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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!
- 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
*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.
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 (135°C). 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
- Lay the pork steaks on a cookie sheet or pan.
- 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.
- Season both sides of the meat with Jeff's original rub.
- 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 (85°C) in the center.
- 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 under loose foil for about 10 minutes before serving.