How to Prepare a Pineapple in Four Easy Steps

While nothing beats the flavor of fresh pineapple, it isn't exactly a grab-and-eat kind of fruit. Don't be intimidated by the spiky tropical treat: 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 quite easy to prepare a pineapple properly. 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 and follow these four steps to become a pineapple prepping pro. Your grocery budget will thank you: Buying whole pineapple is much cheaper than the pre-cubed pineapple in the refrigerated section of the produce department.

cutting pineapple knife
Scott Little

Step 1: How to Clean a Pineapple

No need for a special pineapple cleaner. Tap water and a produce brush will do the trick. Simply hold the fruit under the faucet while thoroughly scrubbing the skin. What's the point since you're just going to peel it? When you plunge a knife into the fruit, anything on the skin will be transferred to the flesh.

Step 2: How to Cut a Pineapple

Use a knife to cut off the green crown and stem end of the pineapple. A chef's knife is a good choice for the job. A tip from our test kitchen: If your cutting board slides around on the countertop as you trim the fruit, place a damp towel underneath to keep your workspace steady.

peel pineapple kitchen knife farberware
Scott Little

Step 3: How to Peel a Pineapple

Stand the pineapple on one end, then slice off the fruit's skin in strips from top to bottom. Cut just deep enough to remove the skin without removing too much of the fruit's flesh. If desired, cut narrow wedge-shaped grooves to remove as many "eyes" as possible.

core pineapple knife
Scott Little

Step 4: How to Core a Pineapple

With the peeled pineapple still standing on one end, slice it into four pieces from top to bottom. Then cut the fruit away from the core on each quarter; discard the core.

cut pineapple pieces
Scott Little

Step 4: How to Cut Up a Pineapple

Cut the quarters into spears or chunks, or chop the pineapple into smaller pieces. Then you can snack on your pineapple plain, add a few chunks to a healthy smoothie, or go tropical with a delicious pineapple-infused water.

How to Use a Pineapple Coring Tool

If you want to make cutting a whole pineapple even easier—or learn how to cut pineapple rings—a pineapple coring tool can simplify the process. Here's how to use this handy gadget:

  • Start by cutting off the green crown, just like you would if you were using a knife for the process. But don't cut off the stem end. Instead, stand the pineapple up so the stem end is sitting on your cutting board.
  • Center a pineapple coring tool over the pineapple and press it into the fruit. 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 edible fruit, leaving the core behind, still attached to the skin and stem end of the pineapple.
  • Remove the top of the tool, then slide the pineapple off. Use a knife to cut it into slices or rings.

How to Pick a Pineapple at the Store

Bring your sharpest senses to the grocery store to help you choose a ripe pineapple. First, look at the spiky display: Do any of the pineapples appear particularly plump? Are the leaves a deep green color? After you've eyeballed a few contenders, try the sniff test—ripe pineapple has a sweet, aromatic smell. Touch them, too: The best pineapples will be slightly soft, though you should avoid any that have spots or are noticeably softer than the others; when you pick up a ripe pineapple, it should feel heavy for its size. Peak pineapple season is from March through July, so expect to find the best fruits during those months.

cube pineapple cut pieces bowl

How to Store Pineapple

After buying, you can refrigerate a whole pineapple for up to five to seven days. Cut pineapple can last up to four 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 meals with more than just fresh pineapple pieces, try one of our favorite recipes for cooking with pineapple. You can choose a savory recipe, like Pineapple-Glazed Salmon or tropical Pineapple Chicken, or a sweet recipe, like Grilled Pineapple Sundaes.

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