is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Redeye Gravy With Ham, A Southern Classic

Share on:
Grilled ham steak topped with redeye gravy

What better way to start the day then with some coffee-laced redeye gravy and a hearty ham steak!

Ham and Redeye Gravy is a hearty breakfast traditionally made in a cast iron pan designed to charge Mom and Dad for a hard day of work. But it is also popular with campers as an easy eye-opener. Ham and coffee are the core ingredients, but there are variations on the theme.

Traditionally they are made with country ham, a dry brined American ham, but many people find these to be a bit too strong and funky. I prefer this recipe with a wet cured city ham or even thick cuts of Canadian bacon. Redeye Gravy can also be made with dried beef, a progenitor of chipped beef on toast or “shit on a shingle” as it was called by WWII soldiers. In Louisiana it is sometimes made with chickory instead of coffee, and I have even heard of it being made with cola or Dr Pepper. Bleeah. 

When you cook it the traditional way in a non nonstick pan, the ham will make a little fond, the brown bits that stick to the pan, but the ham cooks so quickly and has so little fat, there is no real advantage to cooking the meat in the pan, so I prefer to grill it (I know you are shocked to hear that), make the gravy on the side, and amp up the flavor a notch. If you like, make some biscuits, split them open, lay the cooked ham on top, and spoon the gravy over.

For something a little different, also be sure to check out our balsamic and brown sugar glazed ham steak.

Grilled Balsamic and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham Steak Recipe
This delicious glazed grilled ham steak recipe is perfect with eggs, fills out a brunch menu, or can be served for supper. Plus, it's super fast.
Check out this recipe
Grilled glazed ham steak plated

Classic Redeye Gravy And Ham Recipe

Grilled ham steak topped with redeye gravy
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
2.15 from 14 votes
This tasty recipe will get you wake you up and get you ready for a heavy work day.

Serve with: coffee.

Main Course


Servings: 2 servings


Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 wet cured pork (see note below)
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings or unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup black coffee
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
About the pork. Sometimes I use a ham steak at least 1/4" (6mm) thick and about 6 to 8 ounces (170g to 227g). Sometimes I use 2 slices of Canadian bacon, at least 1/4" (6mm) thick. In the picture above I used a wet cured bone-in pork loin chop, which is pretty much the same as Canadian bacon with a bone.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Cook. Place a small sauce pan on medium heat. Toss in the bacon fat and when it is melted sprinkle in the flour. Whisk them until they are blended together, there are no lumps, and it turns the color of peanut butter.
  • Turn down the heat to medium low, add the coffee, sugar, black pepper, and hot sauce, and whisk. Cook until the coffee begins to thicken and it reduces to about 1/2 to 2/3 cup (64g to 85g). Taste and adjust the seasonings. You can add salt if you want, but remember the meat is salty.
  • While the sauce is thickening, grill the ham steak. Remember it has already been cooked so you only need to heat it to 145°F (63°C), and that shouldn’t take long. If it is almost done and the sauce hasn't thickened and reduced, turn the heat under it up.
  • Serve. Plate the meat and spoon some gravy over it. Serve immediately.

Related articles

Published On: 5/21/2018 Last Modified: 10/28/2021

Share on:
  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!

Millions come to every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.

Post comments and questions below


1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.



Click for comments...


These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys:

Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker

Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

kamado grill
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

Click here for our article on this exciting cooker

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain Grills Trek smoker

Green Mountain Grills Trek smoker

Green Mountain’s portable Trek Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Trek from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

Click here to read our detailed review