How to Choose & Cut a Pineapple

If you’ve ever wondered how to tell if a pineapple is ripe and how to cut a pineapple, there are plenty of tips and tricks in this post!
A large chef's knife slicing the skin from a pineapple.

A large chef's knife slicing the skin from a pineapple.

Knowing how to tell when a pineapple is ripe and how to cut a pineapple always seemed daunting to me. There are some fruits that are determined not to be eaten. From the oddly shaped pit of the mango (see How to Cut a Mango) to the thick skin and pointed leaves of the pineapple, these tropical fruits are as inhospitable as Death Valley in the middle of July.

I was always baffled by that skin and those darn eyes that seem to get in the way of the otherwise pristine fruit inside. Should I use a peeler? Should I plunge a knife straight into the center? Maybe I would be better off just throwing the darn thing against the wall – it would just fall open easily, ready to be eaten, right?

Thankfully, I learned that all I needed was a good sharp knife and a little know-how. Lop off the top and bottom of the pineapple, cut off the skin in strips and cut the sweet fruit into rounds for desserts such as Grilled Pineapple with Maple Rum Sauce (heavenly!) or into cubes for a sweet salsa or to top a pizza. Voila, you are ready for your next journey to a tropical desert island.

How to Know When a Pineapple is Ripe:

Knowing how to choose a pineapple is half the battle, but it’s actually quite simple.

First, you should be able to detect the distinctive pineapple smell when you put your nose close to the bottom of the fruit.

Second, the pineapple should have a small amount of “give” when squeezed gently.

Someone once told me that you can tell that a pineapple is ready by tugging on one of the inner leaves. However, it seems that this is an old wives tale, so it would be best to stick to the sniff and squeeze methods.

How to cut a pineapple:

First things first…wash the pineapple. Since your knife will be slicing through the skin and into the fruit, you want to avoid transferring any bacteria from the skin to the flesh.

With a sharp chef’s knife cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple. Cutting the bottom allows an even surface so the pineapple rests securely in the next steps.

HowToPineapple2

HowToPineapple2

If you wish, save the top of the pineapple (leaves and all) to use as part of your presentation, particularly if you are serving a large platter of fruit.

Next, cut off the skin. Stand the flat bottom of the pineapple on a cutting board. Cutting from top to bottom, remove the skin in strips, cutting deep enough to remove most of the eyes. Continue to turn the pineapple and cut off strips until all of the skin is removed.

Use the tip of a peeler to remove any stubborn eyes (those brown circles).

How to Pineapple Collage

How to Pineapple Collage

Cut the pineapple crosswise into rounds of the thickness desired. Using a paring knife, cut around the core in the center of each round. Use your thumbs to pop out the center.

Alternatively, stand the pineapple on its end and cut the fruit off, in strips, from around the core. Chop as desired.

How To Pineapple Collage 2

How To Pineapple Collage 2

Recipes using pineapple:

Grilled Pineapple with Maple Rum Sauce
Pineapple Spinach Smoothie
Jicama & Pineapple Spinach Salad
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple Sorbet
Pineapple Fried Rice

A large chef's knife slicing the skin from a pineapple.A large chef's knife slicing the skin from a pineapple.

How to Choose & Cut a Pineapple

If you’ve ever wondered how to tell if a pineapple is ripe and how to cut a pineapple, there are plenty of tips and tricks in this post!

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Course: How To

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Choose a Pineapple, Cut a Pineapple

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Instructions

  • Wash the outside of the pineapple.

  • With a sharp chef’s knife cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple. Cutting the bottom allows an even surface so the pineapple rests securely in the next steps.

  • The next step is to cut off the skin. Stand the flat bottom of the pineapple on a cutting board. Cutting from top to bottom, remove the skin in strips, cutting deep enough to remove most of the eyes. Continue to turn the pineapple and cut off strips until all of the skin is removed.

  • Use the tip of a peeler to remove any stubborn eyes (the brown circles).

  • Cut the pineapple crosswise into rounds of the thickness desired. Using a paring knife, cut around the core in the center of each round. Use your thumbs to pop out the center.

  • Alternatively, stand the pineapple on its end and cut the fruit off, in strips, from around the core. Chop as desired.

Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I’ll be sure to find it.

This post was first published on July 16, 2011 and updated on February 25, 2021.

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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