How to Grill Pineapple
Grilled pineapple is totally enjoyable, and it is so simple to get it on your plate. On a summer’s day the taste and flavor of sweet warm pineapple is a real treat for most of us. The majority of fruits will not give you what the pineapple does, as they are usually too delicate to put on the grill. Pineapple is the exception to that fruity rule as it holds together when is grilled and it gives a sweet hit just where it is needed. Grilling fruit does delightful things to it as it perfectly caramelizes the sugars producing a golden and concentrated flavor. A pineapple is sweet anyway, but if you add glaze then you can take it to the next level. You need to fully understand how to grill pineapple to get the best sweet and healthy treat you can imagine.
Pick Your Pineapple
What you really want is a fresh juicy fruit to grill for the best texture and flavour. So, when purchasing your pineapple at the store, you have more than a few ways to tell if your pineapple is ripe.
- A ready to use pineapple will have a characteristic sweet smell. If it has a sour smell to it then this is a good sign that it will have already gone past its used by date so, do not use it.
- A ripe pineapple will never be dull in its appearance. You should be looking out for a golden colour to the fruit if you really want a delicious grilled pineapple. When it is turning too dark then the pineapple will be past its prime.
- A pineapple ought to have a little give too it when you squeeze it. If your pineapple is hard to the touch, then it is not going to be ready to grill. Equally, if the skin of the pineapple feels too soft to the touch then this is a signal that the pineapple is past its best.
Peal a Pineapple
You will find that a pineapple will grill better when it is cut up to give a better surface area. Cutting up pineapple for grilling makes it much more easy to work with and in the end it will be easier to eat. Pineapple is usually cut into spears or into rings about an inch thick for grilling. Begin by simply placing your pineapple on a chopping board and then use a sharp kitchen knife to slice off the top and bottom. Then as you will now have a steady base, you can stand the pineapple up and cautiously trim away the skin of the pineapple by running your knife from the top all the way down following the natural curve to the base. You need to ensure that you leave as much of the fruity flesh as you can as it will be otherwise wasted. You will possibly be left with brown circles on the pineapple flesh which are better off removed.
To cut your pineapple up into spears you need to hold the pineapple and cut it in half vertically and then you need to cut it in half again so that you have four pieces.
Cut away the hard and tough core from the segments by cutting downwards, but for grilling purposes, leave some of the core attached as it will make the fruit easier to handle. If you are cooking your pineapple on the barbecue, then you will find that it is easier to pop on a skewer if your pieces have some core still attached. To get your spears you need to then slice every segment in half again, so you get 8 pieces of pineapple spears.
Pineapple rings are just as easy to create. Place the pineapple horizontally on to a clean chopping board. Start by firmly holding it as you cut slices with a sharp knife about ½ inch in thickness. You can use a paring knife if you have one to take out the pineapple core, or it can be left in the pineapple and picked around as you eat.
Add Pineapple to the Grill
Pineapple can be placed directly on the grill to cook. If you are cooking on the barbecue than you need to place your pineapple flat on the grill but keep it to the edges. This is because you want it to cook slowly and this will not happen over a direct heat. If you are using a barbecue that has a lid the you will be able to hasten the cooking time to some extent by covering up the grill as the food is cooking.
You will need to keep your eye on grilled pineapple at all times because it can cook quickly depending on the heat of your grill. Check on your pineapple after a few minutes by carefully turning it over to see if the underneath has turned golden brown. The best grilled pineapple is caramelized slowly on the grill, so you need to turn it over regularly. If your pineapple appears to be going black then you will need to move it even further away from direct heat, or if grilling indoors, turn the grill down. When you have lots of guests and want to cook more than just one pineapple, then it is helpful to swap the spears or rings around as you cook so that they all get equal cooking time.
Continue to turn over the pineapple and grill on all sides until slightly charred and caramelized all over. You know when your grilled pineapple is ready when the flesh feels totally soft if you run a sharp knife through it. The overall grilling time will vary dependent on the amount of heat that the pineapple has been cooked with and the actual size of the pineapple pieces and their overall ripeness. Generally, on a low slow heat it should take around 30 minutes for pineapple to grill on a barbecue.
Grilled Pineapple Recipe
You can add extra zing to your grilled pineapple buy turning it into a signature dish. There are lots of delicious glazes you can add to make you grilled pineapple taste the best. This grilled pineapple recipe is constantly a smash at backyard barbecue as it has the flawless combination of warm honied and hot flavors.
1 fresh pineapple
2 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp dried chili flakes
¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tbsp oil
Pinch of salt to taste
Heat the grill to a medium heat.
Prepare your pineapple into rings.
Whisk together in a small bowl the cayenne, chilli flakes, salt, maple syrup, and oil
Put the pineapple rings on the grill and brush them with half of the whisked mixture.
Cook for 4 minutes then turn the rings over and brush on the rest of the mix.
Cook for a further few minutes until grill marks start to appear on both sides.
This recipe works well on both an indoor and outdoor grill you will just have to adjust the cooking times to suit.
Ideas for Using Grilled Pineapple
Grilled pineapple is delightful when you serve it just as it is, but it is also extra tasty when you add it to a variety of dishes and recipes.
- Add to a cool breakfast smoothie for a tangy start to the day.
- Cut up grilled pineapple and add it to some tacos for extra freshness.
- Try using pineapple to make a tropical drink for a summer’s day. You need to chop up the pineapple into segments and mix into glasses with cold ice cream, crumbled ginger cake and a splash of caramel sauce.
- For an adults-only treat you can give your pineapple a splash of rum while it is still warm before serving.
- Top ice-cream with warm grilled pineapple chunks.
- Use a few slices of pineapple to make grilled burger taste amazing.
- Chop up your pineapple and add it to a fresh green salad.
- Use grilled pineapple to make up a tangy salsa.
- Pineapple and coconut have long been seen as a classic flavour combination, so serve your grilled pineapple with coconut yogurt or top your rings with shaved coconut.
- Serve your grilled pineapple up with most meats like shrimp, pork or chicken for extra flavor.
- Give your grilled pineapple an extra kick by topping it with grated lime zest, chilli flakes or chopped fresh mint to experiment with some amazing flavor pairings.
Grilling is far and away the absolute best way to feast on a pineapple. Even if your fruit is a little underripe, when you put them on the grill your pineapples will still end up tasting incredible. The process of grilling totally brings out the juices as your pineapple slices begin to caramelize. And you can eat grilled pineapple anytime, it is a great snack, side dish, pizza topping and even a dessert. There are so many different ways to use up your grilled pineapple in your meals that you could not possibly run out of ways to use it.