Firecracker Pork Steaks

Looking for something to spice up your next BBQ? These pork steaks will do the trick. Pork steaks are cut from a bone in shoulder and are a regional specialty in Kentucky and St. Louis. In Kentucky they take it up a notch by adding a buttery vinegar based pepper sauce. These steaks are traditionally grilled but I prefer to use my smoker to do a reverse sear. I take them up to about 120 degrees and then finish them over the fire. Done this way they are fork tender.

Firecracker Pork Steaks



  • Pork butt cut into 1/2″ steaks
  • 4 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp of cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • The Salt Lick Garlic Dry rub from BBQ Pit Stop

Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees. Combine the vinegar, butter, ground pepper, Kosher salt, sugar and cayenne pepper in a pot. Bring to a slow boil until the butter melts and sugar dissolves. Turn down to a low temperature and simmer.

Ready to cook the vinegar pepper sauce

Season both sides of the pork steaks with the dry garlic rub from The Salt Lick. I get the pork steaks cut at my local butcher since I don’t have the setup for cutting a bone in pork butt into 1/2″ steaks.

Pork steaks seasoned and ready for the smoker


Place the pork steaks into your preheated smoker. Smoke them until they reach an internal temp of about 140. If you use 1/2″ steaks this will take between 45-60 minutes. Part way through basted them with the warm vinegar pepper sauce. Set the remaining sauce aside and bring to a slow boil again. Turn temp down and keep warm.

Baste with the vinegar pepper sauce


When they’ve reached about 140 degrees it’s time to finish them over a fire. Each side only needs about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. I just use the firebox grate on my Good One Marshall smoker.

Finish over a hot fire


As a final step dip each steak in the vinegar pepper sauce.

Dipping the steaks to bring the heat

Serve immediately with the remaining sauce on the side. These will be almost fork tender with amazing flavor and heat to spare!

Server immediately with sauce on the side

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