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Pan-fried pork steaks topped with crispy sliced garlic plated on a bed of leafy greens

Is Pork Steak the Cheaper Alternative to Pork Chops?

If meat is an integral part of your diet, then you know that not all cuts are created equal. For pork, cuts like chops and tenderloin are more challenging to source due to their lower butcher's yield, so they often come with a hefty price tag. On the other hand, pork steak tends to be more affordable since there’s more to go around.

Pork steak may be a cheaper alternative, but it does not mean its quality is less. This cut can often be juicier and more flavorful than its pricier counterparts, which is good news for a home cook on a budget. Curiosity piqued? Here's a guide to this budget-friendly pork cut, the best ways to prepare and cook it, and the recipes you need to try to make it a headliner.

What is Pork Steak? 

It’s a thinly sliced cut of meat taken from the pork shoulder blade, sometimes referred to as “Boston butt” or “pork blade steak.” According to MasterClass, “[The shoulder muscle] isn't as heavily used by the pig so it has a higher fat content with good marbling.” Because of this, this specific cut of pork is much easier to work with than leaner cuts. It’s harder to overcook and doesn’t dry out easily, so it’s a good option if you’re still figuring out your way around the kitchen.

How is It Different from Pork Chops?

Grilled bone-in pork chops with a side of potatoes and broccoli

Though steaks and chops may be used interchangeably in some recipes, these two cuts bring different things to the table. The former is inherently fatty and succulent because it’s taken from the shoulder. Meanwhile, the latter tends to be leaner with a milder flavor profile, since it comes from the pig’s loin. These qualities might make chops more appealing if you’re looking to eat healthier or consume more protein over fat.

But since pork chops have less fat, they also require more cooking know-how to perfect. This includes ensuring they’re cooked at just the right temperature to knowing when to take them off the heat to prevent overcooking.

As previously mentioned, steaks are often cheaper than chops on average, which makes a big difference when planning meals for the whole family. Overall, considering its quality, versatility, and how simple it is to prepare, this cut of pork offers more bang for your buck.

How to Cook Pork Steak

Chopped pork ribs being massaged in a marinade of dark sauce, onions, and peppercorns

This pork cut may start a bit tough, but it can become tender by following proper cooking methods. Here are a few prep and cooking tips to make the most of your steak.


Marinating your meat is a fool-proof way to give it lots of flavor while tenderizing it. To start, make a marinade out of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and smashed garlic, then let your steak soak in it. If you’re short on time, no problem: even 30 minutes of marinating can go a long way in breaking down its tough connective tissues. After that, it should be extra juicy and fork-tender.

Slow cook

Since this cut of pork tastes best when simmered over low heat for a long time, it’s no surprise that slow cooking is one of the most popular ways to prepare it. It’s also one of the easiest. Pat your steaks dry, rub them with your desired seasoning blend, and they’re ready to go into a pot or slow cooker. Pro-tip: Skip the salt in your dry rub and add crumbled Knorr Pork Broth Cubes instead for extra linamnam.


If you want your steak ready in minutes, go for pan-frying. It’s recommended for this cut for a reason: it’s fast, simple, and creates a delicious crust. Depending on the thickness of your steak, it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to cook on medium heat. Just marinate, use enough oil, season generously, and keep an eye on it as it cooks.


For a healthier option, cook your steak on a griller. Grilling over charcoal or firewood typically requires less oil than pan-frying, while also giving the meat a smoky barbecue flavor. Alternatively, you can opt for a stovetop grill pan for appetizing sear marks and less fat on the cooked meat, but this option won’t deliver the same smokiness.

Easy Pork Steak Recipes to Try

Pan-grilled pork steaks sliced and served on a wooden cutting board

Pan-grilled pork steak

If you’re interested in stovetop grilling, give this recipe a try. It calls for pork chops instead of steaks, but it should work for either cut. The key here is to marinate your steak in lots of herbs, spices, and Knorr Liquid Seasoning for that restaurant-level deliciousness.

Pork bistek

This recipe swaps out beef for pork in an otherwise traditional take on bistek. After marinating the meat in soy sauce and calamansi juice, cook it in a pan with garlic, water, and Knorr Pork Broth Cubes. Finish with lots of onions, cooked until soft and sweet.

Pork a la pobre

This dish is easy to make and requires very few ingredients. Cut your pork into smaller pieces, let them sit in a marinade for at least an hour, and carefully cook in a pan until each slice forms a brown crust. Prepare a sauce with margarine or butter and garlic before tossing everything together. 

Now that you know the ins and outs of pork steak, it's time to see what tasty dishes you can make with it at home. Remember: this cut of pork may be budget-friendly, but it’s no less satisfying. A definite winner! If you’re ever in doubt about what might work, just keep it simple—go for reliable pork steak ingredients like soy sauce and butter, and straightforward cooking techniques like pan-frying. Easy-peasy!

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