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In this edition of the smoking meat newsletter, I am going to show you how to smoke up a batch of smoked pork steaks for your family and/or friends using my original rub and just a few hours of time on your hands.
What You'll Need
6-8 Pork Steaks (may be labeled as pork blade steaks)
1/2 cup Canola oil (substitute yellow mustard if desired)
1 batch of Jeff's Naked Rib Rub
Purchasing the Pork Steaks
When I went to the local grocery store the other night to pick out some pork steaks, I noticed that they were labeled pork blade steaks. It does not matter if they are labeled a little different than just “Pork Steak” as long as they have plenty of fat marbling and it looks like they were cut from the pork butt (some of the pieces have bone in them). The meat has a lot of fat marbling in it which makes it a perfect candidate for slow smoking. The steaks are usually cut at about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick and should run anywhere from $0.99 – $1.59 per lb in most places across the United States.
This is basically the same meat as the country style rib just cut into steaks instead of into logs.
Preparing the Pork Steaks
You won't need to fuss too much over these.. they are quick and easy and something that want take long to prepare or cook. I like to use my own rub on these and they just taste like something that you shouldn't be able to afford.. really, really good!!
Put all of the steaks in a large zip-top bag or maybe use a couple of large bags if you are doing quite a few of them. Pour some canola oil into the bag along with 1 heaping TBS of my rub per steak. I did 6 steaks so I did 6 heaping TBS of the rub and then threw in another one for good measure.. I just couldn't help myself!!
They smelled so good at the moment that I wanted to just grab one and eat it right then and there but I resisted the urge and just did a good shake down on the bag to get the oil and rub all over the steaks. Roll the bag(s) end over end and side over side a few times to coat everything real good and then put the bag in the fridge for a couple of hours to let that rub and oil turn into a gooey mess of absolute goodness on the surface of those steaks.
Almost Ready to Smoke
Remove the steaks from the fridge and lay the steaks out flat on a large platter or cutting board and sprinkle a little more rub on both sides of the steaks if you like.
(I did some of these a while back and omitted this step and more than one person at the table said they would like to have had more rub on the steaks.)
My rub gets nice and gooey on the meat when it sits for a few minutes and creates a really nice bark that is like candy when it's finished. You might find yourself just eating the outsides if you're not careful.
Set the steaks aside and go get the smoker ready.
Preparing the Smoker
The steaks are very forgiving and if you want to cook them fast you can do that, I will caution you that this could burn the rub and so I don't recommend rushing them. For best results, prepare the smoker for cooking at around 225-240 degrees and use a wood that is fruity but has a good solid flavor. I recommend cherry or even a mix of pecan and cherry would be perfect.
Once the smoker is up to temperature.. you're good to go. Go get them steaks!
Smoking the Pork Steaks
I recommend placing the steaks right on the grate if at all possible for at least the first half of the cooking time. keep the smoke going steady for a couple of hours as well and then you can stop applying smoke if you are using a gas, electric or charcoal smoker.
At 225 degrees you can expect the steaks, depending on the thickness, to take about 3-4 hours to reach 165 degrees. They are tender enough to eat at this point however if you want to really take them to that fork tender state of deliciousness then you might consider wrapping them in foil or put them in an aluminum foil pan with foil over the top and let them cook for an additional hour once they reach 160-165 degrees F.
Serving the Pork Steaks
Serve up the steaks just as soon as they get finished to your liking and give folks a little of my warmed sauce on the side for those who like to dip.
Enjoy the moment!!