Charred whole and then glazed, these Pineapple Burnt Ends are smoky, juicy, sweet, and irresistible. The spongey texture soaks up smoke and sauce, creating a flavor explosion with each bite.
Yeah, there is no meat in this recipe. These burnt ends are all pineapple, and they taste incredible.
Pineapple burnt ends really are what they claim to be, as the entire pineapple ends up charring black right in the coals during the cooking process. Slicing off the burnt bark reveals juicy, firm bites of pineapple. Treating them with seasoning and saucing is the second phase, glazing them perfectly.
Want meat? Try out the Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends, they will satisfy your craving!
Why This Recipe Works
Coal roasting maintains moisture. Simply smoking chunks of pineapple will dry them out. Charring the outside steams the inside, cooking the pineapple without losing much moisture.
Firm texture, not soggy. The key is to cook the pineapple to temperature, making sure it’s cooked enough but not mushy. Each bite still has a firm texture, allowing them to sear and glaze.
Pairs with most BBQ sauces. If it sounds good, it probably is. This recipe uses the Sweet Honey Bourbon BBQ Sauce, but don’t be afraid to try your favorites.
Smokers can take a rest, this recipe will require a charcoal grill large enough to fit an entire pineapple inside. Let’s go over recommended equipment used to make these pineapple burnt ends:
- Charcoal Grill – Any grill large enough for a pile of charcoal and an entire pineapple. The leaves can be trimmed down if it’s too big to fit, but it’s critical to not actually slice into the pineapple flesh.
- Charcoal Briquettes – Obviously we need fuel. I recommend using briquettes due to their consistency of heat and burn time.
- Wood Chips – Adding these into the coals is optional, but it does add a significant amount of smoke flavor. The pineapple is porous like a sponge, soaking up flavors and smoke easily as it rests on the fire.
- Cast Iron Skillet – This is going to be used after the pineapple has been charred and sliced. Cubes of seasoned pineapple will be added into the hot skillet, sitting on the grill grates above the coals.
Step 1: Roast the Pineapple on the Charcoal
Light a large pile of charcoal until the coals are white hot and glowing. I recommend using a charcoal chimney for this process.
Trim the leaves of the pineapple if you need to, for laying it inside your grill. Just make sure you do not slice into or trim the flesh of the pineapple. It needs to be completely intact.
- Rotate the pineapple every 3-4 minutes, allowing each side to lay on the coals. The pineapple will not only get black on the outside, it will absolutely char.
- Make sure you move the coals around the pineapple flesh.
- Feel free to sprinkle wood chips for added flavor and heat.
Your target internal temperature is between 120-130°F. Yes, you’ll need to probe the pineapple. This is an ideal temp for the best texture as an end result.
Step 2: Slice and Season the Pineapple Chunks
Once the pineapple reaches its target temperature, remove it from the coals and onto a metal sheet pan. Be very careful, it’s hot and can potentially burn the surface that it’s set on.
Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes before carefully slicing. Slice off the top and the end sides first. Then carefully carve off the outer charred layer.
Slice the pineapple from the core and into large cubes, about 1.5 – 2″ in width if possible.
The charred bits easily wipe off the pineapple if that kind of thing gets under your skin. Better yet, wipe the cutting board before slicing the pineapple into chunks. I’m lazy, and I don’t mind.
Add the warm cubes to a bowl with 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and toss to coat. This is when I add some seasoning, which I prefer to use my Signature Sweet & Smoky Rub.
Toss the butter-coated pineapple cubes with your seasoning of choice and get ready for the final phase.
Step 3: Caramelize the Burnt Ends
Organize the coals to the center of the grill and set the grill grate in place.
Set the cast iron skillet right over the coals and let it warm up while you are slicing the pineapple and getting things ready. There’s no need to add anything, the pineapple should be coated with melted butter.
Pour in the contents of the bowl with the pineapple and any melted butter. The pineapple will sizzle and start to sear immediately, so give them a quick stir and let them do their thing for a minute or two.
After about 3-4 minutes and a couple of stirs, grab your preferred BBQ sauce of choice.
Pour in about 3/4 cup and gently stir the pineapple. At this point you don’t want to leave the grill, just keep stirring every couple of minutes while the BBQ sauce thickens and reduces. Have a bowl or plate nearby to scoop out the pineapple when it’s ready.
Garnish for the Burnt Ends
Your sticky pineapple burnt ends are going to taste incredible on their own, but don’t be afraid to add some garnish.
Toppings can really make the flavors pop. I always like to add some sort of thinly sliced chile, such as a serrano or jalapeno.
Chopped herbs such as cilantro or scallions work well. For an added crunch, you can use toasted sesame seeds, peanuts, or even cashews as suggestions.
More Sides Dishes to Love
- Creamy Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese
- Southern Macaroni Salad
- Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
- Spicy Pork Belly Brussels Sprouts
- Light a large amount of charcoal until the coals are white hot. Pour them into the bottom of your grill, leaving the grill grate off. Arrange them to accommodate the pineapple. Place the entire pineapple onto the coals, nestling it slightly so the sides are partially heated.
- Rotate the pineapple every 3-4 minutes carefully. Each side will char and blacken. The pineapple will take about 30 minutes or so to fully cook, but you’ll need to keep it rotating during that time. Feel free to close the lid with the vents open, it will speed up the internal temperature slightly.
- Remove the pineapple when the internal temperature is around 120-130°F. Set it on a metal sheet pan and allow it to cool before slicing.
- Arrange the coals in the center of the grill and place the grill grate back on. Set your skillet over the coals to preheat it for the next step.
- Slice up the pineapple by first slicing off the top and bottom. Carefully carve the burnt skin, revealing the steaming pineapple flesh on the inside. Slice the pineapple away from the core, and cut it into 1.5 – 2″ cubes.
- Place the warm cubes into a bowl with the unsalted butter and mix to melt the butter while coating the pineapple. Sprinkle in the seasoning blend, and stir once more.
- Add the pineapple and melted butter to the preheated skillet. Stir briefly, and allow the pineapple to cook for about 3-4 minutes to develop a little char.
- Pour in the BBQ sauce and stir again. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken and caramelize the outside of the pineapple. You’ll need to stir frequently, gently, to make sure the sugars don’t burn in the sauce. Have a bowl or plate nearby to remove the pineapple when ready.
- Remove the pineapple and garnish with the slices of chile. Serve with toothpicks and a cold beer.
- Trim the leaves of the pineapple if you need to fit it in the grill. Don’t slice into the flesh or trim the skin, which protects the pineapple while burning.
- Wipe off your cutting board before slicing the pineapple into cubes, this helps to minimize the amount of charred bits that transfer to your pineapple.
- Preheat the skillet while you’re slicing the pineapple, so you don’t have to wait on it.
- Add wood chips while grilling the pineapple for additional flavor, and to keep the heat going.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 40
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: Appetizer
Keywords: pineapple, burnt ends, grilling, coal roasted, coal roasting, pineapple burnt ends