Want to cook some smoky and delicious barbecue that will feed the whole family?
Smoked pork steaks is a perfect dish for a backyard barbecue party or your next family dinner. It will take some time to cook, but the result is something straight out of the BBQ heaven!
One great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require expensive equipment or a huge list of ingredients. Follow my step-by-step instructions and you will succeed for sure.
You can basically cook this recipe with almost any kind of grill or smoker. In addition, I recommend using a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the meat.
Whichever equipment you use, here is what you want to do:
- First, you want to smoke a large chunk of pork meat for about 3 to 4 hours
- Then you are going to cut the meat into steaks and sear them for a few minutes
Gas / Electric / Pellet Smoker: Great options for keeping a steady cooking temperature and creating enough smoke without a hassle. However, you will need a grill (or you can just use a frying pan) for the final sear.
Gas / Charcoal / Kamado Grill: Takes more effort to create the smoke and keep a steady temperature but you can use the grill for searing the steaks in the end. You will need wood chips or chunks to create enough smoke.
Pellet Grill: Great option for both smoking and giving the final sear.
Charcoal Smoker: Easier to maintain a good smoking temperature compared to a charcoal grill but might be hard to make it hot enough for searing. Needs wood chips or chunks in addition to charcoal.
What Did I Use?
This time I went to my friend’s place and brought my portable Weber Go-Anywhere charcoal grill. I also had lump charcoal for fuel and wood chips for creating smoke. In addition, I used aluminum foil fo creating some “smoke bombs”.
This kind of portable grill might not be the optimal rig for a barbecue recipe since it takes some effort to keep the cooking temperature low and steady and to create enough smoke. And the grill doesn’t even have a built-in thermometer.
Yet, the pork steaks turned out smoky and delicious!
Cooking tasty barbecue really isn’t all about fancy and expensive equipment. You can cook great food with simple methods as well.
However, having a dedicated smoker with easy temperature control can make cooking more convenient. Some of the best options include propane and electric smokers. They often allow you to simply choose the desired cooking temperature and the smoker will do the rest.
Using a vertical pellet smoker or a pellet grill is another great option. The wood pellets with take care of both providing heat and nice smoky flavor to the pork.
If you use a charcoal grill, gas grill, or kamado grill, you need some wood chips or chunks to create enough for smoke. You also need some aluminum foil or a smoker box if you use wood chips.
This recipe is all about the taste of smoked pork so I only used a simple dry rub for the meat.
Here is what you need:
- 4 lbs of pork shoulder (or other pork cut)
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika powder
- 1 tbsp chili flakes (or powder)
- olive oil for brushing
Which Pork Cut to Choose?
I bought a nice 4-pound chunk of pork shoulder. I chose this cut because it has plenty of muscle but also enough fat for great flavor and to prevent it from drying too much.
You can also use pork butt or for this recipe. I don’t recommend using pork loin because it’s too lean and will probably end up being dry.
The size of the cut doesn’t have to be 4 pounds. You could very well cook only a 2-pound piece of meat but then the cooking time will be shorter.
Or if you are hosting a party, you can also get a bigger cut to feed the whole crowd. But then you have to prepare to smoke the pork for as long as six hours.
How to Cook Smoked Pork Steaks
Most recipes will tell you to cut the pork into steaks and then smoke them.
While this will also work well, I like to smoke the pork as one large piece so it will stay nice and juicy inside.
At the end the pork will be cut into steaks, brushed lightly with olive oil and coated with some dry rub. Then the steaks will be quickly seared to give them a nice and crispy surface.
Cooking Time and Temperature
The goal is to smoke the pork for at least two to three hours. This will create and nice and tasty outer layer with smoky flavors.
You can set your smoker to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit (or 120 Celsius).
But I don’t even know what was the temperature that I used for smoking this time since my grill doesn’t have a thermometer.
I simply cooked the pork until the internal temperature was about 145 degrees Fahrenheit (about 63 Celsius), which is medium-rare.
I didn’t want to cook it more than this, because it would still be seared on the grill.
Remember that the exact cooking time depends on the size of your cut and the temperature of the grill or smoker. That’s why you need a meat thermometer.
The pork is only ready when it has reached the desired internal temperature.
Step-By-Step Instructions for Cooking Smoked Pork Steaks on a Charcoal Grill
Follow these step-by-step instructions for cooking the pork steaks on a regular charcoal grill.
You can also apply a similar method for many other dishes like ribs or briskets.
Step 1: Make the Smoke Bombs
Charcoal alone doesn’t impart enough smoky flavor, so we are going to use wood chips on the charcoal grill.
You can first soak the chips in water for about 15 to 20 minutes. Soaking will make them last for a longer time before they burn out.
After soaking them, put some wood chips on a sheet of aluminum foil (image 1) and then wrap them in the foil (image 2) to create a “smoke bomb”. Then cut some holes on top of the package so that the smoke can come out.
You can make four smoke bombs so that you will have two left in reserve.
Instead of this type of smoke bombs, you can also use a smoker box or wood chunks for getting the smoky flavor.
Which Wood Chips to Use?
I used chips made out of beechwood. You can also use other options like oak, apple, or cherry wood.
If you want a stronger and more savory taste, mix in some hickory wood.
Step 2: Apply the Dry Rub
Combine the dry rub ingredients in a bowl and rub on the surface of the pork. Save the remaining dry rub for later.
Step 3: Start the Grill and Add Smoke Bombs
Use your favorite method for lighting up the charcoal.
A chimney starter is one great option. I used a butane torch, which is also very fast and convenient.
When the charcoal is grey on the surface for most parts, spread it into two even piles on both sides of the grill.
You can now add some wood chips directly on top of the hot charcoals. This way you will start getting some nice smoke right away.
Then place the smoke bombs on top of the charcoal on both sides. The middle area should be clear of any charcoal so that you can slowly cook the pork with indirect heat.
Step 4: Put the Pork on the Grill and Start Smoking
Place the cooking grid on the grill and position the pork in the middle of the grill.
Put the lid on and open the top vents just a bit. This will allow some airflow so that the charcoal will burn slowly.
If you added some dry wood chips directly on the charcoal, some smoke should start coming out of the air vents right away.
It will take some time for the moist wood chips inside the aluminum foil to heat up and start smoking. So if you didn’t add any chips directly on the charcoal, it might take some time before you see any smoke.
Step 5: Remove from Heat, Slice and Sear
Cook the pork to a desired inner temperature. I smoked the pork for about three hours until the thermometer showed an inner temperature of about 145 degrees Fahrenheit (about 63 Celsius).
Remove the pork shoulder from the grill, put it into a large bowl (or other dish), and cover it with foil.
After this, you can add more charcoal and light it up properly. Then spread the charcoal evenly on the grill so that you have a very hot cooking surface.
Next, slice the pork shoulder into about 1-inch thick steaks, brush lightly with olive oil, and then apply a little bit of the dry rub on both sides.
Sear the pork steaks for about two minutes per side so they will have a nice and crispy surface.
Step 6: Let the Meat Rest and Serve It
Remove the pork steaks from the grill and put them into a bowl. Cover with foil and let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving them.
While the pork steaks are resting and the grill is still hot, it’s a great opportunity to cook a side dish. I decided to serve the pork with rice and grilled vegetables:
I had already put some tomato, paprika, eggplant, and onion into metal skewers and brushed them with olive oil, and added some salt. While the steaks were resting, I grilled the skewers for about three minutes per side to create a nice and tasty side dish!
I recommend that you first try cooking the pork steaks as instructed in this article.
However, there are a few variations that you can also try out:
If you don’t want to sear the steaks in the end, you can just cook the pork into a higher internal temperature.
In this case, I recommend cooking the pork to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit (or 70 Celcius). Then you can put the meat into a large bowl under foil and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
Just slice the pork and sprinkle a bit of salt on the steaks before serving them.
Slicing the Meat Before Cooking
Another option is to cut the pork into steaks right away. Then apply the dry rub all over the steaks before smoking them.
Cooking the steaks like this requires a lot more surface area from your grill or smoker. Also, the cooking time will be shorter.
Adding Barbecue Sauce
I prefer to only use a simple dry rub for the pork. This way the delicious smoky taste of the meat will really stand out.
But you can also use your favorite barbecue sauce and baste it on the pork steaks before searing them.
Smoked Pork Shoulder Steaks Recipe
- Smoker or Grill
- Meat Thermometer
- 4 lbs pork shoulder
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika powder
- 1 tbsp chili flakes or powder
- olive oil for brushing
- If you are using a charcoal grill, make some smoke bombs by wrapping wood chips into aluminum foil.
- Mix the spices in a bowl to make a dry rub and then rub it all over the meat.
- Light up the charcoals and distribute them on both sides of the grill. Add some wood chips directly on the hot charcoals and then place the smoke bombs on top.
- Place the meat in the middle of the grill over indirect heat and close the lid. Leave the top air vents slightly open. The temperature inside your grill should be about 250 degrees Fahrenheit (or 120 Celsius).
- Smoke the pork shoulder until the internal temperature is about 145 degrees Fahrenheit (about 63 Celsius). This should take about 3 hours.
- Remove the meat from the grill, put it into a large bowl, and cover with foil.
- Add more charcoal to the grill and light it up. Distribute evenly on the grill to create a very hot cooking surface.
- Slice the pork shoulder into steaks that are about 1-inch thick. Then brush lightly with olive oil and add some dry rub on both sides.
- Sear the steaks for about 2 minutes per side or until they have nice and crispy surface.
- Remove the steaks from the grill, put them into a large bowl, and cover with foil. Let the steaks rest for about 10 minutes before serving them.