St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks

Posted on Jun 20, 2018

St. Louis BBQ pork steaks, a regional specialty ~ doused in BBQ sauce and slow cooked on the grill until tender.

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks in an enamel pan for serving

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks

I’ve moved around quite a bit since college, staying mostly in the Midwest.  Always takes some getting used to new digs, and there’s always new food to try that’s unique to the city or region.  Fifteen years ago, we moved to St. Louis where Provel cheese, toasted ravioli and paper-thin crust pizza are mainstays.  But guys, pork steaks are King and rule the land.  I had never seen or heard of them before we moved to St. Louis.

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks in a pan with sauce for serving.

What is this St. Louis pork steak I speak of?  It’s a blade steak cut from a pork butt.  The kind of pork cut you slow-cook for hours.  Pork steaks are cheap and ALWAYS on sale in the grocery stores here in St. Louis.  And, yes, these steaks are tough ~ you cannot just throw them on the grill, they will be inedible.  Trust me, I learned the hard way the first time I made them.

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steak sauce ingredients and raw pork steaks.

A properly cooked St. Louis pork steak is a little chewy but tender, and doused in BBQ sauce, usually something local, like Maull’s. My first attempt was awful and I honestly didn’t understand the appeal of a pork steak.  But then a neighbor told me to cook them in the oven in barbecue sauce until tender, then finish off on the grill.  So I tried it that way, so much better.

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks overhead shot in pan with sauce.

I have several St. Louis-style pork steak recipes clipped out from newspapers and magazines.  My favorite is the one from Cook’s Country magazine that was published in our local newspaper.  It’s all done on the grill and it’s easy.  Make a tasty BBQ sauce with beer, brown the pork steaks, pour the sauce over the steaks in a big disposable pan, cover and cook for about an hour and a half.  Pretty darn easy and delicious!

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks collage of five step by step photos

Nope, I never saw a pork steak in Chicago, Minnesota, Iowa or Ohio.  But BBQ pork steaks are practically on every street corner pop-up BBQ stand in St. Louis during the summer, and on many a backyard grill for the summer holidays.  It’s just what we do in St. Louis ~ Kelly

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks close up shot in serving pan.

You might also want to try my St. Louis-style BBQ Ribs.

If you try these BBQ Pork Steaks or any other recipe on the blog, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how yours turned out in the comments below ~ I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of what I’m cooking in my kitchen and recipes.

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks in an enamel pan for serving

St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks

St. Louis-style pork steaks cooked in BBQ sauce until tender, all in one pan on the grill.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner/grilling
Cuisine: American/Midwest
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8
Calories: 517kcal
Author: Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird


  • cups ketchup
  • 2 cups light-bodied American beer
  • ¼ cup steak sauce, like A.1.
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, like Frank's
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 6-8 pork steaks (mine were huge, I cut in half for 6 steaks)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat grill. For gas, turn all burners on high for 15 minutes.  For charcoal, make sure you to use enough charcoal to cover the circumference of the grill.
  • Make the sauce.  Whisk together the first 9 ingredients in a large bowl.  Transfer BBQ sauce to a large, disposable aluminum pan and set aside.
  • Season the pork steaks to taste with black pepper and grill until well-browned, 6 or 7 minutes a side.  Transfer the steaks to the pan with the sauce and turn to coat.  Cover the pan with foil and place back on the grill.  Turn the burners down to low and cook for about 90 minutes until tender.  Check after about an hour to see if the sauce looks too thick or dry; if so, add a little water.
  • Carefully remove the pan from grill.  Remove steaks to serving platter or pan.  Skim any excess fat from sauce and spoon over steaks or serve on the side.


  • The pork steaks I bought were huge (from Costco, natch!) so I cut three in half for 6 steaks.  Use your judgement, I don't think they're this big outside of St. Louis.
  • You can turn the grill back up to high and finish off the steaks, just grill a few minutes a side until lightly charred around the edges.  I don't think it's necessary, but you're the boss.
  • You can easily adapt this to the oven by browning the steaks on the stovetop or grill, placing them in a roasting pan with the sauce, and then into the oven, covered, for a couple of hours.
  • I'm not a beer person, so I deferred to my husband.  He chose a local beer, Schlafly.  Appropriately good call.
  • Adapted from St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Cook's Country Magazine 
Keyword: St. Louis pork steaks, BBQ pork steaks, how to cook pork steaks
Did you make this recipe? Rate it below and share on Instagram so I can see!Mention @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird !





5 thoughts

  1. Avatar


    June 25, 2018

    These are a few of my favorite things…


  2. Avatar

    I live in Detroit, MI…my mom cooks pork steak, not her favorite meat. Pork steak takes a lot of seasoning…but if done right a nice piece of meat. Will try soon…will ck back when I do


  3. Avatar

    Joe Lisalda

    June 20, 2019

    Can’t find this cut anywhere else is what I always hear from people. Too bad for them. Love them alot.


  4. Avatar

    Christopher Greco

    June 29, 2019

    Iowa boy here, Iowa is king of pork! Pork steak might not be on very many menus but we do eat a lot of it. My mom and grandma fry it coated with Fry Magic in the electric skillet and when it’s done add a can or two of drained Hominy till it gets kinda crispy. Best pork steak ever.


  5. Avatar

    Fran Turner

    July 23, 2019

    I’m a native St. Louisian, and have had pork steaks many, many times back in the ’60s and ’70’s, we moved to Illinois and mindlessly forgot about them. Last week I saw them in the grocery store with with Southern (Virginia) husband and ask him if he had ever eaten a pork steak. He looked very confused as he had never heard of them. I bought them then sought out a good recipe that didn’t involve long hours at the bbq pit. I tried your stove top recipe and finished them off on the grill…..I actually cooked them the day before. They were fantastic. My husband couldn’t believe he’s been missing out on these all these years. Great, GREAT recipe.
    Thanks! Fran