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How to Create Layers of Flavor: Sweet and Spicy Apricot-Glazed Pork and Pineapple Kebabs

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A spicy rub is paired with a sweet and smoky apricot glaze for these incredibly flavorful pork kebabs. [Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

All month, we've been bringing you some of our favorite kebab recipes. The best news? Once you've got the grilled kebab fundamentals down pat, the options are just shy of infinite.

Today, I'm applying some of my barbecue know-how to my kebab-making: specifically, the art of the spice rub and glaze. I started this recipe with pork chops, which I brine first to keep the meat especially moist and juicy. Once the pork has soaked for at least 30 minutes, I pat it dry and cut it into cubes.

Then I toss the pork cubes in a basic barbecue-style spice rub, using cayenne to deliver a nice kick of heat, before threading it onto skewers with chunks of pineapple.

At the grill, I sear the kebabs over high heat and then move them over to cooler side, where I brush on a sweet apricot glaze flavored with honey, rice vinegar, and smoky chipotle peppers. By layering first with the rub and then with the glaze, I was able to produce really nuanced, deep flavors: the kebab may look simple and straightforward, but it tastes incredibly complex, mingling the rub's earthy and spicy profile with the sweet, fruity sauce.

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