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Pork and Apple Skewers with Orange Balsamic Glaze have tender cubes of pork and Granny Smith apples that are grilled to perfection, then slathered with a peppery orange balsamic glaze.
Years ago, when I was still single and long before I met Jack, I often hung out with my friend Jane and her husband Dave. We’d take turns inviting each other over for dinner, and Dave was always impressed because, there I was – all alone out on the small deck of my apartment with my trusty Weber charcoal grill – cooking up some seriously good food!
Dave was (and still is) a pretty competitive guy, so these grilled dinners began to turn into a bit of a competition, and we were having so much fun that Jane’s other friends Barb and Jamie wanted in on the action too. I ended up ‘competing’ against these two guys, all summer long, with bragging rights up for grabs!
The night that I grilled these Pork and Apple Skewers with Orange Balsamic Glaze was the night that everyone declared me the official winner of our grill-off that summer. Pork and apples together are such a terrific food pairing, and when they become tender and caramelized on the grill – as they do in this recipe – the flavors are even better!
But – what really puts these Pork and Apple Skewers over the top, is the Orange Balsamic Glaze that gets brushed on at the end, just before you take them off the grill. It’s a super flavorful sauce made from a reduction of orange juice and balsamic vinegar, plus a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper that adds the perfect amount of heat and spice to the dish.
At the end of that summer, I shared my ‘secret recipes’ with Dave and many of them (including today’s Pork and Apple Skewers with Balsamic Orange Glaze) came from this cookbook, License to Grill: Achieve Greatness At The Grill With 200 Sizzling Recipes, by famous Boston-area chef, Chris Schlesinger. To this day, Jack and I still look to this cookbook for great grilling inspiration.
Helpful Skewer Grilling Tips:
- When grilling any foods on a skewer, only combine ingredients that cook at the same rate. Doing so ensures that everything is cooked to the perfect level of doneness – and you avoid having some foods undercooked or overcooked. In the case of today’s recipe, the chunks of pork tenderloin and apples will both be done after cooking between five and eight minutes on a gas grill, depending on the size of your pieces. (A charcoal grill may take a little longer.)
- Soak wooden skewers in water for about an hour before threading your food onto the skewers. This will help prevent the skewers from drying out or burning as you grill. Place the wooden skewers in a flat dish filled with water. If the skewers float, place a bowl on top of skewers to keep them submerged.
- After placing your food on the skewers, if you find that the food is spinning around too much – just add a second skewer. This will help hold the food in place as you turn the skewer on the grill.
- If you find yourself grilling with skewers a lot, consider buying stainless steel metal skewers instead. Stainless steel skewers come in different lengths and shapes – long and straight, or round skewers to fit on a plate.
Pork and Apple Skewers with Orange Balsamic Glaze originally appeared on A Family Feast in July 2013. We’ve updated the photos and post.
You may enjoy these other skewer and kabob recipes:
- Lemon-Glazed Swordfish Skewers Over Rice
- Sesame Chicken Skewers with Sriracha-Soy Dipping Sauce
- Grilled Chicken Skewers with Thai Chili Peanut Sauce
- Zucchini Tomato Skewers with Fresh Herb Dressing
- Sweet and Spicy Shrimp, Pineapple and Bacon Skewers
For the Orange Balsamic Glaze
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1–3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (depending on how peppery you’d like your sauce)
For the Skewers
2 pounds pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
3 Granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To make the Orange Balsamic Glaze
- In a small sauce pan, heat orange juice, vinegar, salt and the black pepper. Note: this glaze is very strong and peppery if you use 3 teaspoons of pepper, so go by your preference. Bring to a boil and put on a fast simmer for about 20 minutes or until the sauce has been reduced by half. Pour through a fine sieve to filter out the pepper granules and set aside.
To make the Skewers
- If using wooden skewers, soak six 12-inch skewers in water for an hour.
- Cut the tenderloin into 24 one-inch cubes
- Core the apples then cut in half then each half in half. Turn each piece and cut in half the opposite way to yield 8 chunks each instead of 8 slices each, total 24 chunks.
- In a medium bowl, combine pork cubes, apple chunks, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix to coat.
- Thread the pork and apples onto the skewers (I put 4 of each onto each skewer) and grill over a medium hot grill for 5-8 minutes turning often. You want the pork to be pink but not raw and the apples to still have a bit of crunch. If you insert a probe thermometer into a piece of pork, it should read 140 degrees F.
- During the last minute of cooking, brush with the glaze but be careful not to burn.
- To serve, brush the skewers with extra glaze and serve.
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Adapted from License to Grill