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How to Make Smoked Pineapple

Learn everything you need to know about how to make smoked pineapple! 

Smoking a pineapple brings out unique, complex flavors and creates a great appetizer, dessert, or side dish for your next outdoor cookout.  Best of all, it’s REALLY easy! 

Whether you’ve got a Weber gas grill, a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we’ve got you covered!

Let’s Go!

finished smoked pieapple

 

Why Smoked Pineapple?

If you’ve spent any amount of time either attending or cooking at outdoor BBQ’s, you’ve probably had some grilled pineapple.  Maybe it was on a skewer with some other meats and veggies or sliced up to accompany a fresh ham or some pork chops.

a raw pineapple

Grilled pineapple CAN be great…if done right.  But even more interesting is SMOKED PINEAPPLE.

Pineapple pairs wonderfully with fruitwood smoke such as apple or cherry and added ingredients such as maple, bourbon, brown sugar, and even a little SALT can bring out some amazing complex flavors as the sugars in the pineapple gently caramelize at the lower smoking temperatures that won’t burn the sugar so quickly like direct grilling can.

It’s easy to work with on any smoker or grill set up for indirect heat, and you can make it right alongside your favorite protein to have as an appetizer or dessert.

 

Best Wood for Smoking Pineapple

Cherry, Maple, Apple, and even Oak are great wood choices that pair wonderfully with pineapple.

You can probably get away with Hickory but best to mix it with another wood type.

Stay away from Mesquite for smoking fruit.

fruit wood chips and wood chunks for smoking pineapple

You can choose one or the other or mix them together!

These woods also work great on fish, chicken, turkey, pork butt, and ribs.  So no need to use different woods if you are smoking your pineapple alongside your main protein.

You can impart A LOT of distinctive smoke flavor in a relatively short period of time.

 

How to Prepare Pineapple for Smoking

Cleaning and Prepping

If you want to make your life super simple, go ahead and buy a container of freshly cut pineapple spears or rings from the produce section of your grocery store.

But if you are using a fresh pineapple, here are 2 ways to carve it up.

First, cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple.

Next cut lengthwise down the ides, working your way around the pineapple until you’ve taken off all the outer skin.  Then go back and slice off any brown spots or “eye” still hanging around.

slicing the outer skin off a pineapple to smoke

From here you have two choices. Rings or Wedges.

 

Option 1: Smoked Pineapple Rings

If you want rings, you can lay the pineapple down on its side and cut in 1/2-inch slices from one end to the other.

Then use a biscuit cutter to press down and take out the fibrous centers of each ring.

If you want to make your life a WHOLE lot easier, try out a pineapple corer and you’ll have your entire pineapple cut cored, and sliced in no time!

These work great, especially if you are feeding a crowd with several pineapples.

Now, in our recipe below we actually smoke the pineapple whole first, then slice it and smoke it as rings for just the last part so keep that in mind before you go chipping away at your pineapple.

 

Option 2: Smoked Pineapple Wedges

Your second option is to cut your pineapple down the middle into wedges of 6ths (or 8ths if its big pineapple).

slicing a pineapple into wedges for smoking

Then make sure to shave off the fibrous corner from the inside of the pineapple from each wedge.

pineapple wedges getting coated with brown sugar

 

Seasoning the Smoked Pineapple

You’ve got a number of seasoning options for your smoked pineapple.  You can even use traditional BBQ rubs and a spicy BBQ sauce if you wish.

It actually tastes pretty good!

Our favorite flavors with smoked pineapple however are maple, brown sugar, bourbon, and sea salt.

a bottle of bourbon

You can leave out the maple syrup or bourbon if you don’t care for those flavors, but the idea is to get a nice sweet and salty glaze on the outside of the pineapple before it goes in the smoker.

You can even mix a little cayenne pepper in as well if you want some heat with your sweet!

In our recipe below we actually inject the pineapple with the bourbon to make sure it infuses deep into the meat of the fruit.

drawing bourbon into a meat injector for smoked pineapple

Always use a good quality meat injector like our favorite from JY Cookment if you attempt this though, especially when trying to inject through the fibrous tissues at the center of a pineapple.

This all works best, and is easiest to clean up afterwards, if you use a good silicone basting brush like these ones.

 

Best Times and Temperatures for Smoking Pineapple

Best Temperature to Smoke Pineapple

When choosing what temperature to smoke the pineapple it’s important to know the temperature at which sugar burns.

Whether you are using a sugary rub or not, there is TONS of sugar in the pineapple itself, and we want it to gently caramelize, not burn.

Because sugar begins to burn and develop a bitter flavor when cooked above 350°F,  you will want to keep your smoker temperature below 350°F, probably below 325°F to be safe, and also watch it like a hawk.

(And by the way, this is true for ALL BBQ temperature selection when using sugary rubs.)

For our recipe below we are going to keep it WAAAY down in the safe zone and smoke our pineapple in the pellet grill or smoker at 250-275°F.

traeger pellet grill set to 250 degrees

 

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Pineapple?

If you are using a grill, make sure to set it up for INDIRECT cooking with all the charcoal or burners lit on the opposite side of the pineapple.

pineapple smoking on a grill

 

Now, your smoked pineapple will still come out delicious if cooked at a lower temperature like 200-225°F, especially if the meat you are cooking it alongside requires a lower smoking temperature, it just ay take longer to get that nice golden brown caramelization.

Safety Tip: Make to sure to never position your smoked veggies, fruit and sides UNDER any meat you are cooking in order to avoid dripping and possible salmonella contamination.

If you set up your smoker at 250-275° F like we are, it will take about 30-45 minutes to smoke the pineapple and develop a nice caramelization.

 

How Can You Tell When Smoked Pineapple is Finished Cooking?

Unlike many of the meats we smoke around here, where you have to watch the internal temperature like a hawk, you have some pretty good leeway with smoking pineapple.

You don’t want to go TOO far and have it start to burn on the outside or get mushy on the inside, but you DO have a fair amount of leeway in how long it smokes.

After about 30-45 minutes on the smoker or grill, take a peek to see how the outside rub is progressing.

If it still looks fairly pale and uncooked, go ahead and leave it on a little longer or crank the heat up 25°F or so.

Just make sure to keep watching it carefully as sugar can go from deliciously carmelized to burnt in a matter of minutes, especially if you see it bubbling on the surface.

 

 

Setting up your Grill or Smoker for Smoked Pineapple

New to smoking?

Check out our Complete List of the Best Entry Level Smokers for Beginners Here.

Like we said, you are most likely setting up your smoker to cook a main dish for the smoked pineapple to accompany, or serve as the dessert to.

If so, make sure to follow THOSE instructions for setting up your smoker.

If, however, you are just in the mood for smoking some pineapple by itself, here are the best instructions for setting up different types of grills and smokers to do just that.

 

Smoked Pineapple in a Vertical or Offset Charcoal Smoker

Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

Weber Smokey Mountain on Amazon

Fill your firebox or lower charcoal basin with about a chimney’s worth of unlit charcoal and create a small hollowed out depression in the center where you can add your lit briquets.

If your smoker comes with a water pan, like the Weber Smokey Mountain, don’t bother with filling it.

Light a charcoal chimney all the way with charcoal and wait about 20 minutes for it to fully ignite.

Once lit, add the briquets to the center depression you created.

Keep the dampers about 1/2 way to 3/4 open until the temperature is in the 225°F range.

Add 1 chunk of smoking wood once the smoker is up to temperature and put your maple and brown sugar rubbed pineapple on.

Then slowly close down the top and bottom dampers to about 1/3-1/4 open until you are maintaining a temperature of 250° F.

Want to see a list of our FAVORITE Vertical Smokers for 2021?  Check it out here!

 

Smoked Pineapple in an Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30 inch, Black

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker on Amazon

Plug your electric smoker in, open the vents, and turn the temperature to 250°F.

While it comes up to temperature, add smoking wood chips, not pellets, to the smoking wood tray.

loading wood chips in an electric smoker from smoking pineapple

Place your pineapple in the smoker.

Debating whether to buy a propane or electric smoker?  Check out our COMPLETE Comparison Guide HERE.

 

Smoked Pineapple on a Pellet Grill

 

Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill & Smoker | Bronze, Gen I, 572 Sq. In. Capacity | TFB57PZBO model

Check out Traeger Pellet Grills on Amazon

Fill the pellet hopper with your choice of smoking wood pellets, preferably apple or hickory.

Plug in the pellet grill and turn the temperature to 250°F.  Make sure you have the pellet grill set up for INDIRECT cooking.

For instance, on a Pit Boss and camp Chef pellet grills there is a special lever to pull to switch from DIRECT to INDIRECT heat.

pulling knob on camp chef pellet grill for direct heat

Let the pellet grill run through its start up process.

When the pellet grill has come up to temperature, place your pineapple on the grill.

Never used a pellet grill before?  Read our Ultimate Guide to Pellet Grills to learn why they are so easy and how to set one up for success every time.

Here is also a list of our Favorite Pellet Grills Priced UNDER $500

 

Smoked Pineapple on a Gas or Charcoal Grill

Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Liquid Propane Grill, Black

Check out this Weber Grill on Amazon

On a gas or charcoal grill you will likely need to use a smoker box filled with wood chips, or a pellet tube smoker filled with wood pellets.

Think you need a fancy smoker to smoke food at home? 

Think again.

Great smoked food can be made right on your current gas or charcoal grill.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Smoking on a Gas Grill HERE.

If you are unfamiliar with these gas grill smoking devices mentioned above, no worries, we have you covered!

Read Everything You Need to Know about how to use Smoker Boxes here, and see a selection of our Favorite Pellet Tube Smokers here.

Or check out this handy comparison between smoker boxes and pellet tube smokers if you can’t decide which is right for you.

In the case of smoked pineapple, we would opt for the smoker box with wood chips since we only need about 30 minutes of wood smoking time, which is about how long a full smoker box lasts.

This will save you the hassle of having to waste and extinguish a pellet tube full of pellets that can last up to 5 hours..

Set up your gas or charcoal grill for indirect cooking with the burners or a small amount of lit briquets on one side and plan for your pineapple to be on the other side.

Remember, we are smoking the pineapple INDIRECTLY, like an oven, not DIRECTLY over the burners or coals.

charcoal grill set up for indirect heat for smoked pineapple

Once the temperature of your grill is around 225°F, place your smoker box or pellet tube smoker over the lit burners and once smoke begins coming out, place your pineapple on the opposite side.

Continue bringing the temperature up to 250-275°F.

Check out our Favorite Gas Grills priced UNDER $200 Here.

 

Optional: Use a Grill Basket or Grill Mat

You may be more successful if you place the smoked pineapple rings or spears in a grill basket rather than directly on the grill grates to avoid losing any pieces through the grates.

We are particular fans of the ORDORA Portable Grill Basket because it comes with its own handle, making it much easier to manage and move lots of delicate food around with one quick motion.

Another option is to use a grill mat, which are becoming increasingly popular in many BBQ circles, especially for delicate veggies and small seafood like shrimp and scallops.

Our personal favorite is the PhatMat Non Stick Grill Mat.

Just throw it down on your grill to keep your pineapple (or any other food) from falling through.

It keeps your grates really clean, and when you are done, you just throw it right in the dishwasher!

 

Best Ways to Serve Smoked Pineapple

Once the smoked pineapple looks sufficiently smoked and caramelized after about 30-45 minutes, carefully remove it from the grill or smoker and place the pieces on a wire baking rack to cool.

If you haven’t removed the centers yet, use a biscuit cutter to quickly make them into rings before serving.

The smoked pineapple can be served as an accompaniment to your meat, such as with smoked ham or pork chops in particular, you can serve it as an appetizer, in a salad, or even for dessert!

Top some vanilla ice cream with your bourbon infused maple smoked pineapple rings for an extra decadent adult dessert to finish off a great meal.

finished smoked pineapple

 

What Other Food Can I Smoke?

Looking for some more smoky inspiration?

So glad you asked.

white smoke coming out of a traeger pellet grill

Check out some of our other great recipes of smoked and grilled food you can easily prepare at your next outdoor BBQ!

Smoked Seafood

 

Smoked Beef

 

Smoked Lamb

 

Smoked Pork, Turkey, and Chicken

 

Other Odds and Ends

Trash Can Turkey – OK, technically not made on a grill or smoker but one of the most fun ways there is to cook a Turkey…at over 700 degrees in only 2 hours! 

You’ve got to check it out!

finished smoked pieapple

Smoked Pineapple with Bourbon Maple Glaze

We first inject a whole pineapple with bourbon then rub it with a maple brown sugar glaze before smoking it low and slow and then slicing into rings
Whether you’ve got a Weber gas grill, a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we’ve got you covered with this technique!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Cuban, Hawaiian, Smoked, Vegetarian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 200 kcal

Equipment

  • A Smoker or Pellet grill -OR-
  • A Gas or Charcoal Grill setup for indirect heat
  • A Carving Knife
  • A Meat Injector (optional)
  • A Basting Brush
  • Fruitwood (Apple or Cherry) or Maple pellets, woodchips, or chunks
  • A Small Biscuit Cutter
  • A Wire Baking Rack

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Whole Pineapple Top, bottom, and sides cut off
  • 1 Cup Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt

Instructions
 

Prepare the Grill or Smoker

  • Preheat the smoker, or grill setup for indirect cooking, to 250°F. If using a pellet grill, load the hopper with your shosen pellets, turn on the grill, and set the temperature for 250°F.
    traeger pellet grill set to 250 degrees
  • If using a grill, once it is near its temperature, add your wood chips, wood chunks, or pellets into a pellet tube smoker and place over the direct heat and close the lid.
    smoking wood on lit charcoal

Prepare the Pineapple for Smoking

  • Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple. Then slice down to remove all the skin from the edges. Do NOT cut the pineapple into slices or wedges yet.
    trimming a pineapple for smoking
  • Using a meat injector, inject the bourbon into the pineapple, injecting small amounts in all different ares to infuse the whole pineapple. To limit the mess, do this with the pineapple in a large mixing bowl or one a rimmed baking tray. If you don't have a meat injector, you can mix the bourbon into the rub you will apply next.
    injecting bourbon into a pineapple before smoking
  • Once the pineapple is infused with the bourbon, mix your maple syrup and brown sugar well into a paste and brush it on the entire outside of the pineapple. Save some of the maple brown sugar mixture for later.
    rubing brown sugar on the outside of a pineapple

Smoke the Pineapple

  • Once the grill or smoker is up to 250°F and producing smoke, place the entire whole pineapple into the smoker, or on the cool side of the grill.
  • After 30-45 minutes check that the maple brown sugar rub is carmelizing and smoke for additional time if needed, otherwise remove from the smoker.
  • Slice the smoked pineapple into 1/2 inch slices and use the biscuit cutter to remove the centers of the rings.
    sliced smoked pineapple
  • Place the pineapple back on then the grill or smoker and apply a little more of the maple brown sugar glaze if you wish. Snoke for another 10-15 minutes.

Salt and Serve the Pineapple

  • Remove the smoked pineapple from the grill or smoker using BBQ tongs and place on a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
    finished smoked pineapple
  • Lastly, sprinkle a little kosher salt or sea salt on the pineapple slices before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.

Video

Notes

Recipe inspired by and video courtesy of Grill Sergeant.
Keyword bourbon, brown sugar, grilled fruit, grilled pineapple, infused, injected, maple, pineapple, smoked fruit, smoked pineapple

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