Spit-Roasted Pineapple


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

Planet Barbecue

Planet Barbecue

By Steven Raichlen

Published 2010

  • About

By the time I arrived at the sprawling churrascaria in southern Brazil, the wedding party was in full swing. So were a half-dozen birthdays, a retirement celebration, numerous extended family dinners, and a bevy of hot Saturday night dates. And to serve them, a forest of spits spun furiously on a charcoal-fired rotisserie several yards long. Welcome to Galpão Crioulo (“Creole Grange”)—a country-style grill joint in Brazil’s barbecue capital, Porto Alegre, with room enough to feed you and the population of several small cities. This cinnamon-grilled pineapple comes served on a spit, just like Brazilian rotisseried meats, and the waiter carves thin slices onto the plate, just as he would picanha (see recipe) or spit-roasted beef tenderloin. You can certainly serve the fruit with meat, but it also makes a stunningly original dessert.


  • 1 whole ripe golden pineapple
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Spiced whipped cream (optional, see Note and these Notes)


Advance Preparation


  1. Cut the crown (the leafy part) off the pineapple and carefully cut the rind off the fruit. Using a sharp knife, make a series of spiral cuts to remove the eyes.
  2. Place the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a bowl and stir to mix.
  3. Set up the grill for spit roasting, following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat the grill as hot as it will go.
  4. Thread the pineapple onto the spit lengthwise so the spit passes through the middle of the fruit (or thread it the traditional way—crosswise). Brush the outside of the pineapple with about 1 tablespoon of butter. Working over a tray or sheet pan, sprinkle one-third of the spice and sugar mixture over the pineapple on all sides and on the ends to crust it as thickly and as evenly as possible.
  5. When ready to cook, attach the spit to the grill and turn on the motor. Spit-roast the pineapple until it is darkly browned on the outside, 15 to 30 minutes in all, depending on how hot the fire is (covering the rotisserie will make it even hotter). When the pineapple starts to brown, after 5 to 10 minutes, brush it on all sides with more butter and sprinkle more spiced sugar over it; shake the sugar bowl right over the pineapple as it turns on the rotisserie. Repeat after 5 minutes with the remaining butter and sugar, then continue spit roasting until the pineapple is darkly browned and thickly crusted with sugar.
  6. Take the spit to the table and thinly slice the pineapple onto plates. (To be strictly authentic, once the crust of the pineapple is carved off the spit, you’d sprinkle the fruit with more spiced sugar and spit roast it again until darkly browned once more, continuing until all of the sugar mixture has been used up and all the pineapple has been served.) Alternatively, you can remove the pineapple from the spit and cut it crosswise into slices; this is a little more user-friendly in a home setting. Serve the pineapple slices with whipped cream, if desired.

How to Spit Roast a Pineapple







“Spit-Roasted Pineapple” without the Rotisserie

If you don’t have a rotisserie, you can cut the pineapple crosswise into ½-inch slices, coat each in butter and sugar, and brown the slices on the well-oiled grate of a raging-hot grill.