At Chicago Steak Company, we specialize in beef steaks. However, we’re steak enthusiasts of all kinds, so we also love a good pork steak. In this guide, we’re sharing our love for pork shoulder steak with you, covering all of its potential cooking methods, from roasting in the oven to cooking it in a slow cooker.
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What is Pork Shoulder Steak?
Like the name suggests, pork shoulder steaks are steaks cut from the shoulder of a pig. It’s also sometimes referred to as blade steak because it’s specifically cut from the shoulder blade area.
This differs from the traditional pork chop you might be more used to, which is cut from the loin area of the pig. If you look at a pork shoulder steak and a pork chop side by side, you’ll see that a pork chop is a bit darker in color, especially after cooking. Pork chops are usually also more tender than pork shoulder steaks. However, pork shoulder has a good amount of fat content that, when cooked slowly, can produce very flavorful and tender steaks.
What to Know When Buying Pork Shoulder Steak
Pork shoulder steak isn’t always readily available in grocery store meat departments. Instead, there are usually pork shoulder roasts ready to buy, but you’d have to cut them into steaks yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can, instead, visit a butcher to get what you need. Ask specifically for pork shoulder steaks rather than pork steaks, as the latter could get you steaks cut from pork butt or loin.
Also, specify how thick you’d like your steaks. We suggest requesting about ¾ to 1 inch thick for most cooking methods.
Different Methods of Cooking Pork Shoulder Steak
Let’s get into how to cook pork shoulder steak using various cooking methods similar to what you’d use for beef steaks.
For each of these methods—with the exception of the Crock Pot—we suggest removing pork steaks from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook them. Season them with salt on both sides and leave them at room temperature as you prepare the oven, grill, stove, air fryer, or smoker.
Pork Shoulder Steak in the Oven
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Just before cooking, pat steaks dry, season with black pepper and your other choice of seasonings, and brush oil on both sides. Then, place the steaks on a baking sheet lined with foil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. If desired, cook for 12-15 minutes, then broil for another 1-2 minutes to crisp the outside. Rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Pork Shoulder Steak on the Stove
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat with 2 tbsp of oil. Pat shoulder steaks dry and season them as you’d like on both sides. Sear the steaks on each side for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover, cooking for another 3-5 minutes until they reach 145 degrees. Remove the steaks from the skillet and rest them at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Pork Shoulder Steak on the Grill
Oil grill racks or use a grill plate. Heat the grill to high heat, around 450 degrees. Just before grilling, season the pork shoulder steaks on both sides and brush lightly with oil on each side. Sear on the grill for 2-3 minutes, flip, and then do the same to the other side. Lower the heat or move your steaks to a low-heat side of the grill to cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
Pork Shoulder Steak in Smoker
Preheat the smoker to 275 degrees. While preheating, pat the pork steaks dry and add your chosen rub blend to each side. Transfer the pork steaks to the smoker grates and smoke for 2-3 hours. If desired, sear each side on the grill or in a skillet for 1-2 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Pork Shoulder Steak in Crock Pot
Pat pork steaks dry and season them on both sides with your choice of seasonings. Place pork shoulder steaks in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Remove steaks from the slow cooker and rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a drizzle of au jus from the slow cooker.
Pork Shoulder Steak in Air Fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Brush oil on both sides of the steaks, and season them on each side with your preferred seasonings. Move pork steaks to the air fryer basket, ensuring that they don’t touch one another or overlap. You may need to cook them in batches. Cook for 5-6 minutes on one side; then, flip the steaks and cook for another 5-6 minutes, or until the steaks reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Rest cooked steaks at room temperature for 5 minutes before enjoying.
Tips to Perfect Pork Shoulder Steak
How can you make sure your pork shoulder steak turns out the way you want it to? First, if you have enough time to spare, consider using one of the slow-cooking methods we’ve outlined above, like smoking or Crock Pot cooking. Pork shoulder steak can be tougher than other cuts of pork, but slow cooking gives it time to break down some of its fat for additional tenderness.
Another important tip: Be mindful of the thickness of your pork shoulder steaks. Steaks cut around ½ an inch thick won’t need as much cooking time in the oven, air fryer, grill, or stove as, say, 1-inch steaks. Always set timers for a few minutes ahead of what a recipe calls for, as you can always continue cooking a little longer if needed. Also, remember to use a digital meat thermometer to ensure that the thickest part of the steak reaches 145 degrees before ending the cooking process.
How to Season for the Best Flavor
With each type of cooking method for pork shoulder steak, seasoning the steaks is the key to getting a lot of flavor in each bite. While salt and pepper can do the trick, we think extra seasonings can really bring out the natural flavors in pork. You can buy a pork seasoning blend in the store or you can create a blend of your favorite seasonings from the following options:
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Seasoning salt
- Ground mustard
- Chili powder
If you haven’t yet dabbled in the world of pork, pork shoulder steak can be a great cut to start with. It’s versatile and, when cooked correctly, full of flavor with a pleasant texture. Try our Heritage Breed Pork Tomahawk Steaks when you’re ready to test some of these cooking methods for yourself. Then, follow along with our pork recipes and guides on Steak University to continue crafting delicious meals at home.