BBQ pork steaks are a tender and delicious meal. These are slow cooked on the pellet grill until juicy and smoked to perfection. The bits of caramelized sauce and yummy pork come together to make each bite wonderful.
Pork steaks are a midwestern classic for good reason. They are a mix of the best parts of pulled pork and a pork chop, making their own unique and fabulous thing.
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Have you ever had a pork steak? It is a common cut of meat around St. Louis, but not necessarily as popular in other parts of the country.
I am here to tell you that should change. It is such a tasty cut of meat and is perfect for cooking on a pellet grill.
What is a pork steak?
Pork steaks are actually sliced off the pork shoulder. So you get all of the connective tissue and fat that makes pulled pork succulent, but in a much smaller size.
Usually, the pork steaks are cut about an inch thick and weigh a pound or under. So they cook much more quickly than the 10-12 pound pork butt.
And while they look like a pork chop, they are quite different. The way you want to cook it is very different too.
Cooking it low and slow gives a chance for the connective tissue to break down. Finishing it at a higher temperature gives the edges a chance to caramelize a bit.
It results in a tender and flavorful piece of meat. And it is economical too!
If you can’t find pork steaks at the grocery store, your butcher should be able to cut them. We like them about an inch thick because they are easier to cook.
Preparing The Meat
You can put your favorite BBQ rub directly on the meat if you would like. However, spreading mustard over the meat gives the rub something to stick to.
If your meat is moist, you may want to pat it with a paper towel first. Then, smear a generous amount of mustard over the surface.
Sprinkle the mustard with a dry rub and repeat on the other side. Don’t worry, it doesn’t make the meat taste like mustard.
Put the meat back into the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it. You can prep it several hours in advance if you want, which actually gives the seasoning a chance to impart more flavor into the meat.
Smoking Pork Steaks
We like to cook the pork steaks in a multistep process. It takes some time to get them tender, but really not a ton of work.
First, cook them directly on the grates of a pellet grill that has been preheated to 200F. Cook them for two hours without touching them.
Then, move them into a pan and coat them in a thinned out BBQ sauce. We like thinning the sauce with some apple juice.
Beer is also a delicious way to thin the sauce. Or you could even use water if you really wanted to.
Cooking the meat in the sauce like this keeps it from drying out as it continues to smoke. Because it doesn’t have a fat cap, it can dry out if it cooks for too long with only dry heat.
After the pork steaks have enjoyed their warm BBQ sauce bath, raise the temperature of the smoker. Then, put them back on the grates.
Brush them with some of that delicious sauce and let them caramelize a bit. This helps to bring them up to their final temperature and adds great flavor.
Flip them once and add more sauce to make sure everything is coated in sweet, sticky goodness. Then get ready, you are about to have a delicious treat.
You want the meat to reach 195°F to break down the connective tissue. However, because it is a thinner cut, you don’t want to go much over that and risk drying it out.
What to serve with pork steaks
Anything you like with BBQ goes well with these pork steaks. We had some zucchini and Instant Pot macaroni and cheese on this particular night.
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BBQ Pork Steaks on the Pellet Grill
- 4 pork steaks about 1-inch thick
- ¼ cup yellow mustard
- ¼ cup BBQ rub
- ¾ cup BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup apple juice
- Preheat smoker to 200℉.
- Coat pork steaks in mustard and sprinkle with your favorite BBQ rub.
- Place seasoned pork steaks on the grill grates. Close the lid and smoke for 2 hours.
- Stir together the apple juice and BBQ sauce.
- Put pork steaks in an aluminum pan, coating each steak with the bbq sauce mixture as you put them in. Cover the pan with foil and put back on the smoker.
- Raise the temperature to 250℉ and cook for about 1½ hours. The internal temperature of the pork steaks should be around 195℉.
- Increase the smoker temperature to 300℉ and put the pork steaks back on the grill grates. Brush with sauce from the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes on each side or until your desired level of caramelization is achieved.
- Remove from the heat and rest for about 10 minutes before serving.