Unfamiliar with ham steak and how to cook it? It’s a delicious and easy dish that only takes about 10 minutes!
Learn how to cook ham steak with an amazing sweet glaze. This brown sugar ham steak recipe only takes a handful of ingredients and is ready to eat in no time. First, let’s make sure we’re talking about the same kind of ham.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
Video: Glazed Ham Steak
What Is Ham Steak?
A ham steak is a great cut of pork for when you are wanting ham, but don’t want to cook a whole ham roast. It’s a thick slice, usually about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick, from the center of the pork leg. So while it’s much bigger than a slice of ham from the deli, it’s still in great sized portions for an easy dinner.
They range in size, with some that are individually portioned or an 8 ounce piece, which is great for 2 people to share or for 1 big eater. Other ham steaks are quite a bit larger, around 1-1.3 pounds and serve 4 people. So you’d cut the large steak into 4 portions.
They can be either boneless or bone-in. If bone-in, there’s just a small round slice of bone somewhere near the middle of the steak. That doesn’t change how you cook it though so that doesn’t matter too much.
They make for a wonderful quick dinner because the ham itself is fully-cooked. You could eat it straight out of the package (double-check that it says it’s fully-cooked first though). But, it’s better to heat it up in some way, often with a glaze. Ham steak is often served for dinner with something sweet, like pineapple. It can also be the ham for ham and eggs for breakfast, or you can use it to make a great brunch dish like with this Ham Steak Egg-in-a-Hole recipe.
What Kind Of Ham Can I Use?
You can purchase actual ham steaks at many stores, which are the most obvious choice for a ham steak recipe. That’s the kind of thing you’ll get if you’re shopping specifically for making this recipe. The packaging will say “ham steak” right on it.
But more often, I use leftover baked ham for these ham steaks, whether you have a boneless ham or a spiral honey cut ham, you can use slices from that to make this. It’s a wonderful use for those leftovers.
You can use any kind of ham for this really. The only important thing is to make sure that it’s sliced at least 1/4 inch thick. And, it’s best to choose a ham that has the rind or skin on it. The kind that is sometimes referred to as cooked ham and doesn’t have that rind is too watery for this recipe. So, one option is to have a look at the hams in your grocery stores deli counter and find one with nice rind. Then ask them to cut thick slices for you, at least 1/4 inch thick, but 1/2 inch is ideal, and you can use that.
How To Cook Ham Steak
Ham Steak is quick-cooking because technically it’s fully-cooked already, so it’s a great option for quick dinners. You can see now why it’s such a great idea when you want some ham but don’t want to do a whole big baked ham. Be cautious though, it can be dry if overcooked so you’re really mostly just heating it through and browning it a little on the outside.
Because ham steak is a bit salty, it’s usually cooked with some sweetness to counter that. We’re doing that by forming a brown sugar glaze on the ham, which is quite traditional. But you can add any kind of sweetness at that stage of the recipe, from honey to molasses to even a nice apricot jam or maple syrup. Or you can skip the sweet and just brown the ham steak with butter and any other flavors you’d like. You could, in that case, serve something sweet on the side instead.
Ham steak is also often served with pineapple, and so optionally for this recipe, after you’ve cooked and glazed the ham, you remove it from the skillet and then add chopped pineapple, which picks up some of that glaze as it heats through.
The easiest way to cook it is to heat some butter in a non-stick skillet. Then add the ham steak. Let it brown underneath for a few minutes. Then sprinkle the top with a mixture containing brown sugar or your other sweet ingredients, including other seasonings like garlic powder, pepper, chili powder, cayenne, or anything else you’d like. Flip the ham steaks over so that the sweet topping is not in the butter, where it will form a glaze. Let the ham cook like that for a couple of minutes, and then flip it over to coat the other side. That’s pretty much it. Glazed ham steak is ready for dinner!
More Great Ham Recipes
Want more recipes with fantastic ham flavor? Try one of these and let me know what you think in the comments.
- Green Pea Soup with Ham
- Cheesy Ham and Mushroom Risotto
- Ham Breakfast Sliders
- Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Monte Cristo Brunch Casserole
Podcast Episode About Making Ham Steaks
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make these ham steaks, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:
- 1 (18 oz.) ham steak
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup chopped pineapple (optional)
- Cut the ham steak into 4 portions. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium heat until it’s foamy. Swirl it around and then add the ham steaks in a single layer.
- Cook ham steaks until browned underneath, 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle tops with all of the brown sugar mixture and then flip them over. Move them around in the pan a bit to let the sugar mix with the butter.
- Cook ham until browned underneath, 2-3 minutes. Flip ham over to coat the other side in the glaze and then remove the ham from the skillet.
- Immediately add the pineapple, if using. Stir to coat in the remaining sugar syrup the cook just to heat it through.
- Remove from skillet and serve the glazed ham topped with sweet pineapple.
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