Air Fryer Pork Steak

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Teriyaki Pork Steaks With Soy Sauce” by Jane Charlesworth licensed under CC BY 2.0

Air fryers soared into popularity just a few years ago. At first, home cooks tended to use them most for cooking frozen foods, like French fries and chicken strips, quickly and without needing to heat the home with a hot oven. Since then, the world of air frying has transformed, with people conjuring up more ways to cook their favorite foods, including proteins like steak and chicken. 


One of our favorite proteins to serve up in an air fryer is pork, and after reading this guide and trying our recipe, we’re certain you’ll agree. 

Why You’ll Love Pork Steaks in Air Fryer

First, let’s define a pork steak, as it’s not a term that’s frequently used in the culinary world. A pork steak is specifically cut from the shoulder area of the animal, unlike a pork chop, which is a more generic term for pork sections cut from various areas of the body. Pork steaks typically have excellent marbling and, therefore, are among the most flavorful and tender cuts of pork.

While other cuts of pork might dry out quickly in an air fryer, pork steaks tend to remain juicy, tender, and flavorful. The air fryer keeps the outside crisp while locking juices inside. Plus, you can experiment with your favorite sauces, spices, and rubs to create new flavor profiles each time you cook pork steaks in an air fryer.  

Prepping the Air Fryer

There are a couple of critical steps for preparing an air fryer that you should use regardless of what you cook, in most cases. First, use nonstick cooking spray to coat the air fryer rack the pork will sit on to prevent the steaks from sticking when you flip them to the other side. 

Next, preheat the air fryer to the temperature you’ll use to cook. For air fryer pork steaks, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Preheating sets the temperature where it needs to be for the right cook, ensuring that everything cooks evenly, inside and out. 

Prepping the Pork Steak

Preparing pork steak for the air fryer mostly consists of flavoring it how you’d like, whether you want to use a sauce, dry rub, or blend of your favorite herbs and spices. Let the pork steaks sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before cooking. During this time, add the seasonings or sauce you’d prefer to both sides of the pork steaks. 

If desired, you can also trim the fat from each pork steak. The fat doesn’t cook down as well in an air fryer as it might on the grill or in the oven, so trimming can help you avoid chewy pieces when you’re ready to eat. Use a sharpened, non-serrated knife, carefully gliding the blade along the fat with one hand as you hold the loose end of fat with the other hand. 

How to Tenderize Pork Steak

High-quality pork steaks are usually quite tender on their own, but if you’re worried about them being too tough in the air fryer, you can marinate them for at least four hours. Many steak marinades work just as well for pork steak to tenderize and flavor them. 

Mix your ingredients, pour the marinade into a bag or bowl, and add the pork steaks, ensuring that all parts of the steaks are covered in marinade. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for several hours. If possible, allow to marinate overnight. 

Tips and Tricks for the Best Air Fryer Pork Steak

Here are a few tips to help you serve up the best air fryer pork steak:

  • Know your air fryer: All air fryers cook a bit differently, so be sure to check your owner’s manual for guidance about cooking pork. You may need to slightly adjust the temperature or cooking times from the recipe below to ensure the right cook.
  • Flip once: Air fryers do a good job of cooking food thoroughly, even if you don’t flip them during the cooking process. However, we recommend flipping pork steaks once halfway through to ensure that they crisp up well on both sides.
  • Keep them dry: Pat pork steaks dry on both sides before seasoning and cooking them. Doing so helps the outsides crisp.

Side Dishes to serve with Air Fryer Pork Steak

Air fryer pork steak is versatile, so there are several flavors you can use to spice up the meat and multiple side dishes you can choose to round out your meal. Mashed or baked potato are all-time favorites, but the following options are also must-trys:

  • Sweet potato fries
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Roasted green beans or asparagus
  • Apple pecan salad
  • Potato salad
  • Corn muffins
  • Creamy macaroni and cheese
  • Maple-roasted carrots
  • Air-fried vegetables
  • Cornbread stuffing

Air Fryer Pork Steak Recipe

We promise that this recipe is easy to follow and is one that you’ll want to keep coming back to as a go-to, trusty dinner. 

Ingredients

  • 4 1-inch pork steaks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove pork steaks from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to cook them. Combine paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, salt, and ground black pepper. Pat the steaks dry. Brush each steak with olive oil on all sides. Then, sprinkle the seasoning on both sides of each steak, using your fingertips to press the seasoning into the meat gently.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees and spray the tray with a light coating of cooking spray. 
  3. Place pork steaks in the air fryer so that they don’t touch each other. Work in batches, if needed. Cook for 5-6 minutes; flip each steak to the other side, and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Check that the internal temperature of each steak reaches 145 degrees.
  4. Rest the steaks on a clean plate tented with foil for 5 minutes before serving. 

Try Air Fryer Pork Steak for Yourself

We hope you give this air fryer pork recipe a try. You can also use the same recipe with boneless pork chops. Remember that thicker chops and steaks may need more time in the air fryer to cook thoroughly, so adjust your cooking times accordingly.

For more expert cooking tips and recipes, follow Steak University.

teriyaki pork steaks with soy sauce on vegetables

Air Fryer Pork Steak

Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 4 1 inch pork steaks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Remove pork steaks from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to cook them. Combine paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, salt, and ground black pepper. Pat the steaks dry. Brush each steak with olive oil on all sides. Then, sprinkle the seasoning on both sides of each steak, using your fingertips to press the seasoning into the meat gently.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees and spray the tray with a light coating of cooking spray.
  • Place pork steaks in the air fryer so that they don’t touch each other. Work in batches, if needed. Cook for 5-6 minutes; flip each steak to the other side, and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Check that the internal temperature of each steak reaches 145 degrees.
  • Rest the steaks on a clean plate tented with foil for 5 minutes before serving.