Easy grilled pineapple with a great caramelized brown sugar cinnamon glaze. Wonderful for a side dish or combine with vanilla ice cream for an out of this world dessert.
Grilled pineapple should become one of your everyday grilled side dishes. Ultra easy to do with rave-worthy results.
Grilling any fruit will bring out all the hidden flavor and sweetness. Add-in some Maillard reaction for added taste, and you have a great treat.
A very high four or low five mainly because it is not a "main event" dish.
Let's talk pineapple first. I want first to say no pineapple is as good as the fresh pineapple you have in Hawaii. I think it is that little extra ripening in the field. Nothing like it since a pineapple does not ripen any once picked.
Sometimes I cheat and buy a cored pineapple. Look for a nice darker yellow color; light yellow is generally not ripe. I don't recommend canned pineapple since the slices are thin.
How to Pick a Pineapple
1) The pineapple’s top (the crown) should be vibrant with no wilted, brown, loose, or falling out leaves.
2) Feel the fruit for firm skin with a slight give; you don’t want fruit that feels spongy or has soft spots. It should also be heavy.
3) Smell the bottom of the pineapple which is the sweetest spot on the fruit and should smell fragrant,
4) The color should be vibrant with some yellow-gold color around the eyes and base of the fruit. A ripe pineapple can be totally green, but it is impossible for you to tell, so avoid totally green pineapples. There should usually be more yellow than green, with no white or brown coloring.
5) The “eyes” of the pineapple are the roundish skin segments that cover the pineapple. The larger, the better, they should be free of mold, and flatter is better. They get bigger and flatter with ripening.
How to Store a Pineapple
Generally, you will just keep a whole fresh pineapple at room temperature for a few days. You can extend that by refrigerating in a perforated plastic bag.
Once prepared, the pineapple will store well for 2-3 days.
How to Cut a Pineapple
1) Cut off the crown and bottom.
2) Stand the pineapple up and cut away the peel off in strips, deep enough to remove the eyes.
3) Cut in half lengthwise then into wedges.
4) Cut out and discard the core.
Your time on the grill will vary some by the surface temperature. Generally, you will be cooking this as a side dish for another grilled dish. You can use the suggested temperature for that dish and adjust the time here.
At maximum grill temperature (550°+), the pineapple will take about 3 minutes per side. At 450°, the common temperature for chicken and most pork, it will take about 5 minutes. The endpoint is not time, but the color and the grill marks.
With ring slices, you can easily do them directly on the grill grate, but if you are using wedges, a grill pan of some type should be used. The pan will not generally affect cooking much. Whichever technique you select, a good coat of a high-temperature oil is needed to avoid sticking with all the sugar that is present.
The glaze is just melted butter with some brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter and mix the other ingredients.
If you wish, you can substitute honey for the brown sugar. While the honey may be a bit sweeter, many of the recipes I compared used a lot more sugar, so it should be fine. But generally, 2 teaspoons of honey will replace 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
📖Grilling Side Dishes
Preheat grill on high. You can use a lower temperature if cooking something else. Be sure to clean and oil the grate well.
In a bowl with a relatively flat bottom, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a microwave. About 25 seconds should do it. Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon with the butter and mix well.
Cut the pineapple into rings about ¾ inches. You can use spears instead if you wish.
Dip into the glaze covering all sides and place directly on the grill.
Flip in 3-4 minutes. Total grill time 6-8 minutes.
Serve hot as a side dish or with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Do you want more recipes from 101 Cooking for Two? Sign up for the newsletter and get all posts delivered straight to your inbox!
Originally Published July 28, 2017. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.