A few years back, we processed our own pigs for our freezer for the first time. I was torn on if I wanted to keep the hams whole, or slice into ham steaks. I chose the latter and boy was I glad. Not that we wouldn’t enjoy the whole ham, I just felt like for our family, we would get more use and less waste out of these beautiful ham steaks.
Ham steaks are essentially slices of ham that have been cut from a larger ham and can be grilled to perfection in just a few minutes. Grilling ham steaks is a simple and easy way to create a delicious meal that can be enjoyed any time of the year. In this article, we will go over the steps for grilling ham steaks, as well as some tips and tricks to make sure that your ham steaks are juicy, flavorful, and cooked to perfection.
For ham steaks , I recommend charcoal to cook over for the smokey flavor that is hard to beat. For choosing a wood to smoke with, go read this article on how to choose a smoking wood.
How to Grill Ham Steaks
Step 1: Selecting the Right Ham Steak
The first step to grilling ham steaks is selecting the right cut of meat. When selecting a ham steak, look for a cut that is at least 1/2 inch thick, with a nice marbling of fat. The fat helps to keep the ham steak moist and adds flavor during the grilling process. You can choose a bone-in or boneless ham steak, depending on your preference.
Step 2: Preparing the Ham Steak
Before grilling, you need to prepare the ham steak. If you have a bone-in ham steak, make sure to score the fat around the edge of the steak to prevent it from curling during cooking. You can also trim any excess fat, but leave enough to keep the meat juicy. If you have a boneless ham steak, there is no need to score the fat.
Step 3: Seasoning the Ham Steak
To add flavor to the ham steak, you can season it with your favorite spices or marinade. A simple combination of salt, pepper, and garlic powder works well, but you can also experiment with other seasonings like paprika, cumin, or chili powder. If you have more time, you can marinate the ham steak for a few hours before grilling to infuse more flavor into the meat. I always like to season my meat while my grill is warming up. This allows me to get a good amount of time for the salt to draw out moisture, which let’s the flavors penetrate better.
Step 4: Grilling the Ham Steak
Now it’s time to grill the ham steak. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and brush the grates with oil to prevent sticking. Place the ham steak on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature and avoid overcooking the ham steak.
If you prefer, you can also do a reverse sear on these ham steaks. Simply smoke the ham steak for about an hr at a low temp, 200 or so. After that hour, set your grill to a higher temp and finish off with a sear on each side of the steak until you hit 140 internally. As always, I use an instant read thermometer like this one for accurate temperatures.
Step 5: Resting and Serving the Ham Steak
Once the ham steak is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute and ensures that the ham steak remains juicy and tender. You can serve the ham steak with your favorite sides, such as grilled vegetables, baked beans, or mashed potatoes.
Tips For Grilled Ham Steaks
To prevent the ham steak from sticking to the grill, brush the grates with oil and make sure that they are hot before placing the meat on the grill.
Don’t overcook the ham steak, as it can become tough and dry. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and remove the ham steak from the grill when it reaches 140°F.
You can baste the ham steak with a glaze or sauce during the last few minutes of cooking to add flavor and moisture.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can use the leftover ham steak in sandwiches, salads, or omelets for a quick and easy meal.
3 Side Options to Go With Grilled Ham Steaks
Grilled ham steaks are a delicious and hearty meal that pairs well with a variety of sides. Here are three ideas for sides to go with grilled ham steaks:
Grilled Pineapple: Grilled pineapple is a perfect complement to the salty and savory flavors of ham. Simply slice fresh pineapple into rounds and grill until lightly caramelized. Serve alongside the ham steak for a sweet and juicy contrast.
Baked Sweet Potato: Baked sweet potato is a healthy and filling side dish that complements the rich flavors of the ham steak. Simply bake the sweet potatoes until tender, then serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.
Creamed Spinach: Creamed spinach is a classic steakhouse side dish that pairs well with grilled ham steaks. Simply sauté fresh spinach with garlic and butter, then stir in heavy cream and parmesan cheese. The result is a creamy and decadent side dish that perfectly balances the salty ham.
For more options that can be done on the grill, check out this article on grilled side dishes
So a happy experiment with our pigs we processed, ham steaks. Next time your at the store, give these often overlooked cuts of meat a chance, and grill up some simple and amazing ham steaks !