Get more out of your barbecue this summer by grilling your dessert too. Cooking a whole pineapple on the grill makes an easy and impressive summer pud and can easily be doubled to feed a crowd – serve the charred, caramelised slices on their own, with ice cream or as part of a larger dessert. Don’t forget to grab the handy shopping list of ingredients at the bottom.
Preheat your barbecue as required. Once your barbecue is ready (the coals should have turned white-grey and the flames died right down), carefully move the hot coals to one side so that there is an area of the grill away from the main heat. If using a gas barbecue, preheat as required to a medium-low heat setting.
Keeping the leaves attached at the top, stand the pineapple upright and, starting at the top just beneath the leaves, use a sharp knife to slice downwards to the base to remove the skin. If there are any hard ‘eyes’ (the tough dimples) remaining once all the skin has been removed, lay the pineapple flat and use the tip of a small sharp knife (or teaspoon) to cut (or scoop) them out. Finish by trimming the base.
Rub or brush the pineapple all over with 1 tbsp flavourless oil (such as sunflower or vegetable oil), then sprinkle with 1 tbsp Demerara sugar, rubbing it in if needed so that it sticks to the flesh.
Using the attached stem and leaves as a handle, lay the pineapple flat on the grill, away from the coals, so that it can cook slowly over an indirect heat. If your barbecue has a lid, you can speed up the cooking time slightly by covering the grill as it cooks, but this is not essential.
Check the pineapple after 5 mins, lifting carefully with the leaves to see if the underside has coloured – it should be golden brown and caramelised. If it seems to be blackening too quickly, move slightly further away from the hot coals, or if not enough, move towards them. If cooking more than one pineapple, you may need to swap round positions during cooking.
Once one side is cooked, use the leaves to turn the pineapple so the next section is on the grill; leave for another 5 mins or until ready. Keep turning every 5 mins or so until lightly charred and golden-brown all over, the flesh should feel soft when a small sharp knife is pushed in all the way to the core. The total cooking time may vary depending on the heat of the barbecue and the size and ripeness of the pineapple – about 30-50 mins.
Lay the cooked pineapple flat on a board and use a large sharp knife to slice lengthways through the middle, then cut each half into 3 long wedges and remove the core. You can serve as long wedges or remove the leaves and halve or quarter into shorter pieces for a dessert if preferred.
Serve the pineapple warm, on its own or perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of yogurt. For more serving suggestions, see Tips below.
Pineapple and coconut are a classic flavour match, so try serving with coconut sorbet or yogurt instead of ice cream or topping with shaved coconut. It will also pair well with grated lime zest, chopped fresh mint or even a scattering of red chilli for a sweet-and-spicy kick.
To turn into a tropical sundae, chop the pineapple into smaller pieces and layer in glasses with ice cream, crumbled ginger nut biscuits or ginger cake and finish with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce. For an adults-only version, sprinkle a little rum over the pineapple before serving.
We’ve made a handy shopping list, so you can get everything you need to make this barbecued pineapple recipe. Don’t forget to screenshot before you go shopping!
1 pineapple 1 tbsp sunflower oil (or vegetable oil) 1 tbsp Demerara sugar
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