Smoked Pork Steaks
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If you are looking for the perfect thing to cook in the smoker, look no further than smoked pork steaks.
While these can also be grilled hot and fast, low and slow gives them more time in the smoke and that’s only a good thing!
These smoked pork steaks are dry brined, seasoned with my original rub and then smoked for about 2.5 hours. Glazing with my original barbecue sauce is optional but highly recommended.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Dry Brining Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 2.5 hours
- Smoker Temp: 225°F (107°C)
- Meat Finish Temp: 185°F (85°C)
- Recommended Wood: Pecan
- Pork steaks (1 per person)*
- Kosher salt (Morton)
- Jeff’s Original Rub
- Jeff’s Barbecue Sauce
*If your butcher is not familiar with these, ask them to slice a pork butt (Boston butt) into ½-¾ inch slices and you’ll have pork steaks.
Place the pork steaks on a sheet pan or something similar.
Sprinkle with kosher salt on the top side only. See picture below for coverage recommendation however, most chefs recommend ½ teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat when dry brining.
Place the meat in the fridge uncovered for about 3 hours. Overnight is also okay if you have the time.
The salt will draw some of the meat juices to the surface. The juices will mix with the salt and create a slurry which will then be drawn back deep into the meat.
This process tenderizes the meat and adds great flavor to the inside of the meat.
You do not need to rinse the meat after dry brining but of course, you can if you like.
Lay the steaks onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface to season them.
Sprinkle generously with Jeff’s original rub . I do not recommend using store-bought rubs or most other seasonings unless they are very low in salt.
Let the pork steaks sit for about 10 minutes until they start getting that familiar “wet” look.
Flip them over and do the other side the same way.
Now leave them be while you go get the smoker ready.
Set up your smoker for cooking at 225°F (107°C) with indirect heat.
If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
These do great in almost any smoker, even the grill. I use to do these on the Weber Smoky Mountain all the time, most recently I have done them on a pellet grill such as the Camp Chef Woodwind leaving them on the special smoke setting for 45-60 minutes to get some good, high quality smoke on them before proceeding with the recipe.
This is usually at very low temperatures of 180°F (82°C) so it doesn’t cook them much but it may trim off 15-30 minutes. Just remember that temperature is the indicator of when they are actually done.
Once the smoker is preheated and ready to go, place the pork steaks directly on the smoker grates or you can use a pan with a rack or Weber grill pan to make it easy.
Use pecan or your favorite smoking wood for smoke.
If you are using a charcoal, electric or gas smoker, keep the smoke going for at least an hour. Longer is fine as long as the smoke is light.
Use a digital probe meat thermometer such as the ThermoWorks Smoke to monitor the pork steaks so you’ll know when they reach their perfect done temperature. I recommend taking them to about 185°F (85°C).
Sauce ’em up
When the smoked pork steaks are about 30 minutes from being done you can glaze the top side with Jeff’s barbecue sauce .
Let the sauce caramelize for 15 minutes then flip them over and sauce the other side as well.
You can expect the smoked pork steaks to take around 2.5 hours depending on a few variables:
- Meat thickness
- How cold they are when you place them on the grate
- Weather, wind, rain, etc.
- Accuracy of your smoker thermometer
When the pork steaks reach 185°F (85°C) they are finished.
Remove them from the heat.
Place a piece of foil loosely over the top of them and let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Can I cook the smoked pork steaks faster and get them done sooner?
If you want to cut the cooking time down on these you can cook them at 275°F. At this temperature, it will take them approximately 1.5 hours.
Why do you cook some pork to 145°F (63°C) but you recommend 185°F (85°C) on these? Won’t that dry them out?
Great question! Some lean cuts of pork like loin and chops are tender and juicy at 145°F (63°C) but not so on large fatty cuts like pork butt as these have lots of connective tissues that do best with long, slow heat.
These cuts do not get tender until they are cooked well past their safe temperature. Fortunately, because these have so much fat marbling, they can be cooked to 185°F (85°C) and still end up juicy.
I’ve heard that some folks grill these smoked pork steaks but you don’t mention that. Why?
They can definitely be grilled at high temperatures although that is not best for them flavor-wise. If you get them done quickly, you are limiting the time with the smoke and ultimately the flavor.
If you want to grill them, let them spend about 30 minutes in the smoke then throw them on the hot grill to finish. This combination gives you the best flavor to cook time ratio when you’re in a hurry.
Smoked Pork Steaks
If you are looking for the perfect thing to cook in the smoker, look no further than smoked pork steaks. Dry brined, seasoned with my original rub and then smoked for about 2.5 hours. Glazing with my barbecue sauce is optional but highly recommended.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Hot Smoking
- Pork steaks ((1 per person*))
- Kosher salt ((Morton))
- Jeff’s Original rub
- Jeff’s Barbecue Sauce
- Lay Out Lay the pork steaks on a cookie sheet or pan.
- Dry Brine Sprinkle about 1 tsp of Mortons kosher salt on the top side of the pork steaks. Place the steaks in the fridge uncovered for 3 hours.
- Rinse Rinse the steaks under cold water to remove any residual salt.
- Season Season both sides of the meat with Jeff’s original rub.
- Prepare Smoker Set up the smoker for cooking at about 225°F with indirect heat. Use the water pan if you have one.
- Smoke Cook the steaks on the smoker for about 2.5 hours or until they reach 185°F in the center.
- Sauce About 30 minutes before they are finished, you can sauce them if you like. Brush sauce onto top side, wait about 15 minutes then flip over and do the other side.
- Rest Rest under loose foil for about 10 minutes before serving.
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Do you flip your meat when you cook it this long?
Two hours is too long for my taste at 225*. I like them to come off at about 1.5 hours and even there I like to start with a cold smoker so the smoke can really establish itself on the steaks. I have been a big fan of smoked pork steaks for many years and experimented with different cook times and that is what I decided works for me. They are very tasty for sure sauced or not.
We don’t cook to time in the smoking world, we cook to temperature. Whatever time is required to get them to around 185 or higher is what the time is. You can certainly get them there faster by turning up the temperature or by cooking pork steaks that are not as thick if 2.5 hours is too long to wait.
Great recipe Jeff and consistent results! I’ve gotta try the dry brine for extra flavor.
Thanks for sharing your tips!
What make of smoker do you use? I’m looking for something to make about 6 or more pork buts at one time.
David, if you’re looking for something you don’t have to watch and allows you to get a little sleep, then look no further than the 36-inch Camp Chef Woodwind. It has and upper and lower rack and will hold a ton of food for it’s size. The controller can also be connected to your wifi so you can monitor and control the smoker from your smart phone wherever you are (very handy).
If you want a /charcoal wood smoker then I recommend the patio-sized Lone Star Grillz 20×36. This thing is heavy duty, patio-sized and can cook a ton of food if you need it to. I use lump charcoal for heat and sticks of wood for smoke and it is easy to maintain the temperature that you want once you use it a few time and get the hang of what makes it tick. It will hold up to 8 pork butts if you need it to.
Had pork steaks tonite with Jeff’s bbq sauce — perfection!!!
Honestly, you start to lose me with the Camp Chef comment about 45 – 60 minutes and then jump to a 180 – 200 degree temp. Yet the recipe says to cook for 2.5 hours at 225 -240 degrees. So I am just going with 2.5 hours at 230 degrees. We’ll see how it works.
I have no doubt that could be worded better to make it easier to understand. My apologies on that.
Here’s the scoop, for all non-pellet smokers, cook them at 225 for about 2 to 2.5 hours or until they reach 180-185°F in the center or as tender as you like them.
For pellet smokers: these smokers/grills don’t smoke enough at higher temperature because they are so dang efficient. For this reason, all of them have a “smoke” feature which just means it’s going to cook at low temps of 160-180 and produce a lot more smoke.
For THESE smokers, use that “smoke” feature for about an hour to get more smoke flavor. It’s not very hot so it won’t cook much during that time but it’s a good thing to do,
Once they get done with that “smoke” session, turn it up to normal temperatures of 225 and cook them until they reach 180-185°F in the center or as tender as you like them. This is probably going to take an additional 2 hours to finish them up.
I recommend starting almost everything out on “smoke” if you’re using a pellet smoker.
Hopefully that makes more sense! I’ll get that recipe updated soon to make it easier to understand.
The recipe was great, the pork steaks were perfectly done and fork tender, but I find Jeff’s dry rub to be way too sweet. If I try it again, I will use half the brown sugar called for.
What do you put in the water pan? Juice? Water?
Water. The moisture/steam evaporating is just going to be water. Adding juice or beer or anything is basically a waste and probably harder to clean up. The main point of the water pan isn’t even to add humidity, it’s to absorb heat and help the smoker maintain that constant “low and slow” temp. If you want to use anything other than water you can actually use sand and that works just as well. Happy smoking!!!
A tip for those who would like to grill these: Marinate them in Italian dressing over night. The marinade tenderizes and imparts an incredible flavor!
Never mind. I see that has already been corrected. Sorry.
Ingredients said Texas style rub. Intro said Original rub. Be sure to use Original since it is specifically for pork. Just saying…
Not good over cooked. Had smoker at 225 for 2.5-3 hours for 3/4-1″ steaks took some off at 140 good but we followed the recipe and went to 160. Over cooked!
Sorry one star. We will try it again but foil them like ribs
Sounds like yours may have been cut from pork loin.. it happens and is apparently ok per the approved nomenclature for pork cuts. The same thing happens to pork country style ribs. The problem is that pork loin is very lean and should only be cooked to 145 whereas pork butt (the best cut for pork CSR’s and steaks) are best at higher finish temperatures. You really have to familiarize yourself with the texture and look of the pork butt and then you can recognize where the meat was cut from. I recommend purchasing a pork butt and having the butcher cut it into steaks for you that way you know that it can be cooked to the higher temperatures and will end up tender, juicy and delicious.
I’m with Kirkp. 2.5 hours is crazy for cooking these. Way too long.
I have never made pork steaks before. I will be making these again!! jeffs rub and BBQ sauce made it even better!!!
I made these yesterday and they came out awesome! I used maple syrup to help the rub stick. 2.5hr smoke time for 2. I forgot to add the sauce but they still came out fine!
I tried this recipe last night and all was good! My kids, 7 & 4 could not get enough of them. They said it was spicy but so good. My steaks were an 1 inch thick so took about 3 hours to smoke. I used the rub and BBQ sauce as the recipe said. This one will go in the rotation of dinners! Thanks Jeff.
OK I followed your advice and made these on Monday. They turned out great.
The butt was in my freezer as I had gotten it on sale a while back for $5. (Can’t beat that with a stick.)
Like Mike, after it thawed, I had to de-bone it but I tied it up with butchers twine before cutting into six 1″ thick steaks. Took just short of two hours at 225 degrees to smoke to 180 degrees using plain old Oak. Hard to find the more exotic wood in this area of Central Florida without spending a fortune online. I did mop with Jeffs BBQ Sauce toward the end just like instructed.
The meal started with a green salad. Then Sweet Corn on the Cob, which is plentiful and cheep right now was one of the sides. Our Neighbors , who joined us for dinner, brought Baked Beans for the other side and Watermelon for desert. With a little Wine, the meal was absolutely wonderful. Raves by all. Thanks for the newsletter inspiration.
Jeffs BBQ sauce is great, however I like a little more kick than my lady does, so I found a recipe for a slightly hotter Mango-Habanaro BBQ sauce for me that I really like and that really makes the pork outstanding.
This was the first, but not the last, time these will be made.
I made these Sunday of Labor Day weekend and they were the hit of the party! I used Jeff’s original rub and sauce.
I smoked them with pecan at 225 and took about 3.5 hours to complete them for some reason.
I brought home 9.5lb pork butt and realized I’d have to de-bone it to cut the steaks which I did. Then I cut steaks and I learned that the pork butt doesn’t really hold it’s shape without the bone so I had to cut the steaks a little thicker than I thought I needed to get 1/2 inch steaks. I took the leftover 4.7lb of pork butt and tied it up and made pulled pork.
I took the finished boneless pork steaks and cut them into strips for people to add to their fajitas. The pork was crunchy, yet moist with the absolute perfect amount of salt and sweet. Kids and adults alike could not stop eating it. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this recipe (especially with BJ’s pork but at $1.59/lb) and I would have NEVER thought of preparing them this way without the newsletter. I am hooked.
Just made the tonight, and wow did they come out amazing. Sweet and smokey ( but not to much). Only had to make one change, and that was not dry brining the steaks. Ran out of time before hand so I just dry rubbed and threw them on. Smoked with cherry for an hour, total smoker time 2.5 hours, and finished them on the grill.
Absolute must try, and so incredibly easy.
P.s. Make sure you use Jeffs BBQ sauce!