Bacon-wrapped Pineapple Mozzarella Rings (a.k.a. Bacon Donuts)
It’s no secret that I absolutely adore bacon. When I first moved to Los Angeles in the mid 80′s after attending Texas Tech to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona, I had a fun stint at an American pizza chain (rhymes with vamanos) as a delivery driver. Rockin Robyn, the store manager, would often keep me as a late night driver when the orders slowed down. During these slow periods, she taught me how to make pizzas. The Hawaiian pizza with Canadian bacon and pineapple chunks was one of my favorite pizzas so this Hawaiian-pizza-without-the-crust creation was born. I eventually became fast enough to make a large Pepperoni pizza with the 40 pieces of pepperoni in under 27 seconds, good enough to be a contender as one of the store’s candidates for their regional contest. Unfortunately, fate intervened as I received a career-starting job offer in Orange County and left. I sometimes reminiscence that if I had stayed, perhaps I could have been a pizza making champion? Maybe that’s the genesis that fueled my barbecue passion 30 years later. Follow my tip to hold the mozzarella in position by cradling the cheese slices in an onion “bowl” while you wrap the bacon. Be patient when you make it as it takes time to perfect the Zen of Bacon Threading (consider it an act of bacon love!). I had to wrap a half dozen rings before I got the hang of it. Don’t wear gloves when you do this as you need nimble fingers to thread the bacon through the hole in the pineapple. Be gentle not to break the pineapple. Use a sweet onion like a Vadalia or Maui onion. Save the other pieces of onion you don’t use for another dish. Let the bacon come up to room temperature so it’s more pliable and easier to work with. Use bacon that has alternating layers of fat and meat and avoid bacon that has only bands of fat. You can cook the rings in your pit (I used a Weber Kettle) for better flavor or it works just as well in an oven on a mesh rack.
Author: Harry Soo
- 16-24 slices of bacon
- 1 can of sliced pineapple rings (we need 8 rings) 8 mozzarella string cheese sticks
- 2-3 large sweet yellow onion, cut into ⅓ inch rings
- SYD meat rub
- Peel and cut the large onion into ⅓ inch slices.
- Open the can of pineapple slices, drain the juice and set aside 8 slices.
- Match the onion rings to the size of the pineapple slices— choose rings that have more of a bowl shape to help hold the string cheese in place.
- Tear the mozzarella string cheese in half.
- Place one half of the mozzarella in the onion ring and cut the other half to fill in the remaining gap. Place the cut piece filling in the gap.
- Stack the mozzarella lined onion ring on the pineapple and start wrapping with bacon slices. Use two to three slices of bacon per ring. Just take it slow and keep it all in place and it will eventually wrap—sometimes it takes some repositioning or re- stuffing of string cheese into ring.
- Once all wrapped, sprinkle on some SYD meat rub to your liking.
- Start up the Weber kettle (or your grill of choice) and cook indirect at 400F for 30 minutes.
- Optionally glaze with your favorite sauce.
- Let cool down for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, such as marinara.