What is a Ham Steak?

wiseGEEK Writer

A ham steak is a sliced piece of ham, usually ranging in thickness from about 0.5-2 inches (1.27-5.08 cm). It is normally just a cut piece off the ham shank or leg, and can be convenient to use when you’d like a little ham, but don’t wish to prepare a whole ham roast. Most ham steaks are not cooked, so though they may look like deli “boiled” ham, be sure to heat them thoroughly before eating them.

Ham steak can be chopped up and used in a variety of recipes.
Ham steak can be chopped up and used in a variety of recipes.

You’ll find ham steak in both bone-in and boneless versions. Most of them are also heavily salted, and the amount of salt in the steak varies significantly with brand. A general rule is that generic and off brands tend to be saltier. In fact, some may find them simply too salty. There is a way to rescue a ham steak you think will be salty. You can soak it in water for about 10 minutes prior to cooking it. This will remove some of the excess salt but still leave you with a very tasty steak.

Ham steak is normally a cut off the ham shank.
Ham steak is normally a cut off the ham shank.

The convenience of this cut of meat for cooking really can’t be underestimated. You can certainly pan-fry, broil or grill a whole ham steak, or it’s quite easy to chop to be used in a variety of recipes. A ham and cheese frittata for instance, is delicious with ham steak, or chop and fry small pieces of ham steak for a variant on pork fried rice, as part of an egg scramble, or an omelet. You can also cut the steak into portions and make great ham and cheese sandwiches on toasted bread or buns.

Whole ham steaks can be cooked on a grill.
Whole ham steaks can be cooked on a grill.

When you cook a whole steak, you can use a variety of glazes or toppings to give it more flavor and interest. Honey mustard flavors are some of the most popular, either mixed together, or used separately. A glaze with brown sugar and rice vinegar can impart tang and sweetness at the same time. Cooking time varies according to your method, and frequently the instructions on the package. You should follow these, as they will usually be the best guides for how long you should cook the steak.

If you chop the steak up for use in various recipes and plan to sauté it, cooking time in a frying pan is usually only a couple of minutes at most. You don’t have to precook ham if you plan to use it in stir-fries, frittatas, quiches, or other things that will cook for a time. You should consider pre-cooking chopped steak if you plan to include it in omelets or scrambles, since the eggs may cook more quickly than the chopped ham steak will.

Pork shank is taken from the lower half of the leg.
Pork shank is taken from the lower half of the leg.

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Discussion Comments


Our butcher has had these ham chops lately. So delicious. Like a pork chop cut but from the leg. They have the soft pink salty texture of ham steak. Such a delight.


Does anybody reading this have any good ideas for a good grilled ham steak glaze? I've tried a bunch of different kinds, from honey to a jerk spice type of glaze, but I'm kind of bored with that and want to try something new.

I cook a lot, and have a lot of different spices, so don't be shy -- what are your favorite ham steak glaze recipes?


What is the nutrition value of a glazed ham steak? I'm specifically looking for the amount of ham steak calories and fat. Thank you!


As far as I'm concerned, there's little better than a good honey glazed baked ham steak. Out of all the ham steak recipes, this one is by far my favorite.

I know that there are a lot of different ham steak sauce marinades and glazes, but for me you can't be getter than a honey ham steak glaze.

The best way to do this is either to buy a specially formulated honey glaze, or, if you've got the time, then you can follow this recipe:

Take 1/4 cup of honey, 3 tbs of water, 1 1/2 tsp of dry mustard, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger and 1/4 tsp of ground cloves. This is enough for one 12 oz ham steak.

As you preheat your broiler, then mix all the fixings together. Let this sit while you broil the steak for a few minutes until it's lightly browned. Take the steak out of the pan and mix your fixings with the drippings of the ham steak. Bring this to a boil, then let it simmer for a few minutes. Then brush it onto the ham steak, and you're done -- with the best honey ham glaze you'll ever taste!

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