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Howdy Everyone -

If this subject has been "beaten to death" or is "taboo" to true 'Qers, I apologize, but maybe someone could point me in the right direction. I have searched the CS site as well as others to no avail. I may be doing the search wrong, but don't think so...

Does anyone have a good recipe/process for pork steaks in the CS? I don't really need the rub/seasoning or sauce recipes (but would welcome them!). I am looking for the general time, temperature, and wood amount to use (knowing they're done when they're done and everyone's tastes are different).

I have tried one batch along with some babybacks as a first try, but they came out dry and over cooked. We have company this week who wants nice, juicy, and tender pork steaks and unfortunately I don't have the pleasure of experimenting like I usually do.

Thanks to all - this forum is one of the best!

Nimmy in St. Louie
Original Post
Good questions, Tom.

The first ones I did were about 1/2" thick and I don't know where they were cut from - I didn't buy them.

I plan to get the future pork steaks from my butcher so I know exactly what to ask for, so I am open to whatever the pros on this forum suggest. Before, a pork steak was just a pork steak and grilled to death over charcoal. Now, I'm ready to do it right.

What do you suggest?

Nimmy from St. Louie
Well now,

We could be talkin'about two or three things here.

The stores sell" country style ribs" which may be bone in or boneless.

If you search for these and check the recipe forum,you should find a lot of good threads.

These often are just a pork butt that has been sliced a couple of inches thick.They are pretty fatty and can be grilled to higher temps.

Sometimes they mix a package that has some loin in it,and these are more like porkchops.

You can not cook them to as high a temp.

If I were to cook either of these,I'd probably grill them.

Now 1/2 inch pork steaks,cut from the butt and bigger than a coffee saucer, don't seem like they were built for slow and low in the CS.

They do make fine dinin' for us southern mountain folks,though.

Toss them in a medium hot iron skillet and brown 4 or 5 minutes on a side,add about 1/2-3/4 cup of warm water,cover and cook on low for about 15 minutes.

Serve with a pan of skillet cornbread,some fried taters, pole beans,and a little wilted lettuce.

Cool
That sounds like some good Southern eatin' there - reminds me of my days in Alabama.

Up here in St. Louis, BBQ pork steaks and ribs on the grill are king. While there are country style ribs and center cut pork steaks, most often they seem to be a Boston Butt cut into "steaks". I think the only reason they are cut 1/2" is because most people don't want to slow cook them - just get the pork done, sauce, and eat. The problem is they aren't "fork tender" like the butt, ribs, and brisket we do.

The best pork steaks I have had were cooked a short while over wood coals (mainly for the smoke flavor), then put into a crock pot with sauce (beer added) at "low" heat for several hours until tender. Seems kind of like cheatin' to me.

That's why I thought (possibly) the CS might work work well. It holds in the moisture and can operate at a controlled low heat (if that is what it takes). Saucing can come at the end, like ribs, so it doesn't burn. Brush every hour with bacon grease? Put a bacn strip on top of each one to baste it?

Maybe you are right - these kind of cuts weren't made for the CS, but I thought I would ask. Surely someone has gone down this path before (which may be why there are no recipes posted - that I can find).

Nimmy in St. Louie
Howdy Nimmy,

I guess you'll have to look at them and experiment.

If you go to the ribs archives and scroll down about 1/3,there are three posts where we have talked country style.

If you determine that the pork steaks are cut across the butt,you could try these.
You can go low temp and bring up to 180� +, to render the fat.

If they look like the leaner loin,you might smoke to 140� ,foil with a little apple juice and a touch of sauce.

Put back in and check occasionally.

Then you have to check them after about 170� to see if they suit you.

When they are about there,you can remove from foil,sauce a little,and put back in the smoker for a while to firm up.

I don't see bacon or drippings helping internal dryness.

One other thing to try is to pick a post from Mike In St.Louis,and email him.

He is around the cookoffs and has been through drbbq's class with some of the cooks from around your area.

He cooks on a Cookshack,Backwoods and some others.

Good luck and be sure to post how it goes.
I never did pork steaks in my CS but I have done some bonless country or western style ribs. They were about an inch thick.

I seasoned and refridgerated over night and then in the smoker that I had preheated only to get the smoke coming. If you have chips instead of chunks then you will get smoke quicker. I did them for about 30-40 min. and then on a hot grill to finish. I ended up with a smoked flavor and a juicy piece of meat.

I have also cleaned some 2-2.5 inchround potatos poked with fork and tossed in about an hour before the pork and took everything out and put on the grill to finish. If the taters aren't quite done a few minutes in the microwave will take care of that and still keep the flavor.

dave
Hi Nimmy,

I live in St. Louis too and have been cookin' pork steaks all my life. The ones they sell in all of the stores and butcher shops here are sliced 1/2 inch thick from the bone end of a pork butt.

I've tried every method under the sun for cooking those puppies and you've already described the best way. Grill 'em on medium until they're just about done then put in a casserole, cover with BBQ sauce, cover the casserole with foil and put in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. They'll come out falling off the bone tender.

Sorry, but they just don't lend themselves well to smoking. They're too thin. They can go from looking almost done to shoe sole in a heart beat. Now, maybe you could do as Tom says. Smoke 'em a little just to get the smoky flavor then grill 'em and finally cover with sauce and in the oven to tenderize.

Let us know how they turn out.

EZ
Mornin' Nimmy,

I was looking through Steve Raichlen's new book,BBQ USA, last night.

He had a page on St. Louis pork steaks.

He says to have butcher cut the butt into 1/2 inch slices,about 6-8 oz. each.

Set up grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

Grill 4 to 6 mins./side and baste with Maull's bbq sauce.

Be careful of grease flareups,they contain plenty of fat to keep them moist.

Serve with Maull's sauce on the side.
Thanks for all of the help so far.

It seems like there may be three tests to be done here (which is part of the fun, right?).

1) Use standard pork steaks, grill with smoke, cover in sauce, and crock pot/casserole them at low heat until tender (EZ Duzzit)

2) Get custom cut steaks 1" or thicker and process like country style ribs (shtrdave & Tom)

3) Use standard steaks and foil them in the CS like Tom suggests

Just as Steve Raichlen states, the butt pork steaks do contain a lot of fat. Anyone that has made the mistake of grilling them directly over hot coals will quickly attest to that. It was this fact that made me think that they might be done in the CS somehow. With a thick cut, it may still work.

However, I believe with a standard 1/2" cut it's going to take covering/foiling to capture the moisture plus low heat+time to fully tenderize. Even grilling them like Steve Raichlen states won't produce a "fall apart" steak.

I may take the safe way out this week because of time and then experiment. Maybe we will hear from others in the meantime.

Nimmy in St. Louie
Nimmy, I am also from St. Louis and cooking those pork steaks is a challange. The only way I have gotten them to be real good it to cook them on the webber and them crock pot em with BBQ sauce. I have tried indirect and direct cooking does not make much of a difference. Only thing the grill will do is cook em, and the crock pot softens em up. Good luck!
If you don't mind I would like to throw my 2cents in about these "Pork Steaks".
There is a joint close to me in a town called Holcomb,Mo. and the name of it is Strawberry's
Their rub and sauce are all over the shelves of the local markets and they are very famous in these parts for their Pork Steaks....about 1 1/2" thick and smoked "slow n low" on an electric commercial smoker (not sure what kind)
After recieving my smokette about a year ago, I decided to take a stab at these just to see if I could get close to the ones served up in the "bootheel"
Went to Kroger...had butcher cut two Butts into 1 1/2" to 2" steaks....covered with mustard...covered with rub...wrapped and friged overnight...smoked the next day in smokette with 3oz.hickory...I believe I took them out after 9 or 10 hrs. and wrapped in heavy duty foil for 2 hrs. more in a cooler with towels on top to take up left over space.......All I can say is that they were delicious and now my co-workers are beggin me to make some more......
Hope that helps.

cookin-n-arkansas
Finally had a chance to take on pork steaks again. The advice for 1/2" steaks on this forum was good.

I brushed them with apple juice, then seasoned them with rib rub, letting them sit for several hours before grilling on my Weber. I grilled them over indirect charcoal heat with plenty of hickory smoke for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours -- until they were browned and still juicy. I then put them into a crock pot with sauce on low heat for 4 to 5 hours, until tender.

Next, I put them back on the Weber over (burned down) coals to glaze, using the crock pot sauce to baste with. While the steaks had excellent flavor and were very tender, I wasn't completely satisfied. Two things to note for next time:

1) The crock pot sauce became very thin - probably due to moisture and fat from the steaks. While it's tasty, it doesn't make a very good baste if you want a thick glaze.
2) The burned down coals don't work as good as fresh ones for glazing (I thought they would because I didn't want a lot of heat). Next time, I will use fresh sauce and coals to finish the meal, maybe indirectly.

All in all, a good experiment and am getting closer...

Nimmy in St. Louie
Here is a post from a cook in the St. Louis area that many of our members know.

They had a good thread.

Here is how I cook my pork steaks........

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Posted by JDB on September 09, 2003 at 13:01:51:

In Reply to: Re: Maull's and pork steaks........Now we see eye to e posted by Q.N.E. tyme on September 09, 2003 at 12:15:49:

Yo Dylan, I marinate my pork steaks with the same recipe I use for rib tips:

2 cups Wishbone Spicy French Dressing
1 cup lemon juice
2 cups apple juice
2 cups cherry cola
1 cup Woeber's Spicy mustard
1/4 cup habenero hot sauce

You can reserve some of the marinade for a baste if you so desire. I don't basted the steaks for the first hour or two of the cooking time.

Due to the acidic content of the marinade, I would not marinate the pork steaks more than eight hours or the meat will turn to mush. Because of the sugar in the marinade, I do not cook the meat directly over the coals or above 250�F. I usually use the kettle for this but the WSM works too. I like to use cherry wood for the smoke flavor.

Depending on the thickness of the steaks, they take anywhere from two to four hours to cook. You won't be able to render all the fat out between the muscle areas like you do a pork shoulder, but quite a bit of the fat will cook out. I consider the steaks done once you can easily separate the muscle areas. Once you can pull two areas of the meat apart, apply the finish sauce of your choice and give the sauce a little time to thicken on meat.

Lager,

JDB

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