You're Actually Missing Out On The Best Pineapple Pizzas

Let out all your hot takes, take a deep breath, then come on a magical pineapple pizza journey with us.

Hear me out: pineapple pizza can be good, no matter what my favorite linebacker says.

Okay, have those of us who needed to do so returned from screaming into a pillow? Good. Let's get Canadian.

I make a lot of pizza, and thanks to the preferences of the people in my life, a lot of that pizza features the juicy yellow spike-fruit in various permutations. So I'm going to share some of the more enjoyable ways to build flavors using pineapple.

And yes, I know some of you are still going to be dicks about this one specific ingredient a lot of people like. And that's okay. I'm not going to throw stones from Chicago, where ketchup-sniffing German shepherds prowl the aldermanic wards.

But for the rest of you? Let's get tropical. It's all right to politely disagree with the second-best coach on Hang Time.

Move beyond canned pineapple

I will begin negotiations by admitting that, yes, there's a lot of bad pineapple pizza out there. Just flinging some can-wet pineapple on top isn't going to do the trick. Unless hot canned pineapple is your thing, in which case you're good to go and can stop reading. (But at least drain it well, stick to the juice-packed stuff rather than the heavy syrup, and cut it into smaller bites.)

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Fresh pineapple, and this is a surprise to nobody, has much more vibrancy than the canned stuff. If you can't or don't want to hack up a whole one, your grocery store will sell you fresh-cut chunks or planks for a mildly exorbitant price that you can cut down to shape.

Or, if you're in for some extra time and trouble, you can make a Danger Ham.

Make a Danger Ham

This is just a stupid name for oven roasting a whole damn pineapple until it becomes a delicious and deadly fruit napalm. Sweet like ham! Divisive like pineapple! But it comes out tasting deeply nuanced, lightly caramelized, and looking like a tropical fruit from the Event Horizon dimension. Would I spend three hours on a topping if it didn't rule? Reader, I assure you that I would not.

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This long-coooked pineapple is perfect for an addition of al pastor pork, smoked meats, fresh chilis, or roasted corn.

Just line a half-sheet pan with heavy duty foil, cut the crown leaves off the pineapple, and roast for two hours or so in a 425-degree oven. Remove it and let cool, unless you're good at breaking down a molten football of pain.

When it's cooled enough to handle, cut away the skin, remove the core, and dice into succulent chunks of edible sunset. Whatever you don't toss on a pizza has the makings of a real mean salsa.

Add peppers to your pizza

The big tragedy of this pineapple war is that when you stop with "NO PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA" you don't even get to the fact that you can match some really great peppers for completely different experiences. Pickled jalapeño slices from a can, grill-charred Scotch bonnets, serranos from the garden—hard to find a bad one if you like the pepper in question.

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And you are going to love it, most especially if you grill or pickle the chilis and turn the pineapple into a Danger Ham. Add some fresh farmer's cheese on top. Bring onions to the party. Throw a brick at the cathedral of D.O.P. The world is yours.

Pickle your pineapple!

Bearded internet guy telling you to pickle something? First time for everything, Pizza Pals. Quick-pickle some fresh pineapple in a salted white vinegar brine, maybe a little dried garlic and/or onion and pink peppercorns, and let it hang out a day or three. Puree, strain, and you've got a POTENT and funky sauce to finish a nice pie with or use as a condiment.

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Make a futurist Hawaiian pizza

A local doughnut-making chef friend of mine (hi, Pat!) turned me onto pineapple powder. And we simply cannot let the smoothie bros and the doughnut magicians have all the fun.

Pineapple powder costs between $12-20 for more than you're ever going to use on pizza. Pair it with some good pepperoni (buy a stick of natural casing stuff, cut it thin) and some sweet onion jam, then give the pizza a nice dusting of powder. The pepperoni releases oil during the cook, which hydrates the powder, which gets a sweet backup from the jam.

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It's pure damn magic. But it's a balance like anything else turned into powder. You'll know within two bites the first time you add too much for your taste. Start light and dial in your personal island time.

That's it. I'm a Chicago pizza guy. You think quote-tweeting me with a horrified emoji is going to leave me shaken? BAH. Please remit all complaints and criticism to mailer-daemon@aol.com.

For the rest of you, thank you for joining me on this journey of deliciousness beyond the wall of judgment. It's tasty here.

 

 

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