Today’s adventure on the barbecue pit was an absolutely amazing smoked pineapple with a brown sugar rub. I have always been a fan of pineapples but this recipe takes things to a whole new level!
The smoke from the pit, sweetness from the rub and bright tropical flavors of the pineapple combined to make something truly extraordinary!
Let me show you how easy it is to make an incredible smoked pineapple!
Prepare the Pineapple
I am starting with a fresh, whole pineapple. Fresh pineapple is delicious and full of anti-oxidants. If all you have available is canned pineapple slices then go ahead and use them and skip this step.
If you do have a fresh whole pineapple then I am going to beg you to not be lazy. Don’t just slice the thing down the middle and throw it on your pit.
We want to expose as much of this fruit to the rub and smoke as possible and all it takes is a little basic knifework.
Start by slicing off the top and bottom of the pineapple.
If you want, you can save the top, clean it up a little and use it to grow another pineapple! It is a pretty slick trick and here is a link that shows you exactly how to do it.
After the top and bottom are removed, stand the pineapple up and cut off the skin.
Once the skin is off slice the pineapple into quarters lengthwise.
Seriously…this whole process takes less than five minutes.
Okay, now that you have quarters we are going to get rid of the tough core in the center.
All you need to do to get rid of the core is to stand each quarter upright and slice off the inside corners.
Make the Brown Sugar Rub
We are using a very simple but flavor packed rub for the pineapple quarters.
Start by measuring out 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar into a bowl. If your brown sugar is anything like mine then it is filled with hard lumps. Go ahead and take a few minutes to break those lumps up with your fingers.
After the 1/2 cup of sugar is loosened up add:
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder (or cayenne)
Use a fork and mix everything together.
Apply the Brown Sugar Rub to the Pineapple
Go ahead and coat all sides of the pineapple with the rub. This is way more rub than needed for one pineapple so you can afford to be generous when you add the rub.
The juice in the pineapple will make the brown sugar start to dissolve pretty fast.
Wait about 15 minutes and add a second layer of rub just for fun.
Smoke the Pineapple
Set your smoker to 225F. I was using a Z grills pellet grill for this cook but you can use your Traeger, Pit Boss, etc.
You are going to thank me for this next step.
Make a foil boat out of aluminum foil, place the foil on your cooking grate and the pineapple quarters into the boat.
Between the natural sugars in the pineapple and the brown sugar from the rub these guys are literally dripping with sugar and you do not need or want that to drip all over your smoker.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Pineapple?
I smoke pineapples for one hour at 225F. I let the pineapple smoke for 30 minutes, give it a flip and then smoke for another 30 minutes.
The pineapple just needs to be on there long enough to soak up some smoke flavor and for the sugars to start to caramelize. I want the pineapple to still have some texture so I don’t see the point of smoking it for hours until it turns to mush.
After an hour this is what your pineapple should be looking like…and trust me, it will smell amazing!
How to Serve a Smoked Pineapple
This is where things get interesting.
People seemed evenly split over whether they want their pineapple to be Hot or Cold. For the people who like hot pineapple this can be cut into chunks and served straight up as a side dish.
For folks who like cold pineapple, go ahead and wrap the smoked quarters in aluminum foil and put them into the refrigerator for a few hours. Once the pineapple has chilled you can:
- Slice it thin and serve with cottage cheese for a great lunch.
- Cut it into chunks and serve with vanilla ice cream for a special dessert.
- Cut into a dice and make a smoked pineapple salsa for a great topping for fish.
You could also put some in a blender and make a smoked Pina Colada that would knock your socks off!
- 1 whole pineapple
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
- Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and chipotle pepper. Use your fingers to break up any clumps in the brown sugar.
- Slice off the top, bottom and skin of the pineapple.
- Cut the pineapple lengthwise into quarters. Slice off the inside corner to remove the core.
- Coat the pineapple on all sides with the brown sugar rub.
- Make a foil boat out of aluminum foil to keep your smoker clean.
- Set your smoker to 225F.
- Place the pineapple quarters on the smoker and cook for one hour, flipping after 30 minutes.