Beef is great, but sometimes you need to mix up your proteins for variety and health benefits. Pork is a great alternative even for fancy dinners with plenty of guests. The humble pork chop is well-known, but larger pork steaks are also available to make an impact when you’re serving up the meat. Pork steaks are a specialty item at most butcher’s shops and grocery stores, but they’re worth seeking out for the depth of flavor and juiciness. Learn how to cook pork steak so it’s tender and full of flavor no matter the cut you choose.
What Is Pork Steak?
Only the shoulder area of the pig has enough meat to slice into large steaks. This is where many cuts like cubed pork steak and bone-in pork steaks arise. You might find them listed as pork blade steaks, especially if they’re boneless. The most show-stopping option is the Tomahawk pork steak, which has a long length of bone attached for easy flipping while cooking. All of these pork steaks are cut from a section of meat that is marbled with fat and juicy when cooked without too much heat. They take a slightly different approach in the kitchen or on the grill than standard pork chops.
What to Know When Buying Pork Steak
Pork steaks can vary greatly in size, fat content, and the presence of bone. It’s important to inspect the shape of the meat and understand what you’re buying if it’s not labeled with more terms to help guide you. For example, a Tomahawk cut is similar to a pork chop and often cooks the same way, while the cubed pork steak needs deep frying or a slow and low braising method. No matter the pork steak you choose, you’ll need to pair side dishes with it as well. Most forms of pork go well with sage-flavored stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted autumn squash, or spring peas with butter.
Different Methods of Cooking Pork Steak
Whipping up a delicious pork steak is easy no matter what kind of cooking equipment you have on hand. Even if you’re camping, a campground grill is all you need to cook pork steak that turns out juicy and tender. Be mindful of the heat level and don’t overcook the pork for the best results.
Pork Steak on the Grill
Since this cut of pork is fattier than the average pork chop, it’s more suited to the grill than its popular cousin. Much like with a fine Filet Mignon, you want to use medium heat so that the meat doesn’t dry out. They need about 8 minutes per side, or up to 10 for thicker cuts.
Pork Steak in the Oven
The oven is a great way to cook pork steak without having to watch or flip it. Simply load up a lidded Dutch oven with the steaks, a little chicken or beef broth, and vegetables like carrots, onions, and new potatoes. You’ll have a complete roasted dinner in just over an hour without running the risk of drying out the meat. Fat and connective tissue will melt slowly, infusing the pork steak with flavor and creating a tender texture. Cook the pork at 350 degrees F so it doesn’t fall apart by the end of the extended cooking period.
Pork Steak on the Stove
Rub down the pork steaks with seasonings like cumin, paprika, black pepper, granulated garlic, and thyme. Heat a cast iron pan on the stove and use a high heat oil or clarified butter in it. Start out on medium heat, letting the pork steaks cook slowly until they reach 140 degrees F internally. Then switch to high heat and flip every minute or two until the exterior is browned and seared. Remove and let rest before serving.
Pork Steak in Crock Pot
When you won’t be home in time to cook dinner, use your crock pot and a pork steak or two to create an easy meal. Try a barbecue twist without having to wait for good grilling weather by cutting a slit in each pork steak and sprinkling it with salt and pepper. Place the first steak in the crock pot, then cover it with your favorite barbecue sauce. Add another steak if you’re cooking for two, then cover all of the meat with more of the sauce. Cook for 4 to 6 hours on medium heat, checking that the steaks have reached 145 degrees F before serving.
Pork Steak in Air Fryer
Coat your pork steaks in a combination of olive oil and any seasonings you want to add. Place a single steak in the air fryer unless it has multiple levels to increase air circulation. Cook at 400 degrees F for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until it reaches 145 degrees F internally. For a crispy coating, try pressing seasoned bread crumbs onto the surface after adding the oil.
Pork Steak in Smoker
Using a low and slow method for smoking pork steak results in the best flavor and texture. Use a dry rub with spices like smoked paprika and cumin mixed with brown sugar. Smoke the pork steaks for about 2 hours at 225 degrees F. This will bring the internal temperature to around 185 degrees F, but the resulting meat will stay tender and still have a juicy flavor.
How to Season Pork Steak for Best Flavor
No matter which cooking method you choose, you have a wide range of flavor options. Try using a marinade with soy sauce, sesame oil, and scallions for a twist on your usual routine. Rubs that you love on steaks like the Top Sirloin should work well with the flavor of this cut as well. Don’t forget about dry brining, which works just as well for pork as it does for beef.
Tips to Perfect Pork Steak
Let the pork come to room temperature before cooking just like you would for any other steak. If you have leftovers, reheat them slowly and with a damp paper towel placed over the meat to keep it from drying out in the oven or microwave. Grilled or smoked pork steak in particular is great for transforming into other meals like nachos or sandwiches.
Pork Steak FAQs
Use methods that surround the meat with juices or sauces to help add moisture and soften the meat. Try longer cooking methods with lower heat to slowly soften the meat.
Pork steaks only have to reach 145 degrees F internally for food safety. You can cook it longer if you prefer it more well done but don’t exceed 160 degrees F or it will toughen and dry out.
It’s not recommended that you eat pork meat rare like you might enjoy a steak. However, you can eat whole chops or steaks that have reached 145 degrees F, a point at which the meat may still show a pink interior. The temperature is more important than the color for safety, so don’t overcook the pork steak if it’s reading as done with an instant probe thermometer.