Many people partake in pineapples because of their tangy sweetness. This tropical fruit can be eaten raw as a refreshing snack, thrown on top of pizza (an act that is highly controversial), or mixed into a fruit salad. But it is also delicious when thrown on the grill.
The zesty flavor of the fruit complemented by the smokey taste a grill provides has made this method of preparation pretty popular for pineapples. Grilled pineapple done right comes out with such a gourmet taste that many might think the process requires a lot of work, but it is actually incredibly simple. Here is how to grill a pineapple perfectly in just three easy steps:
Before you throw it on the grill, the pineapple has to be peeled, cored and cut into thin rings, about an inch thick. To do this, begin by placing a ripe pineapple on its side and cutting off the spiky top and the bottom. The sharper the knife you have, the easier this whole process will be. Now stand it back up and begin cutting off the skin. Carefully cut slice by slice from top to bottom all the way around until the entire skin has been removed. Remember that you don't have to cut too deep, because the sweetest part of the fruit is closest to its outer edge. The eyes of the pineapple, the little brown circles that resemble eyes, should remain intact on the outer part of the fruit at this point.
Once that is done, it is time to cut out the eyes. The best way to remove them is to use a small paring knife. You might notice that the eyes are all lined up diagonally. If you follow those diagonals, you can cut out the lines of eyes all at once on each line. You can also cut out each eye at once, but this method is a bit more time-consuming.
Now the pineapple is ready for slicing, which is the easiest part. Simply slice the pineapple into one inch slices with your original sharp knife. With each slice, you will have to individually cut out the core, but it won't be difficult with your paring knife.
Keep in mind that the pineapple core is actually just as edible as the flesh, but it may be more difficult to chew raw or cooked. This is why blending the core into a smoothie is an ideal way to eat it, and then you don't have to waste any of the fruit.
Marinating the pineapple before you grill it is optional, but it enhances the flavor and gives you a tastier final product. Place the pineapple rings in a resealable plastic bag. Pour a marinade mixture into bag and shake gently, making sure pineapple is completely coated. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes -- the longer you let it sit, the more flavorful your grilled pineapple will be when it's ready to eat.
What you marinate your pineapple with is ultimately up to you, but here are a few different options:
This marinade is for those who want a spicy kick to balance out the sweetness of the pineapple. Simply mix honey, butter and salt together, and add a splash of hot pepper sauce until you reach your desired level of heat.
If you're looking for a more complex sweetness profile, this recipe is for you. Combine honey, olive oil, lime juice and ground cinnamon for a delicious marinade that will highlight the pineapple's natural sweetness.
Grilling your pineapple with tequila and cilantro using this recipe is a genius way to change up the flavor and add a ton of heat. Mix a cup of tequila with cilantro, ground chipotle chiles, lemon and lime, then salt and pepper to taste. However, the heat is so intense that this recipe is not for everyone.
If you thought pineapple couldn't get more tropical as it is, think again with this recipe. Mix together dark rum, brown sugar, coconut flakes, curry powder and lime juice for the perfect concoction that screams "island paradise."
Many teriyaki sauce recipes incorporate pineapple juice, so turning the recipe around is an obvious idea.. This recipe uses teriyaki sauce, brown sugar and olive oil to coat the fruit and will definitely be a hit.
The last step is to grill your marinated pineapple. Lightly oil the grill grates with cooking spray so that your pineapple does not stick and leave a mess. Carefully remove the slices from the bag and place them on the heated grill. Grill for around two or three minutes on each side, or until the pineapple is thoroughly heated and grill marks appear. Remove the pineapple from the grill and serve.
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You can eat grilled pineapple it on its own as a snack or dessert, or you can serve it as a side or ingredient with other barbeque dishes. Adding grilled pineapple to a burger can be a game-changer, especially with the teriyaki or sweet and spicy marinades and a little guacamole. Grilled pineapple with a sweeter marinade will go well with grilled pork chops, barbequed ribs or ham slices. You can also use the same marinade for chicken in a separate bag and grill and eat it together with your pineapple. Or if you fancy a healthy dessert, top the pineapple with whipped cream and dig in.
If you don't want to use pineapple rings, another option is to cut your pineapple into chunks and skewer them with some veggies and grilled meat, marinating everything in the same mixture.
Regardless of your choice in marinades and dishes your marinated and grilled pineapple is going to be a hit with your taste buds -- and it might even become a regular part of your grilling routine.