If you love fresh, sweet pineapple, buying one whole is a healthy way to enjoy the taste of the tropics. A whole ripe pineapple is easy to work with in your recipes, too whether you’re juicing it, baking with it or simply eating it with your fingers. The first step is in learning how to select the best pineapple. After that happy task is accomplished, getting to the delicious flesh of a fresh pineapple is easier than it looks. One of the best parts is that you don’t need any fancy tools! To cut up a pineapple, you’ll need a large, sharp knife and these helpful tips from us at Williams-Sonoma.
First, Streamline It
Create a steady surface by cutting off both the bottom and the top of your pineapple. Use a knife with a comfortable grip that makes it easy to work with large, tough-skinned items like pineapples. When you cut off the top section, be generous with how much you take off. That part of the fruit is very dense, fibrous and woody in texture. The same goes for the bottom of the pineapple. Those two sections are not the juicy parts you’re after. You can compost those pieces unless you’d like to try your hand at growing a pineapple by rooting the top!
Then, Skin It
After you’ve cut off the top and bottom, stand up the pineapple on a stable cutting board and begin trimming the skin off the sides. With this technique, you’re not taking too much of the flesh off. Go around the pineapple to remove all the skin, and try to minimize how deeply you trim. Take off just enough so there’s no skin remaining. You’ll find a number of spiny pineapple eyes staring at you, but no worries! There’s a way to eliminate those, too.
Now, Smooth It Out
Use a smaller paring knife to cut away at some of these pineapple eyes that you don’t want to eat. Or, to eliminate them in a more uniform way, quickly determine the diagonal pattern of the eyes. You can eliminate a whole row of eyes by cutting V-shaped trenches around the pineapple, lifting the strips out of the fruit. Work your way around the pineapple making these ripple cuts. You’ll end up with a more decorative, spiral-cut, eye-free pineapple that’ll look gorgeous on a serving plate.
Finally, De-Core It
After removing the eyes, quarter the pineapple with your large knife. Cut the pineapple in half down the middle. Then, cut each half of the pineapple in half to create four sections. At this point, you’ve exposed the tough inner part of the pineapple. Slice this core off each pineapple quarter. It’s all ready to use!
If you prefer to use a tool for this entire process, you’ll find pineapple coring tools, such as a stainless-steel pineapple slicer and dicer. It quickly peels, cores, slices and dices the prickly fruit—eyes and all—while maximizing the amount of fruit you get from each pineapple.
Slice, Dice, Chop or Bake It
At this point, you’re ready to dice or cut the pineapple any way you’d like to use it in a recipe. Cut it in chunks to eat alone, slice it to use on a pineapple upside down cake or finely chop it up to use it in a pineapple smoothie or mango-and-pineapple sorbet.
Watch the video below for a demonstration of our technique for the fastest, easiest way to break down a whole pineapple.