Beckford soon fired over the bar again in a scrappy start for both sides.
Dale Jennings really should have scored for Barnsley soon afterwards, but he put the ball over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
Steele then had to produce a point blank save to deny the dangerous Beckford yet again.
Beckford eventually found a way through Barnsley's defence before the break when he took the ball around Steele and tapped in.
After the restart, Andre Moritz had a good effort blocked by Steele before Beckford curled wide.
Ryan McLaughlin soon came agonisingly close to equalising for the Tykes, but he could not quite latch onto Jennings's good ball into the box.
Adam Bogdan then tipped Jennings long range effort past the post as he preserved Bolton's lead.
Barnsley were eventually awarded a penalty in a dramatic finish after McLaughlin was fouled in the box.
O'Grady stepped up but he could only slam his spot kick onto the post, meaning Bolton came away with all three points.