Are you craving something hearty and savory? Why not cut into a juicy, meaty pork steak? This cut of pork is firm and flavorful. It’s great for a family dinner or a dinner party.
This cut is popular because it’s affordable, trimmed with enough fat to make it flavorful, and versatile enough to be prepared in multiple ways. Let’s look at the characteristic of pork steak and reasons why you should make this cut the star of your dinner table.
Pork steak is a cut of meat that comes from the upper shoulder or neck area of a pig (sometimes known as the Boston butt.) Butchers sometimes give a pork steak other names, but pork steak is the most common term. It is a tougher cut of meat, but if cooked slowly it becomes tender and tasty.
How Are Pork Steaks And Pork Chops Different?
Pork steaks and pork chops come from the same animals, but they are different cuts of meat and therefore have different flavors and required cooking methods.
Understanding the differences will help you decide which cut is best for your needs. Here are some of the key differences:
Pork chops are a leaner cut of meat, so they cook quickly and tend to be tender and juicy. Pork steaks are tough and it takes longer for them to reach a tender texture because there is more collagen and fat that has to break down.
It’s best to cook pork chops low and slow to reach the recommended internal temperature that makes it safe to eat, which is 145 degrees.
Leaner cuts of meat are higher in demand, so they tend to be more expensive than fattier cuts. This means that, between pork steaks and pork chops, the chops are usually the more expensive cut. Pork steaks are more affordable because they are easier for the butcher to cut and have a higher fat content.
The price can vary depending on the butcher, store, or general area. The average cost of pork chops is $4.67 a pound while the average cost of pork steak is $4.50 a pound.
Pork chops are leaner cuts of meat, so they don’t have as much fat on them, Sometimes pork chops have no fat at all. This means they have a more mild flavor.
Pork steaks are cut with some fat still on them and also usually have fat marbled in the meat so it has more flavor and is a juicier cut.
Pork steak comes from the shoulder of the pig while pork chops come from the loin or back of the pig. Pork chops can also be bone-in or boneless, while pork steaks usually include the bone.
Are Pork Steaks Healthy?
Pork steaks are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. While many people, thanks to marketing slogans from the 80s, refer to pork as “the other white meat,” it is actually, technically red meat. And, according to most nutritionists, pork needs to be eaten in moderation along with other red meats. Pork steaks provide plenty of protein and have no carbohydrates.
Relative to white meat and even some cuts of red meat, pork steaks are high in fat. Most pork fat is high in Omega-6 acids and is a poor source of healthy Omega-3 acids.
The cooking method you choose for your pork steak also determines how healthy it is. A pork steak that is grilled with very little oil is much healthier than one that is fried in a pan of low-quality oil.
Where Can You Buy Pork Steaks?
You can find pork steaks in a variety of places. Most grocery stores have them precut and packaged on the shelves. If you are shopping at a store that has an onsite butcher, you may be able to request fresh-cut pork steaks.
You can also get pork steaks from a private butcher. If you know of a farmer who raises pigs for meat, you can arrange to buy certain cuts from them.
The farmer will take the pig to the slaughterhouse when it is ready to be processed and will have the butcher reserve the pork steaks and any other cuts of meat you request as soon as the pig is processed. This ensures the freshest pork steaks available.
How To Choose A Good Pork Steak?
The best way to ensure you get the tastiest and most flavorful pork steak is to choose the right one from the start. Your butcher can help you pick out a pork steak that is fresh and tasty, but there are also things you can look for that makes it easier to choose one yourself.
Pork steaks contain quite a bit of fat. The more marbled the steak, the more the fat is distributed throughout the meat.
When the pork steak is heated during the cooking process, the fat starts to melt and spreads through the meat. It enhances the meat with flavor and makes it juicy and tender. The more marbled a steak is, the more flavor it has.
Freshness matters for any kind of meat, and pork steaks are no exception. You can talk with the butcher you are purchasing your steak from to find out how fresh it is.
Don’t be afraid to ask when it was cut or packaged, or how fresh the meat was when the butcher received it. You can also ask to be notified when fresh pork becomes available so you can purchase it.
Pock steak should be dark pink or light red. This lets you know it has not been sitting long or exposed to oxygen for too long. The brighter the pork steak, the fresher it is. Avoid pork steaks that look gray or discolored.
What Is The Best Way To Cook A Pork Steak?
Pork steak can be cooked in a variety of ways. It’s very versatile and is great when baked, braised, smoked, fried, and grilled. The key to cooking a delicious and juicy pork steak is to cook it at a low temperature for a long time. It’s often stewed in barbecue sauce for a signature dish.
Slow cooking allows the fat, muscle, and connective muscle tissue to break down and make the meat more tender. It also helps distribute the fat throughout the meat, which helps make each bite more flavorful.
Grilling allows you to maintain a low temperature, develop a nice sear on the outside of the pork steak, and slowly bring it up to temperature. Adding a marinade before you cook the steak can also help you achieve the most tender meat and the best flavor.
When cooking your pork steak, check the temperature often. It needs to reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered safe. If you prefer your meat to be well done, you may want to cook it to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Avoid overcooking the steak, even if you are grilling it at a low temperature. Overcooking could cause the pork steak to dry out and lose all of its juice and flavor. This would make it harder to cut and tougher to chew.
Pork steaks are thick, hearty, and satisfying cuts of meat. If cooked right, they can be pull-apart tender and easy to chew, so many people prefer them over beef steaks. The cut is affordable and when prepared properly, it can be full of flavor.
There are many nutrients and vitamins in pork steaks that make it a healthy option, but it should be eaten in moderation as with all types of red meat.
Grilling steak is a favorite way to prepare it because it allows you to cook it low and slow to get the most flavor and tender texture.