Subscribe to our weekly
How to Cut a Pineapple
There’s nothing like fresh pineapple. Of course, you could nibble on some canned, juicy bits, but it’s just not the same. The only problem is: when you buy a fresh pineapple, you’re not exactly sure what to do with it. Maybe you’re not sure if it’s ripe, or maybe you’re not sure how to cut it. But, before you can make the first slice, you’ll need to check how ripe it is. You wouldn’t want to spend all that work chopping up an unripe pineapple.
How to Check for a Ripe Pineapple
Ripe pineapples can be tricky guys to identify. Based on certain assumptions, you might just pick whatever pineapple looks best and find out later that it’s not as great as you thought it would be. The main thing to look for is color, but you can also check for how firm it is and how sweet it smells.
To check if a pineapple is ripe, you first need to take a look at the color. A ripe pineapple is usually a golden yellow color from top to bottom. If it’s still green, even around the top, it’s not ripe yet. If it’s a more brownish color, you’ve got an overripe pineapple on your hands.
The pineapple’s color comes from the bottom upwards. It’ll start to turn yellow from the bottom and work its way up. Don’t buy a totally green pineapple, because it may not ripen well. There are some pineapples that are said to be ripe when green. Because this makes it difficult to tell if it’s ripe, it’s up to you to decide if these green pineapples are to your liking.
Smell the bottom of the pineapple. If it has a sweet sent, then it’s ready to go. If it doesn’t have a scent, then you may have to wait a little longer.
You can also test how ripe the pineapple is by pressing on it. It should only give a tiny bit, but if it’s soft or spongy, your pineapple’s getting overripe.
Some say you can tell if a pineapple is ripe when the leaves pluck off easily. But, if you can pull a leaf off right away, the pineapple is rotten. Stick with checking the color and the smell, since they are the most dependable signs for how ripe the pineapple is.
Cutting the Pineapple
Once you’re certain the pineapple is ready to be chopped and chowed, it’s time to collect a cutting board and a hefty knife. Pineapples aren’t lightweights and it may be a bit of a struggle to saw through one with a tiny knife.
Top and Bottom:
First, cut off the top and the bottom of the pineapple. Cut off a good inch from each end and then stand the pineapple upright.
Now, slice off the rough exterior of the pineapple. You don’t need to cut off too much, but enough to get most of the shell off. There will be little pits of dark skin left over, but no need to cut off extra flesh to get them off.
There are two ways to get the little pits out. One way is to use a potato peeler. You can scoop out the pits with the end of the peeler to preserve as much of the flesh as possible.
The second way is by using a knife. If you look at the pattern of the pits, you can see they’re placed diagonally up the pineapple. Use the knife to cut something of a trench where the pits line up, making a line spiraling up the pineapple.
Slices or Chunks:
Once you have a large hunk of pineapple flesh, it’s time to cut it into suitable pieces. You can cut it into slices or chunks, whichever you fancy most. If you decide to cut it into chunks, cut the pineapple into fourths lengthwise; this will make it easier for you to cut out the core.
Sometimes, the core will be soft enough to eat, but this is often not the case. If you should cut the pineapple into slices, simply cut out the circular core in the middle of each slice.
If you want to cut the pineapple into chunks and have already cut the flesh into lengthwise fourths, then just cut off the section of core on each fourth. You can then chop each section into chunks and, if you can’t resist, pop a few into your mouth.
Ripe pineapples can be tough to identify and tougher to prepare to eat. Even so, a juicy, ripe pineapple can’t compare to those canned chunks in your pantry. All that work and mess will be totally worth it when you slip a piece into your mouth.