Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple and Basil

These grilled pork chops with pineapple and basil marry the unexpected flavors of grilled pineapple, corn, jalapeno, and a glammed-up mayonnaise. Truly outstanding. And weeknight dinner friendly.

Two white plates topped with sliced grilled pork chops with pineapple and basil and corn and jalapeno.

This recipe is designed to complement the smoky, rich flavor of grilled pork. Try it with your favorite cut—grilled tenderloin, chops, sausages, or smoked pork shoulder. The relish works really great with chicken and fish, too. Pineapple and basil are the star pairing here; the other ingredients play a supporting role.–James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst

Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple and Basil

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 4
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Ingredients

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Directions

In a small bowl, stir together the jalapeño and vinegar.

Heat a grill for indirect cooking by turning the heat on high on one side and to medium on the other. If using a charcoal grill, pile the coals on one side only. If using a gas grill, turn half the burners to high and the others to medium. Lightly slick the grates with oil.

Lightly coat the corn and pineapple rings with some of the oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill directly over high heat until lightly charred on all sides, 4 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to carefully shave the kernels off the cobs and chop the pineapple into 1/2-inch (12 mm) pieces.

Add the mayonnaise to the jalapeños and mix until smooth. Stir in the soy sauce, tomato paste, corn, and pineapple and mix well. (You can cover and stash the relish in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

Season the pork with salt and lightly coat each piece with vegetable oil. Grill the pork directly over high heat for 4 minutes. 

Using tongs, lift each pork chop, rotate it 90 degrees, and place it back over high heat. Grill until well browned, about 4 minutes more.

Flip the pork and place it on the other side of the grill until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C), 2 to 8 minutes more.

Place the pork chops on a wire rack to rest until the temperature reaches 145°F (63°C), about 5 minutes more.

When you’re ready to serve, stir the basil into the relish and heap it alongside or on top of the pork chops.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

This is next-level pork! If you're a fan of Hawaiian pizza (I know this can be controversial), you're going to LOVE this recipe. The pineapple relish makes all the difference—it literally transformed boring old smoked pork chops into something I would serve to guests.

(My pork chops were smoked (technically fully cooked like ham), so this cooking time was accurate to warm them up nicely and give them a good sear on both sides; if they were raw, they definitely would have needed more time.)

I cooked everything on the stovetop with a cast iron griddle and cheated slightly by using frozen corn, which saved me some time. I cooked the corn on high in a frying pan to give it that same char. I plan on making this relish again to put on chicken...and tacos...and salads...pretty much on everything! Total winner!

This was a perfect late summer dinner. The smell of those smoky pork chops on a cool late summer evening was heavenly. The pineapple relish was bright, with just the right amount of basil and heat. It reminded us that there were still warm days left to come.

This relish would absolutely be great on grilled fish or chicken. For a vegetarian dish, I could even imagine the relish on some roasted sweet potatoes that had been tossed with smoked paprika.

This was a refreshingly different take on grilled pork and we were happily surprised by how well the odd-fellow pairing of mayo and soy and tomato worked in the background of the pineapple and jalapeño and basil. There was almost a hint of teriyaki flavor, but at the same time it was an altogether different flavor dance.

Pork can be plain and uninspired unless it’s marinated or sauced well, so this relish makes an exceptionally easy way to dress it up. My only suggestion would be to increase the jalapeño next time. Maybe mine was on the smaller side, but using only slices from ½ chile pepper wasn’t quite enough to shine through in the finished dish and offer the right amount of heat to balance the sweetness of the grilled pineapple.

I used a small (1.1 pound) and narrow pork tenderloin in place of the pork chop or pork loin. I can also imagine the relish on some sturdy swordfish or sea bass fillets.

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