The unique shape and appearance of the exotic pineapple have been captivating lūʻaus and summer parties for generations. The hard and spiky outer shell combined with the sweet and juicy inner flesh gives a pineapple its unique flavor and texture.
Many home cooks stay away from this tricky treat because it can be challenging to know exactly how to get the pieces you need for your recipe. Luckily, we’ve broken down all the steps and tips you need to know for cutting a pineapple at home.
First things first, before you dive into the task at hand, make sure you have the right tools. In order to avoid any potential accidents and get clean-cut pieces of fresh pineapple, use a sharp knife with a serrated edge because it will be much easier to cut.
Now, before you can cut the pineapple you want to make sure and pick out the right one. Although it may seem impossible to figure out how a pineapple tastes without cutting it open, there are a couple of ways you can figure out which one will be best. Pineapples are also in season from March to July, so sticking to these months will be best.
Pineapples should have a sweet and fragrant aroma so get a quick whiff of the one you’re thinking of buying before going to the checkout. Also, their skin should be golden-yellow in color with no signs of softness or browning so feel around your pineapple as much as you check for its color.
After you have the perfect pineapple selected you are ready to start carving it up.
How to Cut Your Pineapple
After years of cutting pineapples and not getting the most out of them, we’ve finally wrapped our hands around this sweet and juicy fruit. The real key is using a sharp, serrated knife to get the best cut. Make sure you are using a cutting glove as pineapples can be slippery and you don’t want to risk cutting yourself.
STEP 1: Cut Off the Ends
The first step to cutting a pineapple properly is to get rid of both ends. The green leaves sprouting at the top and the dense, not-sweet bottom piece both need to come off. The trick here is to not cut too much off the ends and take away some of the fruit while also making sure you have removed enough of the tough exterior.
Put the pineapple on its side and secure a good drip with your non-cutting hand. Take your knife and cut about 1/2 inch down from where the crown meets the flesh. Now, turn the pineapple around and cut a 1/2 inch from the bottom.
If this is the first time you’re cutting a pineapple, you’ll want to take off less than you think. That way, if you didn’t get it all the first time, you can always go back and cut off a little more.
STEP 2: Take Off the Skin
The next step to getting a fresh-cut pineapple is to remove the rest of the hard outer shell. This is where the cutting gets a little tricky. You’ll want to remove just enough of the skin to get rid of the inedible parts, but not too much so that you waste the sweet fruit you’ll be missing.
Start from the top and slice down with your knife, following the shape of the pineapple as you go. There is a natural curve to the pineapple so, if you can, follow that curvature to get the most fruit possible. Continue this process all around the pineapple until all the hard outer shell is removed and you’re left with only golden-yellow fruit.
STEP 3: Cut Off the Eyes
The “eyes” of the pineapple are the small, brown spots that come in clusters along the pineapple’s skin. These are very bitter and will make your peeled pineapple taste sour, so you want to make sure to get rid of all of them.
Take a paring knife or vegetable peeler and go around each eye, making sure to take off as much as possible without sacrificing any of that delicious fruit you are working so hard to preserve. It may take some time and a little effort but it’ll make your pineapple taste much better when you’re done with everything.
You can, however, remove the eyes at a later time if you plan on having smaller pieces or chunks. You can always wait till then to remove them all because of the larger size. If you need clean pineapple rings of pineapple then it’s best to take them off now. It won’t be so easy if the pineapple pieces are too small.
STEP 4: Take Out the Core (2 Methods)
Method 1: Making Chunks of Pineapple
Take your freshly prepped pineapple and slice it right in half. You’ll be cutting through the core so expect to have a little resistance. If you are wearing your cut-resistant gloves then you’ll be protected.
Next, turn the pineapple lengthwise and keep the two cut pieces together. It’ll make it easier to have the cut pieces together instead of doing them separately. Take your knife and cut the pineapple into four equal segments.
Now that you have the pineapple in smaller pieces you can easily cut the core from each piece using a small paring knife.
Method 2: Cutting Rings of Pineapple
To make a clean and beautiful pineapple ring that you see laying over your Hawaiian pizza, the process is a little different. It’s not harder, per se, but it will take some knife skills so be extra careful.
Just like you did in the first method, cut your pineapple in half and then cut each half into quarters. Take your quarter piece and cut around the pineapple core creating rings. To get even smaller rings out of your pineapple, cut the pieces in two again and then repeat the process.
Cutting your rings will go a lot better if you remove all the “eyes” of the pineapple ahead of time. Removing them at this stage will make your rings look cut up and they won’t be as pretty.
STEP 5: Add Your Pineapple
Once you have your pineapple cut into smaller pieces you are ready to add them to whatever recipe you want. They go great in smoothies, salads, or even in your morning oatmeal.
You can also put them on a skewer and grill them for a delicious snack to have with friends. There are endless possibilities when it comes to using your freshly cut pineapple.
Storing Your Pineapple
Pineapple isn’t like meat so you don’t have to worry about bacteria growing that will be harmful to you. After cutting, you can keep the pieces on the counter for a few days until you’re ready to finish them off. You’ll want to keep them covered since the sweet pineapple will attract some flying insects if they are exposed.
If you want to keep your pineapple a little longer you’ll need to keep it refrigerated. You can either keep them in the fridge in a sealed container or you can wrap them with plastic wrap. Just make sure to prevent as much air as possible from reaching your pineapple. Your fruit should be good anywhere from 3-5 days if properly stored.
You can tell your pineapple has passed its expiration date if the pineapple starts to have a sour smell. That is when it has fermented and it won’t be nearly as good and it can be unsafe to consume.
It’s possible to freeze your pineapple after cutting it but you want to make sure it stays in a resealable bag. This method will keep your pineapple for up to 12 months.
More Recipes with Pineapple
- Hawaiian Pineapple Burgers
- Pineapple Salsa
- Frozen Pineapple Daiquiris
- Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Cream
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Nutritional Benefits of Pineapples
The irresistible flavors of a ripe pineapple might seem downright bad for you. But this fruit isn’t just delicious – it has a wealth of nutritional benefits.
One cup of pineapple chunks gives you more than half your recommended daily value of vitamin C. This antioxidant-rich nutrient helps protect against cell damage and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Pineapple is also an excellent source of manganese, a mineral that helps your body produce energy from food. Plus, it contains dietary fiber and magnesium, which may reduce inflammation and aid in digestion. There are even bromelain enzymes that help you digest some types of proteins.
How to Cut a Pineapple
- 1 pineapple
- Take out a cutting board and place your pineapple on its side. You'll want to grab a sharp, serrated knife and put on a cutting glove on your non-cutting hand for safety.
- Grab the pineapple and secure it with one hand. Take the knife with your other hand and slice the pineapple ends off. Cut about 1/2 inch from where the crown meets the flesh and a 1/2 inch from the bottom of the pineapple.
- Once the ends are off, place your pineapple vertically so it stands on one edge.
- Take your knife and start to cut off the skin of the pineapple getting as close to the skin as possible. Start from the top and cut all the way to the bottom.
- Make sure to follow the natural curve of the pineapple. It will get wider in the middle and thinner at the top and bottom.
- Take a smaller paring knife or a peeler and start to remove all of the "eyes" of the pineapple. Cutting the eyes using "V" shapes will help remove them without getting a lot of the flesh.
- You can wait to cut off the eyes once you have the pineapple chopped into smaller pieces. However, you don't want to wait to cut off the eyes if you are making thin rings.
- If you are making rings, take your freshly prepped pineapple and put it on its side. Start cutting slices of your pineapple to your desired thickness.
- Then, take a cookie cutter or a biscuit cutter and remove the core from each pineapple slice, turning your pineapple into rings.
- If you wish to make chunks, you should take your prepped pineapple and prop it up vertically.
- Cut the pineapple through the middle of the core. You will have more resistance when cutting through the core than if you are cutting straight through the pineapple flesh.
- Then, cut the pineapple into four equal pieces lengthwise. It's better if you're able to keep your recently cut halves together when you cut the four pieces. Otherwise, you just have to repeat the step with both half pieces.
- Cut out the core from each wedge of pineapple so that it is edible.
- You are ready to cut your pineapple into small slices, pineapple spears, chunks, or other shapes you can think of.