How to Cut a Peach 3 Ways (Without Cutting Your Hand!)

In our complete guide to how to cut a peach, we’ll talk you through how to slice a peach and dice a peach, plus how to pick out the freshest peaches for all of the above.

Every fresh peach recipe starts with the same very important step: mastering how to cut a peach. Whether it's a savory skillet dinner accented by peach slices, a diced peach dessert like a cake or crisp, or a grilled peach recipe that calls for halves, it's essential to get into the fruit to remove the pit and get the peach into uniform, edible pieces.

Whether you harvest them straight from a tree, stock up on a bushel at the farmers market, or fill your cart with a few at the grocery store, your next steps will be washing the fruit, employing one of these methods for how to cut a peach, and then you're good to go. (By the way, these techniques for how to cut a peach also work for similar stone fruits, like nectarines and plums.)

Juicy peaches are part of the stone fruit, or drupe, family. Both the fuzzy skin and the yellow or white flesh are edible, although we'll briefly explain the peeling process as part of our guide to how to cut a peach if you prefer them skinless.

twisting peach to separate into halves
Scott Little

How to Choose a Peach

Fresh peaches are at their prime from June through August but are often widely available from May to October or so. As you're selecting peaches to use for the steps ahead for how to cut a peach, follow these steps to pick the best of the bunch:

  • Use your nose. You should smell a sweet, fruity, pleasant aroma.
  • Then pick it up. Juicy peaches feel heavy for their size.
  • Press gently. A ripe and ready peach should have a slight give, although the ripeness level can vary a bit based on personal preference.
  • Avoid any greenies. To reach peak flavor, peaches should ripen and change color from green to yellow-orange on the tree.
  • Steer clear of bruises. Also avoid fruit with brown spots, dents, or bruises; these often signal deeper damage or spoilage (not just surface wounds).
  • Watch for these names. Fresh peaches are sold in two main styles. Either is fine for any recipe, although freestones are easier to process if you're planning to slice and dice a lot of peaches.
    • Clingstone, or cling, peaches: The pit actually clings to the fruit and is tougher to remove during the process of how to cut a peach.
    • Freestone peaches: The pit more easily separates from the fruit.

If your fruit isn't quite ripe enough when you get them home, allow them to ripen at room temperature on your counter—or try this simple trick to help speed up the peach-ripening process. Once fully ripe, transfer your fresh peaches to the refrigerator for up to 5 days before proceeding with these steps for how to cut a peach. That will help slow the ripening (AKA aging) process.

How to Cut a Peach 3 Ways

Since the fuzzy skin can pick up and hold onto dirt, bacteria, and debris during harvesting, travel to where it's sold, and throughout transit from the shop or farmstand to your cutting board, be sure to wash it well under cool water.

If you want to remove the skin, now's the time. Here's how:

  • Slice a shallow "X." Using a sharp paring knife at the bottom (non-stem side) of the peach, cut an "X" with slits about 1-inch in each direction.
  • Blanch the fruit. Into a pot of boiling water, carefully lower the peaches and allow them to sit for 30 seconds.
  • Chill out. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the blanched peaches into a large bowl of ice water.

After blanching all of the peaches you aim to peel and cut and once the fruit is cool enough to handle, use clean hands to gently peel the skin away from the flesh of each peach.

How to Halve a Peach

Skin on or off at this point, read on to learn how to cut a peach into halves.

  • Hold the peach in your non-dominant hand with the stem side toward the ceiling.
  • Using a sharp paring knife held vertically to the peach, insert the blade smoothly and carefully until it reaches the pit.
  • Keeping the knife's blade touching the pit the entire time until you've returned to the starting point, roll the peach around the blade.
  • Set down the knife and gently grab each peach half in the palm of each hand.
  • Twist to separate the peach into two pieces.
  • If the peach is ripe (and especially if this is a freestone), the pit will often pop out. If it sticks, loosen the pit gently with a spoon to remove it. You now have peach halves, ready to go!

How to Slice a Peach

After following the steps above and cutting your fruit into halves, you can then proceed with these steps for how to cut a peach into slices, if desired.

  • Place the peach halves on a cutting board.
  • Using your paring knife, cut each half in half.
  • Now that you have peach wedges, cut them into equal-sized slices of ¼- to ¾-inches thick, depending on what you need for your peach recipe.

How to Dice a Peach

Now that you have slices, you are just seconds away from diced peaches if that's what you need, say, for peach salsa, peach compote, or peach shortcake.

  • Turn the peach slices perpendicular to your paring knife blade.
  • Dice each slice into ½-inch pieces.

FAQs About How to Cut a Peach

Whether you halved, sliced, or diced your fruit, these Test Kitchen tips will come in handy.

  • How do I keep my sliced, diced, or halved peaches from turning brown? Similar to other fruits like bananas, apples, and avocados, peaches "oxidize" or turn brown once exposed to air. They're still completely safe to eat after browning a bit, just are less visually enticing. To slow the browning timeline, toss the peaches with a little lemon, lime, or orange juice (your recipe may help you decide on the ideal flavor profile). The vitamin C in citrus juice helps reduce the rate of oxidation.
  • How long can I refrigerate cut peaches? After halving, slicing, or dicing the fruit and tossing it with citrus juice, transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate and plan to use the cut peaches within 2 to 3 days.
  • What should I do with my cut peaches now? Eat them fresh, put them to work in one of our best sweet and savory peach recipes, or preserve a taste of summer to enjoy any time of year by freezing peaches or canning peaches.
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