I just got home from work and feel like broiling a steak. Unfortunately, the steak I have is still frozen (I forgot to stick it in the fridge to thaw overday). About how long should I leave it out to thaw before attempting cooking? Should I keep it in air or water, and how warm should the water be? I assume it's a bad idea to just toss a frozen steak in the oven - or is it?
It probably depends on the thickness of the steak, and how well you like your steak cooked.
I know I can cook frozen burgers about maybe 2cm / 0.75 inch thick in a double sided grill (George Foreman or similar), and it'll come out to a doneness that I like.
If you prefer your steak more towards the rare side, and it's not multiple inches thick, I'd think you'd be okay ... it won't be as good as something that you let get to room temperature before cooking, but it won't be bad.
If it's still not done well enough to your liking once the outside's gotten a little bit of char on it, you can put it in a warm oven to cook through 'til it's to the doneness you prefer.
I think it is important to defrost the meat completely because it is impossible to season it properly if it is still frozen, you also risk burning the surface while the center is still cold if the steak is thick.
You can put the steak (or other frozen seafood) inside a zipped bag like ziploc, squeeze out the air and zip the bag. Then put the bag under slow running tap water (if the water is too cold, turn on the heater and make it lukewarm), then you can quickly defrost it without damaging the taste (compare with soaking in water directly).
Also now those hi-tech microwaves usually have a defrost function. You just need to input the weight of the food and it would defrost it automatically (e.g. 200g for 2 or 3 mins).