Chip Chop Ham Sandwiches {Isaly’s}

Old fashioned deli counter
{old fashioned deli photo credit}

So, we were in Hilton Head vacationing some time ago. Needing groceries, I drove up to Bi-lo {unfamiliar territory} with my list in hand and headed toward the deli. “Can I help you Miss?” The nice lady behind the counter asked. “Sure, I will have a pound of Chip Chop and a pound of Baby Swiss please!” I said cheerfully. “Uhhh…a pound of what?” She asked back with a perplexed look on her face. “Chip chop and swiss please”, I replied in a louder voice {thinking she didn’t hear me}. Oh, she heard me alright…she just didn’t understand a word I was saying. She started cracking up and asked me what on earth “Chip Chop” was?!! To me, she was asking what water was, or what bread was….Chip Chop was…..Chip Chop? How do I explain this?! hahaha. Then it dawned on me…this  term that I have been so accustomed to using my entire life was a regional thing. Not only that, it was a pretty silly sounding and I was throwing around like it was nothing! We had quite a laugh and of course, she threw out “Betcha call it Pop too, hu!?” Yeppers.

Isaly’s , an old fashioned restaurant-convenient store-ice cream parlor, was one of my  hometown’s only restaurants for a very long time..They were and still are well known for their “Chip Chop” ham….it’s a seasoned ham sliced super thin.

Here is a very simple and traditional way to make these sandwiches {mom made them all the time}.The pictures below don’t show actual “chip chop”… to save some fat grams, I ask the deli for a maple ham “chipped”But, if you live in the area, go ahead and try the real deal 🙂

Super simple….I use Hawaiian sweet rolls, Islays BBQ, Chipped ham {or Chip Chop} and baby swiss {or any cheese of your liking- cheddar is great too}

{Woot! I ate mine on an Udi’s gluten free bun! }

Directions…easy peasy! If you don’t have Isalys sold in your area, no worries- you can use your favorite BBQ sauce.  
Add ham and BBQ sauce and heat in a pan. You can also do this in a crock pot and let it sit on warm!
Open up rolls and place cheese and BBQ ham on top and broil quickly.
Add some corn on the cob, a salad and some fresh watermelon and you have yourself a quick fix for a Summer dinner!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chip Chop Ham Sandwiches {Isaly's}
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 16 oz jar Isalys BBQ Sauce
  • 1⅓ lb Chip Chop Ham
  • 12 slider buns
  • ½ lb swiss or cheddar cheese
  • {pickles optional}
  1. Saute ham with BBQ sauce in a large skillet.
  2. Place cooked ham and cheese onto slider buns-broil quickly.
  3. Serve hot!
You may also put together ham and BBQ sauce in a crockpot and heat on low for 4 hours- stirring every so often. This is great for after church!



  1. Janet Grider says:

    That’s very yummy looking….I’m from Savannah, Ga and would have no idea what you were asking for either, but I’m going to try this for supper tomorrow and tell my Texan husband “It’s Chip chop ham, what else would it be?”!

  2. I’ve wanted to tell you forever that I LOVE your blog!! Your recipes have transformed my cooking. Thank you!! I have a question… The sandwich looks delicious, but my family doesn’t eat pork. What deli meat do you recommed for this sandwich? Thank you.

  3. I love chip chop ham; use it in strombolis and on pizza. Although I have never tried it in bbq sauce; I think I will next weekend. I’m from central PA and that is way we always called it; along with pop; not soda!

  4. Funny….true, I had no idea what you were referring to. We call it shaved.

  5. Samantha says:

    Even in the same state things are different. I am from Southern Indiana near Louisville, KY, and was visiting a friend at the other end of the state. Her mom asked me if I would like pie, now I wasn’t a big fan of pie at that time and told her no. Well in she brings pizza for everyone else, when I asked her for some, she replied that I had turned her down. She then politely told me that she had offered me pie and I had said no. It wasn’t until this point that I realized she was calling pizza, pie. We both had a good laugh and I had a slice of pizza.

  6. I grew up just north of Pittsburgh, PA and now live in NC. I have a whole boat load of stories regarding chip chopped ham. I have to explicitly explain how thin I want my ham sliced and watch very carefully to make sure it get’s chipped/shaved. Down here they like it thick and their shaved is what I call a regular slice. One grocery store deli lady hates to see me coming and I get the glare down as soon as I approach the counter! I quit buying it there as I felt I had to profusely apologize for the inconvenience! (It does take some work to get it chipped!)

  7. This looks like something that I need to try!! Chi!p Chop?? I like the sound of that!

  8. My grandma who grew up in Ohio use to make chip chop ham sandwiches on egg bread minus the bbq sauce for lunch. It brings back memories of her. I also grew up asking for “pop”. My mom also grew up in Ohio. I only lived there till I was two, alot of your recipes are similar to stuff we make or like. I’ve been making chicken crepes like yours for years, but I make it in a casserole dish.

  9. Bonnie Atwell says:

    I grew up east of Pittsburgh and grew up with chipped chopped ham. I don’t think I knew there was any other kind of luncheon meat until I was a teenager. Isaly’s had the best chipped chopped ham ever! Just fried chipped chopped ham makes a great sandwich. I am in Virginia now and they don’t have a clue about chipping ham. Even if you ask for shaved you barely get thin sliced.

  10. Guess what is on sale at my local grocery store in central PA, Isaly’s chip chopped ham and bbq sauce! I made something similar to this last week with regular bbq sauce and another type of ham; I may have to try this brand.

  11. I moved to Pittsburgh in 2007, and had never heard of “chip chop” ham, but quickly learned about Isaly’s chip chop ham! Last year I moved to Washington state, and there is no Isaly’s here. I miss it!

  12. Growing up just north of Pittsburgh, I can remember going to the Isaly’s store and getting chip chop ham and a vanilla shake; nothing better.

  13. Denise Seman says:

    Doesn’t Udi’s bread contain egg? Its difficult to find commercial gluten free breads and/or recipes that don’t contain egg.

  14. Danielle Smith says:

    As soon as I saw this I figured you were a pittsburgh girl. Or from somewhere close.
    This is the only place anyone would know what you are talking about 🙂

  15. Emily Chesnic says:

    I am making these for a birthday party in a few weeks. Is there anywhere in the Akron area to buy Islay’s barbeque sauce? I hope so! If not, I may have to ask my mother-in-law to bring some up from Pittsburgh!

  16. Yinz have some good ideas for a sammich. I am making this, but having jumbo for lunch tomorrow.

  17. Sheila Sepulveda says:

    Soooooo funny!!! My family is from New Castle, PA and they always went to the store for “chipped” ham and I remember my grandmother going to the grocery store here (in FL) and asking for “chipped” ham and they looked at her like she was nuts too! Honestly, that’s the best way to have a ham sandwich 🙂 Have you ever heard of Cherokee Red?? That’s another family favorite but we can only get it when we go up to PA 😉

Speak Your Mind


Rate this recipe: