I’m always trying new ways to cook pork steaks. When cooked properly, they are one of the tastiest treats out there. And whenever I can add smoke as an additional flavor profile, I take advantage. Remember, pork steaks are just a pork shoulder cut into steaks. And pork shoulders are always smoked, so what could possibly be wrong with smoking steaks?
Nothing. Nothing wrong at all.
You could use my Basic Brine Recipe if you want, but I usually change it up a bit for pork steaks. Here is what I use (measurements in recipe below depend on quantity of meat): Water, Apple juice, Coke and Sprite, Salt, Dark Brown Sugar, Pepper.
Brine for at least an hour, up to overnight if possible. Remove from brine, rinse with cold water, and place on a tray.
Dust a good coating of rub on both sides of the steaks. Go grab a chilled adult beverage, light your coals and ready your grill for indirect cooking (or use your smoker). Go back inside and drizzle honey on your steaks – just the side facing up.
After cleaning your grill, place your steaks as far away from the heat as possible. Place whatever form of wood you’re using on your hot coals (2 logs, 5 chunks, or a good handful of chips). I usually will do half hickory, half fruit wood. You can get these at your local grocery store.
Smoke the steaks for about an hour at 200-250. You’ll need to rotate the steaks so they all spend equal time close to the fire. Make sure smoke is billowing the entire time. While they’re smoking, pour the other half of your Coke and Sprite into a squirt bottle and spray your steaks every 15-20 minutes.
After smoking for an hour, remove the steaks and wrap each, individually, in aluminum foil. This is where we will massively tenderize them, mimicking the tenderness you get with a smoked pork shoulder.
Add additional coals so your grill/smoker stays in the 225 range, and again place the steaks away from the heat. You can stack them if you want. Leave them wrapped and cooking for at least 45 minutes.
Check one of the steaks – you’re looking for the meat to be pulling away from the bone (as pictured to the left). If the meat is still tight to the bone, wrap it back up and put it back on.
Once they are to the tenderness you want, remove from the foil and place back on grill. Pour whatever juices are in the foil back on the steaks, then dab some bbq sauce on them. Then, for a final touch, sprinkle some dark brown sugar. Let cook for 5 – 10 minutes, enough to caramelize, and you’re ready to go.
Check out the picture below – see the pink line going around the edge of the pork steak slice? This is called the smoke ring. I’ll talk about this more in upcoming posts. For now, just know if you see that line, you’ve cooked your meat right and have created authentic BARBEQUE! These should be a tender, smoky & delicious BBQ treat!