We love a good pork steak here, the beautiful crispy brown sear, and the tender, juicy meat on the inside, cooked to perfection. It’s truly an American classic; only it’s cooked the nontraditional way, in a skillet on the stovetop.
I can still picture the heat radiating from the weber grill as the pork steaks, hidden under the bonnet of the lid, are slowly cooking. The sugars from the barbeque sauce are beginning to caramelize, the sign they are nearly done. Within another minute or two, the steaks will be pulled from the grill, ready to eat.
For the longest time, the only way I knew of to eat pork steaks was to cook them on the grill. But unless you live in a tropical environment where the temperature is always warm, pork steak recipes are limited to the summer months.
Oh, those summer nights, the grill, the warm weather, and the bugs, there was nothing quite like it, nor will there be until summer comes again. Thankfully pork steaks can now be enjoyed year-round with this simple pan-seared pork steak recipe.
My indoor pork steak quest actually began with pork chops fried in a cast iron skillet and it was a complete success. I then dabbled in smothered pork steaks, cooking in an incredible gravy, a totally new way to enjoy pork steaks.
An easy pork steak recipe
This latest recipe was designed to mimic the grilled pork steaks as much as possible while being cooked on the stove, to which they are not. I think part of the reason was that I decided to make my own bbq sauce and did so without using any sugar to make them a little healthier. As a result, the sauce did not caramelize with high heat.
That, combined with the fact that there was no charcoal, grill, or patio involved, took away from the whole experience.
The more sugars in the bbq sauce, the more caramelized the crust will become. This was made without sugar (intentionally), so it was more just basted in the bbq sauce.
What I did learn was another way to enjoy delicious pork steaks.
Pork steak vs pork chop
Pork Steaks are cut from the shoulder meat of the pig. Also referred to as a blade steak and Boston butt, of which the latter name is mildly deceptive because it also comes from the shoulder, nowhere near the hindquarters.
The steaks are a relatively inexpensive cut and are wildly popular, both boneless and bone-in. The bone-in, in my opinion, has the most flavor.
Pork Chops come from the loin of the pig. It is a lean cut of meat, usually more expensive than pork steaks, and not nearly as much flavor. And unlike the steaks, chops should not be cooked past 145° at the risk of the meat drying out.
Choosing the pork steak
The thickness plays an important role in cook times. I’m using 3/4″ thick steaks, which are how my butcher cuts them.
All pork steaks come from the shoulder. The typical steak, a blade steak, will be the most common. The Boston butt is cut from above the blade and is considered less tough than the shoulder blade steak.
Whenever possible, look for locally raised pork. Local meat simply tastes better, and knowing where it comes from can assure you that it was humanely and sustainably raised.
Cooking pork steaks
Ingredients for the best pork steaks
4 bone-in pork steaks
For the dry rub, I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.
For the barbeque sauce, use ketchup, honey, coconut aminos, mustard and apple cider vinegar.
How to cook pork steaks on the stove
Begin by mixing the dry rub seasonings and then pressing onto both sides of the steaks. Set aside. Add bbq sauce ingredients to a 12″ cast iron skillet on medium heat.
Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Likely the 4 steaks will not fit in one skillet, so if you have a second one, great; otherwise, divide the bbq sauce in half and cook 2 steaks at a time.
When the barbeque sauce comes to a simmer, add 2 pork steaks to the skillet. Cook for 7 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate to rest for 3 minutes before serving.
Why are my pork steaks tough
The pork steaks need to be cooked to a minimum of 145°F. I recommend taking them off the heat around 165-175°F. The meat will actually be less chewy and will give the fat and connective tissue time to cook down.
How long does it take to cook pork steaks on the stove
Stovetop pork steaks take less than 30 minutes to make. This is a great make-ahead meal for busy weeknights.
Store any leftover steaks in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
These can also be stored in a freezer for 2-3 months.
Allow it to thaw completely before reheating in the oven.
More Favorite Recipes:
- Make-ahead fajitas
- Venison steak (or elk steak)
- Smothered round steak
- Slow-cooked round steak
- Pork belly burnt ends
- 4 bone-in pork steaks ¾" thick.
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic and onion powder
- ¼ tsp paprika and pepper
- ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
- ½ cup of ketchup
- ⅛ cup of honey
- 1 tbsp of mustard
- Combine the dried seasonings in a small ramekin and coat the steaks well on both sides. Set aside.
- Stir together bbq sauce ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Pour half of the bbq sauce into a 12" cast iron skillet on medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often.
- Add 2 steaks cooking for 7 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate, add the remainder of the sauce, then cook the last 2 steaks.
- Drizzle with extra bbq sauce and enjoy!
Pork must be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F. I recommend pulling the meat off the heat between 165-175°F.