Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-BowenAbout Pork Steaks. Normally they are slices of Pork Butt (bone-in). If you slice the butt into about half-inch thick slices you get steaks.Price currently runs about $1.00 or so a pound.
Al is correct (as always) in his description but I was looking for a poster to go one step further. Pork Steaks are not just cut or sliced but rather cut with a meat saw. I say this because most pork steaks are served with the bone in and in fact in some parts of the country they are called country ribs. Now this is not to say that you can’t find Pork Steaks that are boneless because boneless pork butts are now available across the country. But either way the butcher just runs and entire pork butt through a meat saw and slices them into ½ or ¾ inch steaks. But I have to add if you put a dry rub on them and throw them into the smoker or use any indirect heat method there should never be a problem with grease. They’re just like smoking a pork butt if you cook them correctly they will maintain their great taste, have a nice smoke ring, and the fat will just melt away.
Here is a section of my HACCP, or hazard analysis critical control point report I wrote for our county health department. I’m as time permits doing a complete re-write but that said, as is it’s pretty good. The entire HACCP is on my web page and your welcome to read, copy, or use in any way you choose if you go to www.DrofBBQ.com.
Remember the process is designed to ensure the production of a safe product, and yet a tender juicy product. Redness or pinkness in pork, beef and poultry can come from nitrites. Nitrites enter the meat through such environmental sources as the animals food and water supply and the water used for washing prior to processing and as a preservative (such as a brine) during processing. Nitrites produce the color we associate with cured meats such as ham and bologna.
Why isn’t my pork shoulder, country ribs, or pork steaks tender? It’s the collagen. Collagen is a long, stiff protein that is the most prevalent protein in mammals. It's made up of three separate molecules composed of amino acid chains, twisted around each other, like the fibers are twisted around each other to form a rope. This structure is what makes the collagen so strong; this strength is also what makes it more difficult to break down. The more collagen there is in a piece of meat, the tougher it is to cut and to chew. For cuts that are high in collagen, cooking methods that use slow, moist heat, such as smoking, are the best. Collagen is soluble in water and when it is cooked slowly with moist heat, it becomes gelatin. Weight-bearing muscles and muscles that are constantly used contain higher amounts of collagen than muscles that aren't used for support or aren't used as frequently.
You can also make collagen less tough by slicing up meat into smaller pieces, which makes the fibers smaller and easier to break apart. This is why some BBQ companies chop their pork shoulders or brisket. They are unwilling to cook it long enough to complete the process. They don't want the shrinkage from the extended cook time, and so they remove the meat from the smoker early and have to chop it inorder to get it tender. Jack@DrofBBQ.com