Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is an award-winning culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader, NASCAR and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill. You can reach out to Kent at thedeckchef.com, Facebook, Instagram @thekentwhitaker, and Twitter @thekentwhitaker.
Easter is the holiday that kicks off Spring and opens the door for Summer grilling. When it comes to Easter one of the most traditional menu items for many family dinners is ham. So, it makes perfect sense, at least to backyard grilling gurus, that it’s a perfect time to grill some ham.
However, grilling a huge ham meant to serve several people may be too much for an Easter dinner for two. That’s the situation we found ourselves in last year. Allyson and I had visited with our out-of-town family the week prior to Easter so on the day of the actual holiday we only had two people to cook for. The solution, switch from a 12-pound ham to a couple of nice center-cut ham steaks!
Why do We Eat Ham for Easter?
Easter meals traditionally include ham. But why is that? Besides the fact that ham is a tasty dish to serve at a family meal, ham has been an Easter favorite for centuries. A long time ago in Europe and Asian countries, pigs were slaughtered in the fall and early winter, then cured/smoked, and ready to eat when Spring came. What timing! Easter is in the spring holiday and ham is ready to be eaten! That combination which was based on everyday life has carried on as a tradition.
What’s a Ham Steak?
In case you’re wondering, steak is a term that is used in many countries to describe a nice thick cut of meat or seafood. I guess the beef industry is just better at marketing the term than other producers. A ham steak is a center-cut slice of bone-in ham roast ranging from 1/4 inch to 1 inch thick. The thinner slices are often called breakfast ham steaks.
The great thing is that these cuts are most often fully cooked if bought pre-packaged. Just check the label and it will let you know. And, they come brine d with a salt solution or smoke cured depending on the provider. Why are these two things important? Because the grilling time is minimal as you are just heating the ham steaks up.
The grilling process will heat the ham steaks, make the glaze nice and sticky, and add golden brown edges and grill marks. Which makes it perfect for a tasty meal at home or while camping and the bringing process. And the brine or smoke adds bonus flavor.
The Deck Chef’s Orange Marmalade Grilled Ham Steaks!
Combine the flavor of the fruit marmalade with the Dijon mustard makes for a fantastic glaze. This recipe for perfect for Easter ham steaks as well as pork chops, burgers, beef kabobs, and even chicken.
1/2 cup apricot or orange marmalade
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 thick bone-in ham steaks
Combine the glaze ingredients in a saucepan for the stove or a microwave safe bowl for the microwave. Warm slightly as the heat will start to liquefy the marmalade. Stir to blend and repeat heating until glaze is smooth. Lightly brush the steaks with some and set the rest of the glaze aside. Next, preheat your grill – you can use gas, charcoal, or a pellet grill that has direct grilling capabilities.
Cook the ham steaks for a few minutes on both sides for good grill marks. Brush with the remaining sauce before removing. Allow the glaze to thicken and become sticky while the ham steaks work on getting nice grill marks! Serve hot!