We're a few weeks into grilling season, and that means it’s time to stretch beyond the basic burger and start getting creative with toppings. An unusual favorite of mine that’s perfect for summer? Grilled pineapple! Brushed with whiskey glaze and accompanied by sliced jalapeños, these burgers are a little steakhouse, a little Hawaiian vacation, and a lot delicious.
Pineapple is a perfect topper for burgers — the sliced fruit is just the right circumference to layer onto a bun. While many recipes call for a can of pineapple rings (and that is certainly an easy way to go), the flavor and texture of fresh, grilled pineapple is far superior. If you’ve never cut a pineapple before, check out one of our easy methods:
Pineapple Tips from The Kitchn
Once you’ve prepped your pineapple and other toppings, it’s time to make the glaze. This 4-ingredient, whiskey-spiked version couldn’t be easier. Simmered on the stove for a few minutes, the tangy, boozy glaze is perfect for brushing on both the pineapple and the burgers for lots of great flavor. You won’t even need the usual burger condiments; just brush a little bit of glaze on the bun and you’re good to go.
I love the pairing of sweet glaze and spicy jalapeños, but feel free to leave them off or deseed the peppers if you’re not up for a hit of heat. Alternately, you can double up on spice by stirring a spoonful of chili paste or sriracha into your whiskey glaze.
Pineapple Burgers with Whiskey Glaze
1/2 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons Bourbon whiskey
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pineapple, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch thick rounds, and core removed
1 pound 85% lean ground beef, divided into 4 patties
Salt and pepper
4 hamburger buns
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce (about 4 large leaves)
1 medium red onion, sliced into rings
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced into thin rings
If you will be cooking outdoors, prepare your grill for high heat cooking. Alternatively, you can make this recipe indoors, cooking the burgers and pineapple on the stove-top using a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
To make the bourbon glaze, whisk together the jam, whiskey, honey, and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring up to a boil, then let boil for five minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
Brush each slice of pineapple with a thin layer of the bourbon glaze. Place on the grill and let cook until grill marks appear, about five minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Just before grilling the burgers, season the beef patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the burgers on the grill over direct heat and cook until seared with grill marks on each side and pink in the center, about five minutes a side (or to desired doneness). During the last minute of cooking, brush the top of the burgers with bourbon glaze.
To serve, place the open hamburger buns on serving plates. Place a 1/2-cup of shredded lettuce and a few slices of red onion on the bun tops. Brush a thin layer of glaze on the bottom buns, then slide a pineapple slice and burger onto each bottom bun. Garnish the burgers with a few slices of jalapeño and serve.
(Image credits: Coco Morante)