How to Cook Country Ham Slices in Air Fryer | Quick & Easy

If you’re a fan of ham but want a simpler, healthier way to cook it, you’re in the right place. Cooking country ham slices in an air fryer saves time and enhances flavor while keeping things light and healthy.

Perfect for a quick dinner or a delightful lunch, these air fryer ham slices, glazed with brown sugar and served with scrumptious sides, are a surefire way to please your palate. Get ready to transform your cooking experience with these easy and efficient air frying country ham techniques.

Essential Ingredients for Air Fryer Ham Steak

Before firing up your air fryer, ensure you’ve got all the key ingredients on hand for a delicious ham steak. You’ll need:

Essential Ingredients for Air Fryer Ham Steak
  • Ham steak: This is your main attraction. Try to find a thick cut for best results.
  • Brown sugar: A crucial element for your brown sugar butter glaze that adds a sweet caramelization.
  • Butter: It combines with brown sugar to create a rich glaze. Choose unsalted to control the saltiness.
  • Pineapple: Adds a tropical twist and aids in tenderizing the ham with its natural enzymes.
  • Maple syrup: For a subtle, woody sweetness, this can be an alternative or addition to brown sugar.
  • Low-carb brown sugar substitute: If you’re watching your carbohydrate intake, use this instead of regular brown sugar.
  • Gluten-free option: Ensure all your ingredients, especially pre-packaged ham steaks and any glaze components, are gluten-free if required.

For extra flavor, consider whipping up a sweet and tangy glaze to brush on during cooking. Assemble these components:

  • Vinegar or mustard: Provides tanginess for your glaze.
  • Spices: Think cloves, cinnamon, or paprika for a flavor boost.

Here’s a simple format to make sure you have everything:

Ham steakMain ingredientThick cut preferred
Brown sugarFor glazeSwap with low-carb substitute if needed
ButterFor glazeUnsalted to manage salt content
PineappleNatural tenderizer & flavorFresh or canned
Maple syrupSweetnessOptional; adds depth of flavor
Low-carb brown sugar substituteLow-carb optionFor controlling carb intake
Gluten-free optionsFor gluten intoleranceCheck all labels

Remember, your air fryer will be doing most of the work, so prep these ingredients, and you’ll be set for a quick and easy meal.

Choosing the Right Air Fryer and Accessories

When cooking country ham slices in an air fryer, the Cosori XL basket style air fryer is perfect for quick and even cooking. Its spacious basket allows for a generous arrangement of slices, promoting better air circulation.

If you’re a multi-tasker, the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker & air fryer might be your best bet. It doubles as a pressure cooker, freeing up counter space and adding versatility to your kitchen gadget collection.

An Instant Pot Omni Plus oven style air fryer is another superb choice for an even cook, mimicking traditional oven functionality. It’s particularly useful if you envision using the air fryer for a variety of recipes beyond ham slices.

Should you already own an Instant Pot, consider the Instant Pot air fryer lid, which converts your pressure cooker into an air fryer, saving space and money.

For a more budget-friendly option, the Farberware basket style air fryer does the job without frills but with effectiveness.

Regarding accessories, non-stick spatulas protect the air fryer’s surface while handling ham slices. For cook times and food quantity, ensure your container size for the air fryer complements its capacity. Using parchment paper or aluminum foil can aid in cleanup—just remember to allow space for airflow.

Here’s a quick guide:

  • Cosori XL: Roomy for multiple slices.
  • Ninja Foodi: Versatile; great for the multitasking cook.
  • Instant Pot Omni Plus: Oven-like; great for an assortment of dishes.
  • Instant Pot Lid: Transforms your existing Instant Pot.
  • Farberware: Economical; straightforward.
  • Accessories: Non-stick spatula, properly-sized container, parchment paper, and aluminum foil are beneficial.

Pick an air fryer that matches your cooking habits and kitchen space, and pair it with handy accessories for the best experience.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Ham Steak in Air Fryer


  • 1 ham steak
  • Optional: seasoning of your choice


  • Air fryer
  • Digital meat thermometer

Before you begin cooking your ham steak in the air fryer, preheat the unit to the appropriate cooking temperature which is usually around 375°F (190°C).

  1. Prepare Ham Steak: If your ham steak has added water, pat it dry with paper towels. You may season it with your preferred spices or leave it as is for a classic taste.
  2. Arrange Ham Steak: Place the ham steak in the air fryer basket. Make sure to lay it flat, in a single layer, for even cooking.
  3. Cook Time: Air fry the ham steak for 3-5 minutes. After the initial cook time, flip the steak to ensure both sides get a golden exterior. Continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Check Temperature: Use a digital meat thermometer to confirm the ham steak has reached an internal temperature of at least 140°F (60°C), which is safe for pre-cooked hams.
  5. Serve: Once done, allow the ham steak to rest for a few minutes before serving. This lets the juices redistribute and ensures your ham is juicy and flavorful.

Note: Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the ham steak and individual air fryer models. Keep an eye on the ham to prevent overcooking. Enjoy your perfectly air-fried ham steak with your favorite sides!

Creative Ham Glaze Variations and Substitutions

Cooking country ham slices in your air fryer gives you a quick, savory meal, and glazes can add a fantastic twist of flavor. Let’s get creative with some glaze ideas that you can easily whip up.

Creative Ham Glaze Variations and Substitutions

Mustard Glaze:

  • Classic: Mix 2 tbsp mustard with 1 tbsp honey and a pinch of garlic powder.
  • Spicy Kick: Add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to the classic mustard glaze for some heat.

Honey Glaze:

  • Simple Sweetness: Combine 3 tbsp honey with 1 tbsp warm water for a thinner consistency.
  • Citrus Twist: Stir in the zest and juice of half an orange.

Brown Sugar Butter Glaze:

  • Traditional: Melt 2 tbsp butter with 1/4 cup brown sugar until smooth.
  • Boozy Boost: Mix in 1 tbsp bourbon for a deeper flavor profile.

Pineapple Glaze:

  • Tropical: Blend 1/4 cup crushed pineapple with 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.
  • Zesty Add-on: Introduce 1 tbsp lime juice for a fresh tang.

Maple Syrup Glaze:

  • Pure & Sweet: Use 1/4 cup pure maple syrup with a dash of vanilla extract.
  • Herb-Infused: Stir in 1 tsp of chopped fresh rosemary.

Each of these glazes can create a beautiful caramelization on your ham slices in the air fryer. Brush on your choice of glaze before cooking, and feel free to baste a couple of times during the process for a richer flavor. Remember, when experimenting with glazes, taste and adjust according to your preferences. Enjoy your deliciously glazed country ham hot from the air fryer!

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Air Fryer Ham Steaks

Cooking ham steaks in your air fryer is a breeze, and with these simple tips, you’ll have a delicious meal ready in no time.

Preheat for Precision: Begin by preheating your air fryer to the recommended temperature. This helps achieve an even cook.

Size Matters: If your ham steak is particularly thick, it might need slightly more time to cook thoroughly. Conversely, thinner slices will require less time.

Keep it Even: For boneless or pre-cooked ham steaks, lay them flat in the air fryer basket to cook evenly. Avoid overlapping for best results.

Temperature Check: Use a digital meat thermometer to ensure your ham reaches the recommended internal temperature of 140°F (60°C) for pre-cooked hams to be heated properly.

Cooking Time: Typically, a ham steak takes about 4 minutes per side but keep an eye on the cooking time. Your air fryer’s power and the thickness of the ham steak might require adjustments.

  • Flip for Perfection: Halfway t ough cooking, flip the ham steak to ensure it cooks evenly on both sides.
  • Rest for Juiciness: Let the ham steak rest for a few minutes after cooking. It allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful bite.

Remember to clean your meat thermometer after checking the ham steak to avoid cross-contamination. With these tips, you’ll master the art of cooking a succulent ham steak in your air fryer. Enjoy experimenting with different glazes or seasonings to add extra zest to your dish!

Serving Suggestions and Accompaniments for Air Fryer Ham

When your air fryer country ham slices are ready, it’s time to think about how to serve them. Here are some ideas that will complement your ham beautifully whether you’re aiming for a quick lunch or a festive Easter meal.

Quick and Easy Lunch:

  • Ham Sandwich: Place a slice of ham between two pieces of your favorite bread, add some lettuce, tomatoes, and a dollop of honey mustard for a classic lunchtime favorite.
  • Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches: Elevate the basic ham sandwich by adding your preferred cheese and grilling it until it’s golden and melty.
  • Open-Faced Sandwich: Top a slice of toasted artisan bread with ham, a poached egg, and a sprinkle of chives for a more refined lunch.

Hearty Dinner Options:

  • Biscuits or Cornbread: Serve your ham slices alongside warm biscuits or cornbread; add a pat of butter on the side for a cozy, Southern-inspired dinner.
  • Air Fryer Sides: Think about air frying some potatoes or asparagus as a side dish. The crispiness of the veggies will pair nicely with the savory ham.

Special Occasions:

  • Easter Ham: Present your ham slices glazed with a mix of brown sugar and mustard, garnished with fresh herbs for an eye-catching Easter dish.
  • Elevated Side Dishes: Serve the ham with scalloped or au gratin potatoes and a side of honey-glazed carrots for a meal that’s sure to impress.

Remember, your air fryer isn’t just for the main course. You can use it to prepare a variety of delicious accompaniments that make your ham the star of the show. Happy eating!

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