What Is Pineapple Glaze?

Anna B. Smith

Pineapple glaze is a type of sweet sauce that may be used to marinate meat. It may also be brushed onto foods while cooking over hot coals as a sweet and tangy basting glaze. This sauce works well with chicken, pork, ham, and white fish. Pineapple spears may be added to the food and basted with the glaze during the cooking process, as well, to add visual and flavorful interest to the dish.

Pineapple glaze can be made using fresh fruit.
Pineapple glaze can be made using fresh fruit.

The primary ingredient and flavor of this sauce is pineapples. Fresh, whole fruit or canned fruit may be used. When using canned fruit in the pineapple glaze, most recipes tend to utilize the packing juice in addition to the actual fruit. This juice contains the essence of the flavor of the pineapple, and can be combined with water and dissolved cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Small portions of the fresh, whole pineapple can be run through a food processor, and the resultant puree used to the same effect.

A pineapple glaze is often used on baked ham.
A pineapple glaze is often used on baked ham.

The pineapples may be mixed with brown sugar, rum, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and ginger. This combination of ingredients provides a tangy and robust flavor that compliments the savory nature of most meats. Pineapple glaze is most frequently used to coat ham and pork, which are both somewhat sweet in taste. The overall flavor of the sauce is both sweet and exotic, calling to mind warm breezes, sandy beaches, and ocean waves, no matter what type of food it is used on. It can be paired with coconut rice, fresh fruit, and a crisp green salad.

The pineapple glaze can be prepared ahead of cooking time and used as a soaking marinade for the meat. Chicken should typically be soaked up to four hours before cooking time, and ham and pork chops can be immersed and refrigerated for up to eight hours. This preparation time allows the juices to soak into the meat and cook it from the inside out when placed over hot coals or beneath a broiler. The juices on the exterior will then char into a sweet and crispy crust.

Whole pineapple chunks may be used in addition to the glaze to flavor the meat. Flat meats, such as ham slices and pork chops, may be topped on the grill with pineapple slices towards the end of the cooking time. Chicken and whole ham can be secured with pineapple chunks using toothpicks. Maraschino cherries are a popular choice as a secondary fruit to place inside the pineapple ring on top of the meat, or as a skewer top for pineapple chunks. Both the meat and the grilling fruit may be basted with the pineapple glaze.

Canned pineapple can be used in pineapple glaze.
Canned pineapple can be used in pineapple glaze.

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