Discover the simple steps to grilling ham steak perfectly for a delicious and flavorful meal in this easy-to-follow guide.
Are you tired of the same old boring ham recipes? Why not try grilling a delicious ham steak instead? Grilling adds a smoky flavor and caramelized crust that will take your ham to the next level. Don’t worry if you’re new to grilling, because in this article, we’ll walk you through step-by-step on how to grill the perfect ham steak.
So fire up your grill and get ready for a mouthwatering meal!
What Is a Ham Steak?
Before we dive into the grilling process, let’s first define what a ham steak is. A ham steak is simply a slice of pork taken from the hind leg of a pig.
It’s typically cut about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick and can be bone-in or boneless.
Ham steaks are often sold pre-cooked and smoked, which means they’re ready to eat straight out of the package. However, you can also find fresh ham steaks that require cooking before consumption.
When it comes to grilling, both types work well on the grill but may require different preparation methods depending on whether they’re cured or not.
Choosing the Right Ham Steak
You want a ham steak that is not too thin or too thick and has enough fat to keep it moist during cooking. Look for bone-in ham steaks as they tend to have more flavor than boneless ones.
If you’re unsure which type of ham steak to choose, ask your butcher for recommendations based on your preferences and budget. Some popular options include smoked, honey-glazed, maple-flavored or plain hams.
It’s also important to consider the size of the ham steak in relation to how many people you’ll be serving. A good rule of thumb is about 1/2 pound per person if serving as a main dish.
Are Ham Steaks Fresh or Cured?
The answer is that it depends on the type of ham steak you purchase. Some ham steaks are made from fresh pork and have not been cured, while others have undergone a curing process.
Cured ham steaks typically have a longer shelf life than their fresh counterparts and can be stored for several months in the refrigerator or freezer. They also tend to have a more intense flavor due to the curing process.
Fresh ham steaks, on the other hand, should be consumed within a few days of purchase and do not require any special storage considerations beyond refrigeration.
When selecting your ham steak at the grocery store or butcher shop, make sure to read labels carefully so that you know what type of product you’re getting.
Preparing the Grill
First, clean the grates with a wire brush to remove any debris or leftover food from previous use. Then, preheat the grill on high for 10-15 minutes until it reaches a temperature of around 400°F (204°C).
This will ensure that your ham steak cooks evenly and develops those beautiful grill marks.
If you’re using a gas grill, turn off one side of the burners after preheating so that you have both direct and indirect heat zones available. For charcoal grills, arrange hot coals on one side of the grate for direct heat cooking and leave an empty space on another part for indirect heating.
By preparing your grill correctly before cooking your ham steak, you’ll be able to achieve optimal results in terms of flavor and texture.
Marinating the Ham Steak
Before grilling, you can marinate the ham steak for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. A simple marinade of olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs like thyme or rosemary will do wonders for your ham steak.
To marinate your ham steak properly:
- Place it in a large resealable plastic bag.
- Add enough marinade to coat both sides of the meat.
- Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours).
- Turn occasionally so that all parts are evenly coated with marinade.
When ready to grill, remove from fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking on preheated grill as per instructions below.
Making a Glaze
It adds flavor and moisture to the meat, making it more tender and juicy. There are many different types of glazes you can make for your ham steak, from sweet to savory.
To make a basic sweet glaze, mix together brown sugar, honey or maple syrup with mustard or apple cider vinegar in a small bowl until well combined. You can also add other ingredients like garlic powder or soy sauce for extra flavor.
For those who prefer savory flavors over sweetness, try mixing Dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar and olive oil instead.
There are a few grilling techniques that you should keep in mind to ensure your ham steak turns out perfectly cooked and full of flavor.
Firstly, make sure the grill is preheated to medium-high heat before placing the ham on it. This will help create those beautiful grill marks and prevent sticking.
Next, use tongs instead of a fork when turning the meat over. Piercing with a fork can cause juices to escape resulting in dry meat.
It’s also important not to flip too often or move around too much while cooking because this can cause uneven cooking and loss of moisture.
Lastly, apply any glaze during the last 5-10 minutes of grilling time so that it has enough time to caramelize without burning or becoming overly sticky.
Ideal Cooking Temperature
The ideal cooking temperature for a ham steak is between 350°F and 375°F (175°C to 190°C). This will ensure that your meat cooks evenly without burning or drying out.
It’s also essential to use a meat thermometer when grilling your ham steak. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, making sure not to touch any bone or fat.
The internal temperature should reach at least 145°F (63°C) before removing from heat.
Cooking time may vary depending on factors such as thickness and grill type, so be sure to keep an eye on your ham while grilling and adjust accordingly.
Grilling time will vary depending on the thickness of your ham steak and how hot your grill is. As a general rule, plan for about 10-12 minutes of grilling time per inch of thickness.
To ensure even cooking, flip the ham steak halfway through grilling. Use tongs or a spatula to gently turn it over without piercing or tearing the meat.
It’s also essential to use a meat thermometer when grilling any type of pork product like ham steaks. The ideal internal temperature for cooked pork is 145°F (63°C).
Inserting an instant-read thermometer into thickest part should give you accurate results.
The key is not to flip too often or too soon. Ideally, you should only turn your ham steak once during cooking.
To achieve this, start by placing your ham on a hot grill with tongs and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes before attempting to move it. If you try turning the meat too early, it may stick or tear apart.
Once one side has cooked for several minutes and developed a nice crusty sear marks on its surface (usually after 5-6 minutes), use tongs again to gently lift up the edge of your ham from where there are no grill marks yet; if they’re still sticking then wait another minute before trying again.
Then carefully flip over using tongs onto an unmarked area of grates so that both sides can cook evenly without any burnt spots forming due uneven heat distribution caused by direct contact with flames underneath them while being grilled upside down – which could ruin all those delicious flavors we’ve worked hard creating!
Using a basting brush or spoon, generously coat both sides of the ham with your prepared glaze. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies for maximum flavor.
As you continue grilling, keep an eye on the temperature and adjust as needed. You don’t want to burn your glaze or overcook your ham steak.
If you’re using a sugary glaze like honey or maple syrup, be careful not to let it burn as this can create a bitter taste. To prevent burning, consider applying these types of sweeteners towards the end of cooking when there’s less risk of scorching.
Remember that applying too much sauce can also cause flare-ups on the grill which may result in uneven cooking and burnt spots on your meat. So use just enough sauce for flavor without causing any problems while grilling.
Checking for Doneness
The best way to do this is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the ham steak, making sure not to touch any bone or fat.
The internal temperature should read 145°F (63°C) for fully cooked and safe-to-eat pork.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, there are other ways to check if your ham steak is done cooking. One method is by cutting into the thickest part of the meat and checking if it’s no longer pink in color and has clear juices running out.
Remember that overcooking can result in dry and tough meat while undercooking can lead to foodborne illness from harmful bacteria like salmonella or E.coli present in raw pork products.
Resting the Ham
Resting allows the juices in the meat to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful final product.
To rest your ham steak, remove it from the grill and place it on a cutting board or platter. Tent loosely with foil or another heat-resistant material for about 5-10 minutes.
During this time, you can prepare any side dishes or finish up any last-minute tasks before serving. Once rested, slice against the grain of the meat for maximum tenderness.
Slicing and Serving Suggestions
The best way to slice a ham steak is against the grain, which will help keep the meat tender and juicy. Cut slices that are about 1/4 inch thick for easy serving.
Ham steaks can be served on their own as a main dish or paired with sides such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes or grilled corn on the cob. For an extra burst of flavor, drizzle some of your leftover glaze over the top before serving.
If you’re looking for something more creative than traditional side dishes, try pairing your ham steak with pineapple salsa or sweet potato fries. These unique combinations will add new dimensions of flavor to your meal.
When choosing sides, consider flavors that will complement the smoky and sweet taste of your grilled ham steak. Some classic options include roasted vegetables like asparagus or Brussels sprouts, creamy mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole, and fresh salads with tangy dressings.
If you’re looking for something more unique, try grilling some pineapple slices alongside your ham steak for a tropical twist. Or whip up some homemade cornbread muffins for a Southern-style feast.
What to Serve With Ham Steak
The good news is that ham steak pairs well with many different sides and complements a variety of flavors. For example, you can’t go wrong serving roasted vegetables like asparagus or Brussels sprouts alongside your grilled ham steak.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, consider making mashed potatoes or sweet potato fries.
Another classic pairing is macaroni and cheese – the creamy texture of the pasta goes perfectly with the smoky flavor of the grilled meat. You could also opt for lighter options such as green salads or fruit salad if you want something refreshing.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different sauces and dips to add some extra flavor to your meal. A tangy mustard sauce would be perfect for dipping bites of juicy ham into while barbecue sauce adds an extra layer of sweetness that will complement its smokiness.
Don’t worry; you can store them for later use. To keep the leftover ham steak fresh and safe to eat, it’s essential to store it correctly.
Firstly, let the cooked meat cool down before storing it in an airtight container or plastic wrap. You can also slice the remaining ham into smaller portions for easy storage.
Secondly, refrigerate any leftover within two hours of cooking at a temperature below 40°F (4°C). If stored properly in an airtight container or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and kept in the fridge at this temperature range, your grilled ham steak will last up to four days.
Lastly, if you want to extend its shelf life further than four days after grilling without compromising quality and taste too much – freeze! Wrap each portion tightly with aluminum foil or freezer paper before placing them inside resealable bags labeled with dates so that they don’t get lost among other frozen foods.
How to Store Leftover Ham Steak
Proper storage is essential to keep the meat fresh and safe for consumption. To store leftover ham steak, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container or resealable bag.
You can also use freezer-safe containers if you plan on freezing the leftovers.
If stored properly, leftover ham steak can last up to four days in the refrigerator or up to two months in the freezer. When reheating frozen ham steaks, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before heating them up on your grill again.
The good news is that reheating ham steak is easy and can be done in a variety of ways.
One way to reheat your leftover ham steak is by using the microwave. Simply place the slices on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a damp paper towel.
Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until heated through.
Another option is to use an oven or toaster oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the slices on an oven-safe dish or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
If you prefer not using appliances, then try reheating your ham steak in a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Add some butter or oil to prevent sticking, then cook each side for about two minutes until it’s hot all over.
Remember not to overcook when reheating as this will dry out your meat; aim only at heating it up enough without cooking further.
A 3-ounce serving of ham steak contains approximately 140 calories, 20 grams of protein, and only about five grams of fat. It’s also rich in essential nutrients such as iron and vitamin B12.
However, it’s important to note that some ham steaks may contain high levels of sodium due to the curing process. If you’re watching your sodium intake or have high blood pressure concerns, be sure to check the label before purchasing.
Overall though when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet with plenty fruits and vegetables on the side; grilled ham steak can make for an excellent addition to any meal plan!
Can a ham be cooked on a grill?
Yes, a ham can be cooked on a grill by placing it in the center of the grate above a water pan, maintaining a temperature of 325°F, and grill-roasting for about 15 minutes per pound.
How do you keep a ham moist on the grill?
To keep a ham moist on the grill, place the cut-side down on aluminum foil over indirect heat, which aids in retaining moisture and exposes the skin to the heat and flavor of the grill.
How do you know when ham steak is cooked?
Ham steak is cooked when it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145°F as measured with a food thermometer, according to USDA recommendations.
Is it good to grill ham?
Yes, it is good to grill ham as it enhances flavors, adds a smoky taste and gives it a crisp crust.
What are the best marinades or seasonings for grilling ham steak?
Best marinades and seasonings for grilling ham steak include honey mustard, pineapple glaze, brown sugar and spices, and a combination of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic.
Are there any specific grilling techniques to enhance flavor while grilling ham steak?
To enhance flavor while grilling ham steak, glaze it with a sweet or savory sauce and cook over medium heat to caramelize the sugars, creating a deep, rich crust.
What side dishes pair well with grilled ham steak?
Side dishes that pair well with grilled ham steak include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus.