Are you looking to grill some delicious fruit? If so, check out this guide to learn how to grill pineapple.
Barbecue masters understand that the coals and the grill do more than just cook meat. You may have begun with charred hot dogs, but if you’re ready to take on a real challenge, learn how to grill pineapple.
This sweet treat has a ridiculous amount of benefits and requires few ingredients to make it into the perfect delicacy from your barbecue.
Learn How to Grill Pineapple
To learn to grill pineapple, you must understand you’re doing more than just firing up the grill and slapping a slab on it. We’re not talking about a sirloin, after all.
Grilling pineapple takes finesse. It requires a gentle hand, a keen eye, and patience. For this reason, novices should take their time learning how to grill the Hawaiian delicacy.
When you’re all done, you’ll have these beautiful slices or elegant circles with symmetrical charred lines and sweet juice dripping from them.
Not all grilled pineapple recipes are the same. You need a sweetener to draw the juices out of the fruit. Charring the pineapple also helps break down the enzymes that cause sores in the pineapple lover’s mouth.
Have the Right Tools
Pineapple is not steak, though some people may call big chunks of pineapple, pineapple steaks. This means you need the right tools for the job.
Make sure you have all the tools a master barbecuer should have if you plan on taking your barbecuing skills up a notch to pineapple.
Basic Grilled Pineapple
For this recipe, you need just three things: a pineapple, a lime, and brown sugar. Though the ingredients sound simple, the method is not. Plan on watching the fruit carefully.
- 1 ripe pineapple, peeled, quartered, and cored
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
Peel, quarter, and core your pineapple. Use a sharp knife and some muscle for this task. And if you have no idea how to core a pineapple, you can learn quickly with a few simple instructions.
Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high. Try turning it on high until the grates are clean and the temperature is good and hot–well over 500 degrees. This high heat will let your pineapple get some good char marks on it from the start.
Turn the heat down once you’ve exceeded 500 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss together all three of your ingredients. Be gentle with your pineapple.
Place the pineapple on the grill and cook it, turning it occasionally until you can easily insert a paring knife into the center of a piece, 10 to 15 minutes.
Enjoy the fruit of your labor!
Spicy Grilled Pineapple
This particular recipe has a bit of zip with some hot sauce sprinkled on. It also avoids processed sugar and uses natural honey to sweeten the pineapple and draw out the juice as the brown sugar did in the previous recipe.
- 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch rings
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 dash hot pepper sauce
- Salt to taste
Put your pineapple in a large, resealable plastic bag. Add the honey, butter, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Seal the bag and then shake the bag to coat the pineapple evenly.
Be gentle. Remember, you’re dealing with some fruit and not chicken breast.
Let the pineapple marinade in this spicy mixture for at least 30 minutes. If you really want some flavor, let it rest overnight.
Lightly oil the grate on your outdoor grill, and then preheat the grill. Put it on high heat to start with.
Grill your pineapple for two to three minutes per side, or until heated through and grill marks appear. Keep your beverage of choice handy, because you do not want to walk away and forget about this project.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Classic Grilled Pineapple
This recipe, like the previous one, leans on honey as the sweetener, but it leaves out the hot sauce that adds the punch to the previous recipe.
So if you’re looking for a tamer recipe, try this classic, grilled pineapple recipe.
- 1 large ripe golden pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 8 to 10 wedges
- Good olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
Prepare your charcoal grill with a single layer of hot coals. Spray on the lighter fluid and then light up the coals. Wait until they’ve moved beyond glowing red to that white-hot that emits waves of heat.
Once your coals are ready, brush the pineapple wedges lightly with the oil and place them on the grill. Cook the pineapple wedges for six to eight minutes per side until they have a nice char with some golden color.
Take the pineapple off the grill to the plate and then drizzle it with more honey.
How to Use Grilled Pineapple
So what’s a person to do with grilled pineapple? There’s something both odd and amazing about taking a fruit, typically eaten raw and cold, and then cooking it and serving it.
When you grill pineapple, you do not just change the temperature of the food. You change the composition.
Pineapple has bromelain in it. Bromelain is an enzyme that makes some people’s tongues burn. Some individuals even report canker sores in their mouths.
The body is an amazing self healer, though, and the sores that the bromelain causes will often heal up in a matter of hours after a person eats pineapple. Still, when you’re eating pineapple, you do not want to wait until your mouth heals to be able to taste other foods.
Grilling pineapple breaks down the proteins that cause this temporary mouth discomfort. So individuals can eat grilled pineapple and enjoy its sweet, juiciness without experiencing the typical discomforts.
Put the Pineapple to Work
You can do a variety of things with this beautiful, golden delicacy:
- Sandwich condiment
Take a slice of pineapple and put it on top of a burger. Pineapple goes so well with pork, you could add a slice of grilled pineapple to the top of a pulled pork sandwich or a grilled ground pork burger.
You could even add it to a BLT, creating your very own bacon, lettuce, pineapple, and tomato sandwich.
Pineapple salsa or just pineapple added to your favorite salsa gives the salsa a satisfying sweetness.
- Grilled meat topping
Chop the pineapple up with some jalapeno, strawberries, and red onions to make an amazing grilled meat topping. It would go great on a sirloin or a pork chop, or mixed in with some grilled shrimp.
- Dessert topping
Some desserts just need a little extra pizzazz. Picture your favorite pound cake, topped with whipped cream and chopped grilled pineapple.
Grilled pineapple also makes a wonderful addition to stir fry. When you go to those great Mongolian grills where you pick your own ingredients, you will see pineapple among the other stir fry ingredients for a reason. It’s the pixie dust of stir fry recipes.
Since pineapple is not meat but adds some amazing sparkle to otherwise bland recipes, you can add to your cache of vegetarian recipes and create some even more amazing dishes.
Benefits of Pineapple
Pineapples are the ninja fruit of the grilling world. When you add pineapple to a dish or just eat it plain, you’re not just indulging in a sweet treat. You’re treating your body to good nutrients.
In particular, pineapple has relatively few calories. One cup has just 82 calories and 21.6 carbs. But it has 131% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. So if you’re feeling a cold coming on, topping your food with grilled pineapple won’t hurt.
Pineapple also aids in the absorption of iron from the diet and promotes a healthy immune system. The higher levels of manganese, at 75% of the recommended daily intake, help a body maintain a healthy metabolism.
Antioxidants are molecules that help your body combat stress. They’re what you need to prevent your body from falling to the woes of illness when stress is high.
Oxidative stress, that stress that antioxidants combat, basically means the body has too many free radicals. These free radicals cause damage that is linked to chronic inflammation and a weak immune system.
You need antioxidants to combat illness, and pineapple has a boatload of them. In particular, pineapples have high levels of flavonoids and phenolic acids, the superheroes in the antioxidant world.
The same bromelain that causes sores in some people’s mouths also acts as a digestive enzyme. This bromelain helps the body digest proteins. In fact, is so effective in breaking down proteins that some commercial meat tenderizers use it to break down tough meat proteins.
Whack and Grill
Now that you know how to grill pineapple, you have reached a near apex of grilling technique. You understand the delicate touch required to keep the fruit intact.
You just need a sharp knife, a steady hand for appropriate pineapple whacking, and the right grill technique.
If you find yourself with broken or overcooked or undercooked pineapple, keep trying. Take your time, and master the fruit so you can treat your tongue and your body to an amazing superfruit.
For more barbecue ideas, check out our favorite barbecue recipes.