Juicy, tender pork shoulder steaks are quick and easy to prepare on the grill or stove top – a delicious dinner option year-round.
- Skip straight to the Recipe Card or
- Continue reading about how to cook a juicy, tender pork shoulder steak (in 3 minutes you will get ALL the pertinent information)
- Jump to the section detailing How to Cut Pork Shoulder Steaks from a large pork shoulder roast in the event that you cannot buy them pre-cut.
What Exactly is a Pork Steak?
As opposed to pork chops which can be cut from various parts of the pig, in the majority of instances
Pork steaks are carved from a particularly flavorful cut of pork – the pork shoulder near the neck. They typically contain part of the shoulder blade bone which is why they are often called pork shoulder blade steaks.
Another name for this cut of pork is Boston style shoulder butt. As opposed to the denser and easy to overcook picnic shoulder the pork shoulder cut from near the neck of the pig is nicely marbled and exceptionally tender.
The higher fat content of the cut infuses the meat with flavor and makes it juicy as it melts away during cooking. For lovers of pork like myself pork shoulder steaks (or roasts) are to die for. I’d turn down a beef steak any time for a juicy grilled pork steak. Any time.
There is another pork steak, called the arm steak, cut from above the front hocks and just underneath the picnic shoulder. It is quite tough, so for the most part pork shoulder blade cuts are considered THE pork steak.
Where to Buy Them?
Pork steaks are growing in popularity and you can find them sold in the meat section of most grocery stores.
The shoulder steaks should look like these:
If you cannot find them pre-cut like this, carving your own is not too hard – see our instructions below the recipe card.
How to Cook Pork Shoulder Steaks?
Pork steaks lend themselves very well to quick cooking methods such as grilling and pan frying.
That being said blade steaks are also excellent when slow cooked or braised but in this post we focus on the faster preparations.
Before you grill or pan fry a pork shoulder steak, marinate the meat in order to infuse its surface with flavor.
Even though you could, you do not need to pound the pork steaks with a meat tenderizer – if nicely marbled and sliced from the neck area of the shoulder the meat will be as tender as pork can possibly get.
Pork Steak Marinade
To flavor your steaks it is always helpful to marinate them before grilling or pan frying.
And if you will be charcoal grilling them, a marinade containing beer will not only add great flavor, but will also help inhibit the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) . These carcinogenic substances naturally form on the surface of charcoal-grilled meats and marinating in beer before hand has been proven to greatly reduce their emergence.
If you do not already have a favorite marinade you might get inspired by one on this list of Marinades for Pork (Chops and Steaks).
In this example we use a mixture of olive oil, sweetish Czech red pilsner with nice malty, biscuity notes and herbal undertones, fresh oregano (using dry is fine), paprika, cumin, garlic powder and a bit of salt.
Grilled Pork Shoulder Steaks
Step 1. Mix a marinade and let the pork steaks bathe in it for a few hours refrigerated – overnight works great.
Step 2. Take the pork out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Meanwhile heat your grill to medium-high (about 400 F for gas or 375 F for charcoal, coals will have a faint coat of ash). If using a grill-pan indoors heat it over your stove top on medium-high heat.
Step 3. Scrape off the marinade from the steaks and grill for 5-8 minutes on each side, depending on how thick they are. Under 3/4 inch around 5 minutes per side, well over an inch close to 8 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper a little before you flip them (first side) and a few minutes before you remove them from the grill.
Pork shoulder steak is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 145 F.
You can cook pork steaks until up to 160 – 165 F for well-done before you take them off the grill and let them rest for a few minutes, the meat juices should run clear. You can loosely cover them with foil during the rest.
Pan Fried Pork Shoulder Steaks
This stove top method is generally more suitable for thinner steaks, 3/4 inch thick or less.
Select a cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan for best results.
Step 1. Marinate the pork steaks refrigerated for a few hours, then take them out and bring to room temperature.
Step 2. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. When hot, add a bit of cooking oil, just enough to coat the surface of the skillet.
Step 3. Scrape of the marinade and sear each side of the pork steaks for about 3 mins, then reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook (both sides) until the steaks reach internal temperature of 145 F measured in the thickest part. This may take 5-6 additional minutes per side. Season each side with salt and pepper towards the end and let rest (tented) before slicing.
We love to serve the steaks family style on a big platter or simply on a cutting board, surrounded by various sides and with plenty of craft beer to wash down all the goodness.
You can always throw some corn on the cob and some sweet peppers, padrons or shishitos on the grill to accompany the juicy pork. Potato salads or cheesy potatoes are always complementary as are all manner of other salads – this hearty barley salad, coleslaw, greens with berries or grilled peaches, etc,
If you end up with leftover pork steak, here is a way to reuse it (a favorite in our family).
Slice it against the grain into thin strips (smaller than your pinky finger) and toss them in corn or potato starch – coat them well. Pan fry them in about 1 inch of cooking oil heated to 350 F until they just get nice and crispy (about 2 mins). Drain over paper towels and serve over ramen noodles, rice or make crispy pork tacos.
Other Recipes You Might Like
- 1.5 lbs of pork shoulder cut into steaks (about 4 shoulder blade steaks)
- 1/2 tbs cooking oil (if pan-frying)
- salt and pepper for seasoning
Pork Steak Marinade
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup flavorful lager (Czech pils, Munich helles, dunkel, bock)
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder ( or 2 cloves garlic, minced)
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano or 3-4 sprigs fresh
Mix the marinade ingredients and generously coat the pork steaks. Let marinate refrigerated, from 1 hour to overnight.
Grilled pork shoulder steaks
- Take the marinated steaks out the fridge and let them come to room temperature.
- Heat your grill to medium-high (about 400 F for gas or 375 F for charcoal, coals will have a faint coat of ash). If using a grill-pan on the stove top heat it over medium-high heat.
- Scrape off the marinade from the steaks and discard it. Grill for 5-8 minutes on each side, depending on how thick they are until the internal temperature reaches 145 F. For well done cook them to 160 F. Season with salt and pepper a little before you flip them (the first side) and a few minutes before you remove them from the grill (the other side). Juices should run clear.
- Let the steaks rest, loosely tented with foil (optional) for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
Pan Fried Pork Shoulder Steaks
- Remove the marinated steaks from the fridge and let come to room temperature.
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet (such as cast iron) over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. When hot, add a the cooking oil, just enough to coat the surface of the skillet.
- Scrape off the marinade and discard it. Sear each side of the pork steaks for about 3 mins, then reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook (both sides) until the steaks reach internal temperature of 145 F measured in the thickest part. This may take 5-6 additional minutes per side. Season each side with salt and pepper towards the end and let rest (tented).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 622Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 900mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 55g
How to Cut Pork Shoulder Steaks
Buy a pork steak ready shoulder aka bone in pork shoulder. It should be mostly neck shoulder meat and one end of it will have a bit of shoulder blade bone.
It looks like this:
You will be able to see a cross-section of the shoulder blade bone on one side. The opposite side, closer to the neck will not have a bone.
Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice the pork (preferably against the grain). With pork shoulder the muscles run in all sorts of directions and it is hard to accurately read the meat to determine the grain. Do not worry about it too much.
On average you can carve up to four thick (just over an inch), boneless pork steaks out of an average sized bone-in pork shoulder before you reach the blade bone. You can trim the fat from the sides if pan frying, for grilling we like to leave it to maximize flavor.
TIP: Once you have your raw pork steaks cut the rest of the meat from around the bone and freeze it for another meal.
When you thaw it if you cut it in cubes while still semi-frozen you can easily grind it or you can simply thaw it all the way and slow cook it with BBQ sauce and spices until it falls apart and then shred it.