Pork steak smoked to tender, flavorful perfection is only a few easy steps away. Barbecue sauce optional.
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Read on for useful information and process pictures (2 mins)
Pork Steak Smoker – About This Recipe
The upper pork shoulder, known as the Boston butt, is the prize pork cut for smoking, especially the spectacularly marbled coppa (pork collar). By extension pork shoulder steaks, blade bone-in, with their intense flavor and veins of fat are particularly well suited for taking on the flavors produced by the wood in the smoker.
This smoked pork steaks recipe conjures up every bit of flavor from the natural richness of the meat, marries it with the sweet and robust notes of the wood smoke and creates a tender texture for every bite. Should you want to employ your favorite barbecue sauce – it is as easy as simply slathering it over each steak towards the end of the smoking time.
Ingredients for Smoked Pork Steak
To smoke pork steak all you need is:
- your favorite dry rub – we use the homemade one listed in the recipe card
- charcoal and smoking wood – enough for up to 4 hours, see note below on suitable choices of wood
- brine ingredients – if you decide to infuse the steaks with moisture before you cook them, see the recipe card
- flavorful liquid – to spray/brush the steaks during smoking – we like chicken stock, but apple juice or apple cider vinegar work well
- barbecue sauce – optional, to brush over cooked steaks before you rest them or to serve alongside them
What Type of Wood is Best for Smoking Pork Steak?
Hickory is our favorite wood for these steaks. If it is a bit strong flavored for your liking milder fruit woods such as applewood or cherry wood are great options. Oak and pecan wood produce smoke that is well suited for pork as well.
Should You Brine Pork Steaks Before Smoking?
While you do not absolutely have to brine pork shoulder steak, it is advisable that you do. Smoking meat is all about dry heat over prolonged time and even the generous marbling of pork shoulder can use some help from moisture imparted by an outside source.
Brining (soaking in a saline solution) increases the water content of the meat and once the dry smoke begins to billow over the steaks part of the moisture lost is the very same that it absorbed from the brine. In combination with spraying or brushing with liquid during smoking the steaks finish considerably juicier.
You can use the brine recipe we give below or this very flavorful beer brine.
Smoked Pork Steak Step-by-Step
Brine. Optional, but if you choose to do it, prepare the solution as per the instructions below and brine refrigerated for about 6-12 hours. Remove from the brine and thoroughly pat dry. Allow to reach room temperature.
Apply dry rub. If you brined, use a dry rub with little to no salt because the meat is already flavored by the salt in the brine. If you didn’t, then use a dry rub that has a normal salt content.
Prepare smoker. Set up your smoker and add the wood as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Oil the smoker rack/grates.
Smoke. Place the pork steaks onto the rack/grates and close the lid. Every 30 minutes or so brush/spray with liquid until the steaks are tender. Once satisfied with their doneness remove to a platter, tent with foil and allow to rest before serving.
At What Temperature to Smoke Pork Steaks?
We feel (and most experienced smoking afficinados will agree) that the ideal temperature for smoked pork steaks is in the 225-250F range.
Do You Flip Pork Steaks When Smoking?
Yes, you should flip the pork steaks occasionally while they are smoking. You can do that at the same time you baste them.
How Long Does It Take to Smoke Pork Steaks?
Smoking pork steaks at 225F to 250 F takes about two and a half hours.
Treat this only as an estimate, the following factors will drive the exact length of time:
- the actual thickness of your pork steaks (thinner will be done faster)
- how cold they were before you started smoking them (ideally at room temperature)
- how stable of a smoker temperature you were able to maintain (cold wheather can have an impact)
When is Pork Steak Smoked?
The rule of thumb with pork shoulder and by extension pork blade steak is that it is done when the meat is tender. This is usually when the internal temperature gets into the 180-190 F range.
A pork steak is smoked when the internal temperature measured by a meat themometer registers about 185 F.
As you tend the smoked pork steaks simply focus on keeping them moist, replenishing the wood and charcoal as needed and after the two hour mark begin to take the temperature.
TIP: Once the steaks hit the recommended internal temperature and appear tender, remove them from the smoker, tent them with foil and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Serve Smoked Pork Steaks & Barbecue Sauce
You can brush the pork steaks with barbecue sauce just a few minutes before you remove them from the smoker, they will readily absorb the flavors.
Make sure that you allow a few minutes of resting time once you take them away from the smoker. To keep them warm and moist cover them with foil while they rest.
Beyond the most common sides such as corn on the cob, baked beans and mashed potatoes consider these other options:
You Might Enjoy
- 4 pork shoulder steaks, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick
- 3 tbsp dry rub (or to taste)*
- 1/2 cup flavorful liquid (chicken stock, apple juice or apple cider vinegar) to spray/brush
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 cups water** (see notes)
BRINE (OPTIONAL STEP)
In a small sauce pan combine the salt, brown sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to simmer and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the solution to a large, non-reactive bowl with 3 heaping cups of ice and 1 cup of water. Stir to cool down. Add the pork steaks, cover with plastic and refrigerate. Brine for 6 to 12 hours.
SMOKED PORK STEAKS
1. Bring the raw pork steaks to room temperature and pat them dry. (If you brined them first, pat them dry really, really well and discard the solution). Season them with the dry rub.
2. Set up your smoker as per the manufacturer's instructions. Heat the chamber to 225 - 250F range. Add the wood also per the manufacturer's instructions. (Make sure you have sufficient amount of charcoal and wood to maintain the temperature range for 3-4 hours.)
3. Grease the rack/grate with oil and place the seasoned pork steaks on top. Close the lid and smoke for about 2 1/2 hours. Every 30 minutes brush the steaks with the flavorful liquid of your choice and flip the steaks over.
4. After the second hour begin to check for tenderness - the internal temperature should be in the 180-190 F. If you want to use barbecue sauce, generously brush the steaks about 10-15 minutes before you decide to remove them from the smoker.
5. Once the steaks have reached your desired tenderness, transfer them to a platter and tent them with foil before you rest them for 10 minutes. If using BBQ sauce you can brush them once more before the resting period. Serve.
*Use your favorite dry rub or combine: 2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder (for a total of 3 tbsp of dry rub).
NOTE: If you used a brine the salt in the dry rub should be just a little bit, so feel free to reduce it and add a bit more of the other ingredients. Or use a prepared dry rub you like with minimal salt content.
***To speed things up use 1 cup water to heat and dissolve the salt and sugar, 3 cups in the form of ice cubes (they should be heaping to come close to the needed water volume) and 1 cup as cold water. You will not need to wait for the brine to cool down.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 3853mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 22g