• Yield: Serves 4

Because they cook so quickly, pork skewers are an excellent way to achieve the crusty outside/tender inside dichotomy that's the hallmark of great grilled food. As for how much you should cook these skewers, our preference is to leave just a bit of pink in the center; it's no longer unsafe to do so, and if you cook them further than that, they are going to be dry. But, as always, the choice is yours. Just remember that the cubes are going to continue cooking a bit after you take them off the grill, so pull them when they are a big less done than you want them to be when you eat them.


  • 1-1/2 pounds pork loin or tenderloin, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 3 tablespoons grainy mustard

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh oregano (optional)


1. Build a fire in your charcoal grill. When the flames have died down, all the coals are covered with gray ash, and the temperature is medium hot (you can hold your hand 6 inches above the grill for 3-4 seconds), you're ready to cook. If using a gas grill, preheat on high with the cover closed for 15 minutes.

2. Combine the pork, oil, and coriander in a large bowl, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and toss well so all the pork gets lightly coated.

3. Thread the pork chunks onto skewers so that they touch but are not jammed too tightly together (6 or 8 per skewer) and place directly over the heat. Cook, turning occasionally so all sides get nicely seared, until the pork is just done to your liking, 8 to 10 minutes for the way we like it, which is slightly pink. To check doneness, just cut into one of the skewers.

4. While the pork is cooking, whisk together the maple syrup, orange juice, and mustard in the large bowl.

5. When the skewers come off the grill, slide the pork chunks into the bowl, toss everything together until the pork cubes are well coated, sprinkle with the oregano, and serve with steamed rice.

Reprinted from The Big-Flavor Grill, 2014.

John Willoughby served as executive editor at Gourmet, senior editor at Cook's Illustrated and has co-authored eight cookbooks, including James Beard award-winner The Thrill of the Grill. He writes for publications such as The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Metropolitan Home and Saveur.