Take your ham up a notch with this simple ham steak marinade! This gluten free gem blends sweet pineapple juice, tangy Dijon mustard, and a touch of honey.
It’s an easy way to infuse additional flavor, and can be used when cooking on the grill, oven, or stovetop. Have it for a weeknight dinner or add it to an Easter or Christmas brunch menu for a little something extra.
Is ham steak good on it’s own? Yes
Is it better with a little extra flavor from a marinade? You bet.
Ham steaks are a super quick and easy dinner to make because all they require is a little heat and they’re good to go.
But if you want a little extra flavor then you’re going to love this ham steak marinade.
Pineapple and ham are a classic combo (hello, Hawaiian pizza!), which is partly why this marinade works so well.
Add in the honey and dijon and you’ve got both sweet and tangy components that help balance out the saltiness of the ham.
I’ve got a ton of experience with marinades (seriously, I have over a dozen on this site) and I love it when they’re uncomplicated and quick to make. Which this one definitely is.
So scroll down to see the step by step pictures and instructions, as well as helpful tips, to get the most out of this ham steak marinade.
Grab these ingredients
(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Pineapple juice – I like to buy a can of pineapple rings and use the juice from that, then eat the pineapple rings with my ham. But you can also buy pineapple juice by itself for this recipe.
- Dijon mustard – any brand will do. The ones I use most often are Annie’s Organic Dijon Mustard or Organicville Dijon Mustard.
- Oil – If you’re going to be cooking with this marinade at a high temperature, like on a grill, use a mild, high heat oil. I like to use avocado oil.
- Kosher salt – I used Diamond Crystal kosher salt in this recipe. It is less salty by volume than many other salts, so if you are using a different type of salt (kosher or otherwise), you’ll want to use this salt conversion chart from Epicurious to determine how much salt
- Honey – any honey will work, though I wouldn’t use fancy honey for this marinade. If your honey is particularly stiff you may want to warm it slightly in a microwave-safe dish before putting it in with the other marinade ingredients.
Components of a marinade
Once you know how, making a marinade is pretty simple. All you need are the following four components:
- acid to help break down the protein fibers,
- fat to coat the meat,
- salt to season the meat, and
- spices, herbs, or other flavors.
In this marinade, the oil is the fat, the pineapple juice is the acid, there’s kosher salt, and the dijon mustard and honey, though slightly acidic themselves, act as additional flavors.
How to make a marinade for ham steaks
(Note: please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the complete written instructions.)
This marinade is super easy – you just place everything in a measuring cup and stir until it’s combined!
Recommended marinating time
I recommend keeping a ham steak in this marinade for 2 hours, flipping the steak halfway through to ensure even coverage.
Cooking with this ham marinade
You can cook a ham steak that’s been in this marinade either on the grill, on the stove, or in the oven.
- On the grill: heat to between 375 to 400 degrees F. Add ham steak to the grill and heat for 2 to 3 minutes each side, until the steak is heated all the way through. For more detailed instructions, check out this post on how to make a grilled ham steak with pineapple.
- On the stove: heat a pan over medium heat. Once warm, place the ham steak in the pan (either whole or cut into halves or quarters if that’s easier to manage) and cook for 2 to 4 minute each side, until the steak is heated all the way through.
- In the oven: heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil then add the ham steak on top of it (either whole or cut into halve or quarters if that’s easier to manage). Cook in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, until the ham is heated all the way through.
Make it into a glaze
This marinade also works as a glaze! After you’re done marinating your ham, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and heat it over high heat, stirring frequently with a whisk, until it starts to thicken (between 10 and 15 minutes). Then use a basting brush to brush it on top of the ham once it’s done cooking.
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If you make this ham steak marinade recipe, then don’t forget to leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!
Honey Mustard Ham Steak Marinade
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 2 tbsp mild oil like avocado oil
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 2 tbsp honey can be reduced or omitted
- Pour the pineapple juice into a large liquid measuring cup. Measure out then add the remaining ingredients into the cup.
- Use a small whisk to stir everything together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the cup as the honey tends to want to stick there.
- Use the marinade right away, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- I recommended letting your ham steak sit in the marinade for 2 hours before cooking.
- If eating the ham steak with something sweet, like pineapple, I like to reduce the amount of honey to 1 tbsp or even omit it.