Episode 401: Raichlen Grills St. Louis

Saint Louis-Style Pork Steaks

Saint Louis Stytle Pork Steaks

Other Recipes from Episode 401: Raichlen Grills St. Louis

Recipe courtesy of Pappy’s Smokehouse, St. Louis, Missouri


Saint Louis-Style Pork Steaks

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 generously
  • Method: Indirect grilling/direct grilling


For the rub:

  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt (sea or kosher)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mild curry powder

  • 2 pork bone-in pork shoulder (blade steaks), each about 1 1/2 pounds and at least 1-inch thick

You’ll also need:

  • Apple wood chips; rimmed sheet pan and wire rack

Recipe Steps

1: Make the rub: Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl and whisk or mix with your fingers to eliminate any lumps. Set aside.

2: Make the barbecue sauce: Measure the spices, from the salt to the curry powder, into a bowl and set aside. Place the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and apple juice in a large saucepan over medium-high heat on your stovetop or your grill’s side burner. Whisk the mixture well, or use an immersion blender. Add the spice mixture, half the brown sugar, and the granulated sugar; stir vigorously (or use the blender) to mix. Add the remaining brown sugar and stir or blend until the brown sugar is completely incorporated. Continue to cook the sauce until it has thickened and is highly seasoned, stirring or whisking often to prevent it from scorching. Set aside.

3: In the meantime, set up your grill or smoker for indirect grilling and heat to 250 degrees.

4: When ready to cook, brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well with vegetable oil. Add apple wood chips to each pile of coals. (If using a gas grill, place the chips in the grill’s smoker box.)

5: Arrange a wire rack over a rimmed sheet pan and place the shoulder steaks on the rack. Season each side generously with the rub. (Store the remaining rub in a covered container away from heat and light. It will keep for up to 6 months.)

6: Place the steaks on the grill grate. Smoke-roast the meat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until tender. (Wash the wire rack and rimmed sheet pan; you’ll need them again.) Transfer the pork steaks to the wire rack and brush on both sides with the barbecue sauce. Increase the heat of your grill or smoker to medium-high.

7: Return the steaks to the grill and grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side to “tighten” the barbecue sauce. Do not let the sauce scorch. Transfer the steaks to a platter or plates and carve as desired. Serve with additional barbecue sauce on the side.

Recipe Tips

Our thanks to the sponsors of Project Fire Season 4:

Crowd Cow
Kalamazoo Grill Nomad Grill
Start N Grill Workman Publishing

Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2022 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein