St. Louis Pork Steaks (via

Having been partially raised in Columbia, Missouri I thought it high time that I feature a great grilled staple of the region -- pork steaks. St. Louis pork steaks are "steaks" that are cut from a pork butt. They are typically seared over a hot charcoal fire and then braised in a mixture of beer and barbecue sauce. How can you possibly go wrong with that?

These are really simple, but the results are spectacular. I use a basic "Dalmation" (salt and pepper) seasoning with a little garlic. I'd urge those of you that are barbecue masters to resist the urge to over-complicate things by adding a bunch of extra ingredients.

You want steaks that are cut at least an inch thick, but I prefer 1 1/4". If you can't find them in the case at your local store (they're typically labeled as "blade steaks"), just ask the butcher to cut some from a pork butt.

OK, let's get this show on the road.

4 large Pork steaks, 1 1/4" thick
3 Tbs Kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbs Black pepper, ground fresh
2 tsp Granulated garlic (not "powdered")
16 oz Beer (I used Bud Light)
18 oz Your favorite barbecue sauce (I used KC Masterpiece Sweet & Tangy)

Note: You’ll also need two 9×13 disposable aluminum roaster pans.

Combine the salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl and mix well.

St. Louis Pork Steaks (via

Season both sides of each steak liberally with the seasoning, then place them in zip-top bags and refrigerate at least three hours, or overnight.

St. Louis Pork Steaks (via

Start your grill and prepare for direct cooking over high heat (450-500º). Sear the steaks on each side.

St. Louis Pork Steaks (via

St. Louis Pork Steaks (via

While the steaks are searing, combine the beer and barbecue sauce in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Put the steaks in a single layer into the disposable aluminum pans and cover them with the beer mixture, putting half of the beer and barbecue sauce mixture into each pan.

St. Louis Pork Steaks (via

St. Louis Pork Steaks (via

Cover the pans tightly with foil.

Move your coals to one side of the grill for indirect cooking. Put the pans on the side of the grill opposite the coals and cook, indirect, for 90 minutes.

Note: Add charcoal as needed to keep the temperature at about 350º throughout the rest of the cooking time.

Remove the steaks from the pans and quickly sear them over direct heat (about 2 minutes per side). Remove to a platter and let rest for about five minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

St. Louis Pork Steaks (via

Makes about 6 servings

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Anonymous Kevin H. said...
John - this is excellent!! I've been reading your site for a long time and love it. I did NOT know you were from Missouri! I'm in St. Louis - so I took particular interest in this recipe. You haven't lost your Missouri touch, these look outstanding.
I've done 2 pork steak recipes, check them out:
We need to connect and share sometime soon!
Blogger Mimi G said...
My favorite meat cooked out,and this pork steak looks fantastic!!! You are so right when you say keep it simple! Thanks for a great looking recipe.
Going to have to cook some for my husband...we love pork steaks...I am with you on keeping it simple!!
I've never ever grilled a pork steak. And the bbq and beer combo is a must try. Thanks for this post. I like KC Sweet and Tangy also. I think it's the first BBQ sauce I connected with as a favorite. Haven't bought it in years.
Blogger Chris said...
Hey, there's my pal Lea Ann! (waving)

This is one I have seen many times but have never made it myself. I don't think I've ever even SEEN pork steaks at the meat counter around here.

But you have my curiosity up and I know my butcher would cut them for me. Great post, JD.
Blogger John Dawson said...
Thanks, Chris. The butchers at our local store were happy to whack a pork butt into steaks. Give it a shot at tell me what you think.
Blogger Mel Jensen said...
I love pork steaks. I get a butt de-bone it and cut the steaks myself all the time!! Good eatin for sure.
Blogger Kari Lindsay said...
I've actually only grilled the thin pork steaks. These St. Louis pork steaks so moist and delicious, I'm gonna have to try this for sure!
Anonymous dnote said...
Me and a buddy made these this past weekend with outstanding results. Neither of us had ever heard of or thought of doing pork steaks, but we are thrilled your blog turned us on to them. These will be made again. Thanks!!
Blogger John Dawson said...
dnote - I'm glad that you enjoyed the steaks.
Anonymous Charity said...
I'm from St. Louis as well & this recipe is spot on! If you can find Sticky Pig BBQ sauce (made in Centralia, MO) you cannot go wrong! I believe it can be ordered online. It's amazing!
Blogger Keith Lilletun said...
I live in Portland, Or. and I'm a BBQ NUT :) Low & Slow not grilling! I know in the Pacific North west? "YES" A good friend has a BBQ restaurant and the wife and I will be bringing this to his restaurant for a after hours diner and drinks and I bet it will make on to the menu as a special. It's Fantastic
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm a butcher at Metro grocery store in Richmond Hill Ontario and we cut butt chops as thick or thin as you want them everyday,, theese chops are our favourite and am bbq'ing some tonight,,now you know where you can get them cut fresh all the time ♥all metros meat is cut everday :-D
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I made these and I would gave to say letting them sit over night was to much. It made them too salty. I am going to do it again tomorrow, but I will use less salt and let them sit in fridge for 4 hours only. But thanks for the recipe.
Blogger John Dawson said...
Anonymous Thanks for the feedback. You could still dry brine them overnight, just use less rub, or less salt in the rub.
Blogger ice cream goddess said...
Making my homemade bbq right now. We have lots of pork steaks from our Mennonite butcher. Gonna give this a go. Sounds wonderful. I always like new things.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey hey.. were chicago Bears fans and my brother and I have a tradition of making famous food from the city of the opposing team every sunday.. so since this week chicago plays st. Louis and we chose the pork steaks.. good choice or can you think of the another famous st louis food .. but my question is if we do the pork steaks.. what would traditionally go along with it on the side??
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hadn't had pork steaks since my college buddies used to make 'em on football Saturdays when I attended Mizzou in the early 90s, and my friends here in South Texas had never even heard of them. Followed your super simple recipe to the letter, and they were a HUGE hit. Brought back some great memories. I won't wait another 20 years before I have them again.
Blogger John Dawson said...
Anonymous - Mizzou?! I grew up in Columbia, graduated from Hickman High (class of '85), and spent time tailgating at the Mizzou stadium. I'm so glad that I could help bring back some fond memories.
Blogger James Martin said...
Ahhh... gotta love those cutie dolls. I am making these as I type. Love this recipe. I am in St Louis but when I went to mizzou, I life guarded at hickman. I'll definitely be following your site from now on.
Blogger John Dawson said...
James - Thanks for stopping by. Please let me know how the steaks work for you.
Blogger James Martin said...
They were awesome... so tender u don't need a knife...
Blogger John Dawson said...
James - I'm really glad that you enjoyed them. I loves me some happy eaters. ;-)
Blogger Mo2ca said...
All's swell that Mauls well. i prefer the local Mauls BBQ sauce, Original and a little hickory wood smoke in the fire. This is the classic method of Grilling [SEARING} and braising Port a beer sauce. Now add some slaw, hot German potato salad, some baked beans with molasses mustard and onion and corn on the cob and dig in. Love it!
Blogger halcyon23 said...
Stumbled across your website whilst looking for recipes for a late September BBQ on the beach here in Whitstable, Kent, England. It was a hit with everyone, great recipe. Never thought to use beer in a marinade before..! Will do from now on. Looking forward to trying your other recipes. Cheers from your Carnivore Cousins from across the pond..
Anonymous Anonymous said...
This turned out fantastic- grilled on the gas grill for like 8 minutes each side around 450/500 degrees, then into the oven at 350 degrees for 90 minutes, covered in the beer/bbq sauce stuff, foil tightly covered as well. came out soooo tender. This was amazing. Thanks!
Blogger John Dawson said...
Anonymous - I'm very glad that you enjoyed them. Thanks for your very kind comment.
Anonymous D Byington said...
I live in St . Louis and we have been making Pork Steaks since the begining of time.So when my son was in L. A. he was suprised that he couldnt find them at any Grocery Store. So he told the butcher what he wanted and the butcher said he never heard of a Pork Steak but was happy to cut a butt roast for my son. The next week a sign in the meat dept said New Item Pork Steaks. Butcher said they were selling like hotcakes.
Blogger John Dawson said...
D - That's a cool story. Thanks for passing it along.
Anonymous Pat D said...
Going to try your recipe. It differs from how I normally make them, but it sounds like they will certainly be moist. Cooking 16 of them for a birthday party this weekend.
Blogger Porthios said...
Made these today! Holy cow these where great!
Blogger John Dawson said...
Porthios - Thanks, I'm really glad that you enjoyed the recipe, and I thank you for your kind words.

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