Being a guy born and raised in St. Louis, I love pork steaks, so I’m going to write about them several times to get you all acquainted with one of my favorite meats.
My first recipe was a smoked pork steak that took a couple of hours – this one is the extreme opposite.
When I was growing up my dad burned pork steaks on our grill once a week during the summer. Yes, burned. I’m pretty sure he’s the guy that invented the St. Louis way to cook pork steaks: Salt and Pepper, blazing hot fire, grill til they’re black, then sauce and turn 17 times until they resemble a block of tasteless cement…coated in sauce.
Pork steaks are a delicious and cheap treat and can be prepared quickly or very slowly and have amazingly different – but all very tasty – results.
For those outside St. Louis, this is what you need to do: Go to your butcher and pick out a Pork shoulder/butt – commonly called Boston Butt. Then ask him/her to slice it into ¾” steaks. Your traditional Boston butt will be transformed into St. Louis style Pork Steaks.
Prepare the Pork Steaks for the Grill
If time allows, marinade your pork steaks for a minimum of 30 minutes and preferably a couple of hours. All this is going to do is maximize how tender and juicy your steaks are, you know, if you care about that sort of thing.
- 1/2 can Coke
- 1/2 can Sprite
- 2 cups apple juice
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
Remove the steaks from brine, pat dry, and set on a tray.
If you want to go with a simple rub, then sprinkle both sides of the meat with kosher salt and pepper. If you want to get fancier, then throw on some all-purpose rub.
All Purpose Rub
- 1/2 cup paprika
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated garlic
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp oregeno
- 2 tsp cayenne
Set the steaks aside and go set up your grill for direct cooking. By the time the coals are ready your steaks will be ready to throw on.
Get Your Grill Hot
So for my quick steak recipe, I get the coals blazing hot. 400+ degrees is the goal. My Weber Performer has a built-in thermometer for ease.
This setup uses a full chimney of lit charcoal spread evenly across the charcoal grate. Keep your top and bottom air vents completely open.
If you are using a gas grill then turn all of your burners to HIGH and let the grill preheat for at least 15 minutes.
When my coals are ready, right before I put my steaks on, I throw on a chunk of fruit wood – apple, pecan, cherry – whatever you have. Or you can toss a handful of wood chips if you prefer. These are available for a couple bucks at any local grocery store.
Grill The Pork Steaks
Grab an ice-cold frosty beverage and head outside.
Put the pork steaks on the grill and sear on one side – maybe about 5 minutes, take your tongs, flip and sear the other side the same. What you’re looking for is a bit of the fat to blacken, and a pretty golden brown to your steaks, as pictured.
Oh, and remember those half cans of soda? Pour those into a spray bottle (You can pick one up almost anywhere – Dollar Store, Home Depot, etc.). I often will spray my meat while grilling – adds flavor and moisture.
After searing your steaks, they are ready for a layer of your favorite bbq sauce.
Grab another beverage, sauce and a good brush. I use our homemade team sauce, but you can use whatever your favorite sauce might be. Take your brush, dab – don’t smear! – DAB the sauce on. This will keep the spices and juices from brushing right off the meat. Flip and do the same thing on the other side.
At this point, I close my vents and let the smoke seep into my steaks for a few more minutes before pulling off the grill. Even just 5 minutes and you’ll be amazed at how more juices appear on the surface of your steaks.
Carefully pull your steaks off the grill onto a cookie sheet, being careful to try to keep the juices on the steak, not pouring onto your grill. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes and once again, you’ll see more juices pouring out.
For gas grill users, check out your options for using a smoke box you fill with wet chips and place on your burners. They work great and have a similar effect. Here is a great video showing how to use a smoker tube to smoke and grill pork steaks on a gas grill.
Pork Steak Temp
Getting your pork steaks to the right internal temperature is the key to this whole recipe. The ideal pork steak temp is 145F.
If the internal temperature is any lower than 145F, then the meat is undercooked and will be safe to eat. If you cook the pork steak past 145F it will become tough and chewy.
The exception to this guidance is if you are smoking the pork steaks and take them up to about 200F where they become fall apart tender.
This is another spot I’m asking you to rethink bbq. Pork steaks don’t have to be grilled for 45 minutes and completely dried out. (Please don’t tell my dad) They can be seared quickly just like you would a beef steak!
You’ll love the results.
This is the easy, quick way to have something similar to pulled pork in your kitchen any time of year. And you can change the flavor by simply using different spices and different sauces.
I also recommend trying different woods until you find the flavors you enjoy. Try maple wood for a tasty twist.
Serve these pork steaks with some grilled pineapple and you have an easy, delicious, quick meal!
Grilled Pork Steaks
- ½ can cola
- ½ can Sprite pour other ½ of your soda’s into spray bottle
- 1 - 2 cups apple juice depending how many steaks
- 1/2 c kosher salt
- fill in with water as needed
For Pork Steaks
- Salt & Pepper
- All Purpose Rub
- BBQ Sauce
- Marinade at least 30 minutes
- Rinse off brine, pat dry, lay on tray.
- Sprinkle with salt & pepper or all purpose rub.
- Sear over direct heat for about 7 minutes per side.
- Dab sauce on one side, flip and sauce the other side. Do it twice if you want more.
- The Pork steaks are DONE at an internal temperature of 145F.
- Close all vents, let set for 5 minutes, and remove from grill.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.