Cleaning and Cutting Pineapple in Four Easy Steps
Nothing beats the flavor of fresh pineapple, but pineapples must be cleaned and cut properly before they can be served or used in recipes. Don't be intimidated by this spiky and crowned fruit: We'll show you how to cut pineapple like a boss.
Don't let this tropical fruit's spiky skin scare you away. It's actually easy to learn how to cut a pineapple properly if you follow this four-step process (or if you invest in a pineapple corer). Plus, it will save you loads of cash compared to buying already cubed pineapple from the refrigerated section of the produce department. We'll show you how to cut a fresh pineapple two different ways—with just a knife, and with the help of a pineapple corer. So grab a whole pineapple at the store, thoroughly rinse and scrub your fruit with a produce brush, and prepare to become a pineapple prep pro.
Step One: How to Cut Pineapple
Test Kitchen Tip: If your cutting board tends to slide around the countertop as you slice, place a damp towel underneath to keep it steady.
Step Two: How to Peel a Pineapple
Stand the pineapple on one end and slice off the peel in strips from top to bottom. Cut just deep enough to remove skin and not much of the fruit. If desired, cut narrow wedge-shaped grooves to remove as many "eyes" as possible.
Step Three: How to Core a Pineapple
With the peeled pineapple standing on end, cut it into four pieces from top to bottom. Then cut the fruit away from the core on each quarter; discard the core.
Step Four: How to Cut Up a Pineapple
Cut the quarters into spears or chunks, or chop pineapple into desired pieces. Then you can snack on your pineapple plain, add a few chunks to a healthy smoothie, or get tropical with a fruity pineapple dessert.
How to Use a Pineapple Coring Tool
If you want to make learning how to cut a whole pineapple even easier or learn how to cut pineapple rings, a pineapple tool (Pineapple Corer, $11.98, Amazon) can make the process simpler. Here's how it's done:
- Start by cutting off the green crown, just like you would if you were using a knife for the process.
- Instead of also cutting off the stem end, stand the pineapple up so the stem end is sitting on your cutting board.
- Center a pineapple coring tool over the pineapple and insert it. Twist the tool while applying pressure to cut through the whole height of the pineapple.
- Once you've reached the bottom of the fruit, pull the tool straight up to remove the inner fruit and leave the core and peel behind.
- Remove the top of the tool, then slide the pineapple slices off. Use a knife to cut the pineapple into slices or rings.
How to Pick a Pineapple at the Store
When you're trying to find the best pineapple to bring home from the grocery store, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Look for a plump pineapple that has a sweet, aromatic smell. The best pineapples should also be slightly soft to the touch, but avoid any pineapples that have spots that are noticeably softer than the rest of the fruit. Ripe pineapples should be heavy for their size and have deep green leaves. Peak pineapple season is from March through July, so you should find the best fruits during those months.
How to Store Pineapple
After buying, you can refrigerate a whole pineapple for up to two days. Cut pineapple can last up to three days if placed in a tightly covered container and refrigerated.
Now that you've learned how to slice a pineapple, it's time for the best part: Eating it! If you want to dress up your pineapple more than just the fresh pieces, try one of our favorite recipes for cooking with pineapple. You can choose savory recipes, like pineapple-glazed salmon or tropical pineapple chicken, or stick to sweets.