and less expensive than buying a full cut of steak. Those reasons, coupled with how quickly the slices cook, make Steak-Umm a good alternative when whipping up any kind of steak sandwich. They're most commonly used in cheesesteaks -- which is even the photo on the box -- where they're cooked and paired with provolone (or Cheese Whiz if you're building a classic Philly-style sandwich) and fried onions.

You can also use these in steak tacos, but you should add some taco seasoning to give them a little kick before stuffing your taco shells. A French dip is possible here, too, though you'll need an alternative for the au jus since you're not cooking the steak from scratch. The crumbled Steak-Umm beef can also be used as a ground beef alternative with pasta in something like a homemade Hamburger Helper.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.