Learn How to Cut a Pineapple into spears, rings, or juicy bite-size pieces with this easy step-by-step guide. No advanced knife skills required – just a cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife.
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How to Pick a Ripe Pineapple
There are several methods for picking out the perfect fresh pineapple. Here are the three methods I use to judge the ripeness of any pineapple.
- The Smell. Picking up and smelling your pineapple is the easiest way to determine if it’s ripe. Smell the bottom of your pineapple – it should smell pleasantly sweet. If you can’t smell anything, your pineapple probably isn’t ripe yet. On the other hand, if you experience an unpleasant, fermented, or pungent sweet smell in any way, then you may want to skip that pineapple and try a different one.
- The Feel. A pineapple that is soft at the base and super sweet-smelling (pungent or not) is always an indication that I should probably pick a different pineapple. Here’s the thing, judging a pineapple by touch is much more complicated than the smell, but is a helpful determining factor. In general, think of your pineapple like an avocado (but less drastic) – if it’s super hard all over, then it’s not ripe (usually). What you want is a pineapple that is just slightly soft when squeezed.
- The Look. Beyond its prickly skin, pineapples are various shades yellow and green. The riper the pineapple, the deeper and more yellow it will be. A pineapple that is mostly green with little bits of yellow is probably unripe. You want a pineapple that is an equal bit of green and yellow, from stem to base. Of course, this may vary a bit depending on how ripe you like your pineapple. As it turns out, I like my pineapples a little less ripe than my husband. Also, it’s important to note that pineapples stop ripening after they’ve been picked. For this reason, it’s important to consider all factors for picking a ripe pineapple (not just how it looks) as you may find a green pineapple that is perfectly ripe.
How to Cut a Pineapple
If you’re looking for a fast, efficient, and easy way to cut up a pineapple, this is the way to do it! Set aside the clunky pineapple corer and follow these simple steps for a perfectly cut pineapple each and every time!
Be sure to use a large, sharp, and steady knife for best results and to avoid injury.
Step 1. Slice off the top
Place the pineapple on its side on a large cutting board. Secure the pineapple with one hand and using a large, sharp knife to slice off the top of the pineapple (approximately 1/2-inch from where the green crown and pineapple flesh meet).
Step 2. Slice off the bottom
Rotate the pineapple and trim approximately 1/2-inch off from the bottom of the pineapple.
Step 3. Slice away the outer peel
Place the pineapple upright on the cutting board. Holding the pineapple in place with one hand, use the knife to carefully cut away the outer peel, slicing down from top to bottom. Careful not to cut away too much of the flesh as the outer edge of the pineapple has the sweetest flesh.
Step 4. Remove any brown “eyes” left in the pineapple
Using the same knife or a small paring knife to carefully remove any of the brown “eyes” remaining in the pineapple.
Step 5. Remove the core
There are a few different ways to remove the inner core (or rind). Which method you choose to use largely depends on that size and shape you want your pineapple to be once it’s been all cut up (wedges, bite-size pieces, or rings).
Method 1. Quarter
- Great for wedges, chunks or small bite-size pieces.
Cut the cleaned pineapple in half vertically through its center (see images above). Cut each half in half again so that you’ll have 4 large equally-sized pineapple quarters.
To remove the core, set each pineapple quarter upright on the cutting board (working one-at-a-time), and carefully cut the thick fibrous core away from the center.
Slice each wedge in half lengthwise again and chop into slices, larger chunks, or small bite-size-pieces.
Method 2. Slice into rounds
- Great for rings or small bite-size pieces.
Transfer the pineapple back on its side and cut into rounds of desired thickness (approximately 1/2 – 1 inch).
If making pineapple rings, use a small round cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or paring knife to carefully carve out the middle core.
To make small bite-size pieces, use the core as a guide cutting the pineapple into horizontal and vertical strips above, below, and on both sides of the core.
How to Store Chopped-Up Pineapple
Freshly chopped pineapple stores well in the refrigerator for up to 2-4 days. For best results, store any leftover pineapple in an airtight container.
Fresh pineapple is a favorite addition to tropical fruit salads.
You know your pineapple has started to spoil once it starts to smell fermented and taste fizzy in your mouth.
To freeze freshly chopped pineapple, simply transfer your pieces to a freezer-friendly ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag completely. Transfer to the freezer and use as needed.
Use frozen cut pineapple chunks to make Frozen Pineapple Dragon Fruit Margaritas or add to your favorite smoothie recipe.
More Pineapple Recipes,
Pineapple Coconut Thai Fish Curry
Sparkling Passion Fruit and Pineapple Margaritas
Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps
Steak Quesadilla Recipe with Pineapple Salsa
If you try this easy method for cutting up a pineapple, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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