Grilled pineapple, which is melt-in-your-mouth tender, is a simple – yet delicious – way to enjoy this refreshing fruit! The combination of the caramelized sugar and cinnamon with the pineapple makes for an outstanding accompaniment to all your summer barbeques.
I first heard about grilling pineapple while eating dinner at a Brazilian restaurant. They were running a special on grilled cinnamon pineapple. I said to my husband, “That sounds so good!” So we told our waiter that we’d like to try it. Unfortunately, they were sold out because it was so popular. I knew this couldn’t be too hard to recreate at home. So this is my version of grilled cinnamon pineapple.
The first step is choosing a good pineapple. Unlike other fruits, a pineapple will not ripen any further after it is harvested, so it is important that it is harvested at peak ripeness. Unless you are growing your own, you have no control over when the pineapple is harvested, so you have to know how to spot the ripest one. Look for a plump and fresh pineapple with a crown of fresh green leaves. The body of the pineapple should be firm, not soft. The larger the pineapple, the greater proportion of edible fruit – but size does not indicate ripeness or sweetness. Skin color is also not an indicator of ripeness. A pineapple’s skin can range from green to yellow and can be sweet and ripe even when it is almost all green! I like to smell my pineapple when I’m selecting it. A ripe and sweet pineapple will have a nice, sweet aroma. Once you pick your pineapple, the sooner you eat it, the better. If you don’t plan to use your pineapple right away, store it in the refrigerator. It will keep better and longer.
To make this recipe:
- If you are using wooden skewers, they need to be soaked in water for at least 2 hours, but longer is better. This is to keep the skewers from burning on the grill.
- Cut up the pineapple into triangle-shaped chunks, and set aside. This is so much easier if you have a pineapple cutter!
- Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the pineapple to the sugar mixture and stir to evenly coat all the pineapple pieces. Allow the pineapple to marinate in the brown sugar and cinnamon for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat while the pineapple is marinating.
- Place the pineapple chunks onto the skewers, 5 to 6 pieces per skewer.
- Place the pineapple skewers onto the grill, making sure they are not touching each other.
- Grill 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes on each side.
- Check the pineapple frequently to ensure that it is not charring too much. You’ll want a nice browning of the pineapple with it just beginning to char.
- Allow the pineapple to cool for 10 minutes, then serve.
Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple
- 1 pineapple, cut up
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 2 hours; longer is better.
- Cut up the pineapple into wedges.
- In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Add the cut pineapple to the sugar mixture, and stir to coat evenly. Marinade for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat grill to medium-high. Place pineapple on the grill; 2½ to 3½ minutes on each side, or until pineapple begins to caramelize and char.
- Allow the pineapple to cool for 10 minutes. Serve.