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How to Cut a Pineapple

Don’t waste any part of that fresh pineapple! This post shares how to cut a pineapple six different ways, as well as ideas for using the pineapple top and tough skin. 

Guide to Cutting a Pineapple 

If you regularly buy containers of pre-chopped pineapple chunks at the grocery store, it’s time you learned how to cut a pineapple! Buying pre-cut pineapple chunks and rings definitely comes in handy from time to time, but they’re much more expensive than buying a whole pineapple — and you don’t get nearly as much fruit! 

With that being said, I know that cutting up a pineapple can seem daunting. Pineapples are covered in spiky, tough skin and the stiff leaves on top are downright frustrating to fit into a grocery bag. 

But trust me when I say that cutting a fresh pineapple is easy! And so long as you cut a pineapple properly, you’ll be able to enjoy every ounce of juicy yellow flesh without leaving any behind when you remove the skin. 

There are many more ways to cut up a pineapple than simply making pineapple chunks. In this post, I’ll also share how to cut a pineapple into rings, how to create a serving bowl out of pineapple halves, how to cut pineapple spears for grilling, and more! 

I’ll also share how to core a pineapple and what to do with the core. (Spoiler: you can actually eat it!) 

Why Bother Buying Fresh Pineapple? 

Fresh pineapple tastes so much better than frozen or canned pineapple. It’s juicier, more cost effective when purchased in season, and is more versatile. 

Unlike frozen or canned pineapple, fresh pineapple can be grilled or baked, added to pizzas, used to garnish cocktails, and so much more. It can even be frozen for smoothies and sorbets, but freezing fresh pineapple yourself results in frozen pineapple that’s far more flavorful! 

Best of all, freshly cut pineapple contains no added sugars or preservatives, nor is it watery like frozen pineapple. 

When Is Pineapple Season? 

Peak pineapple season runs from March through July, although most supermarkets in the US carry fresh pineapples year-round. 

However, pineapples are one of those fruits that taste dramatically different when purchased out of season. Off-season pineapples are often hard and lack the sweetness and juiciness of in-season pineapples. 

Note that pineapples in the US are sourced from two main locations, Hawaii and Florida / the Caribbean. That’s why the peak growing season lasts for so long! The two pineapple varieties differ slightly, but the flavor isn’t noticeably different. 

How to Pick a Ripe Pineapple 

When looking for a fresh pineapple to cut, you want it to have the following qualities: 

  • It should be plump 
  • It should have vibrant green leaves 
  • When you gently press your thumb into the side of the pineapple, you should feel a slight give 
  • The bottom of the pineapple should smell fragrant 
  • It should have vibrant yellow skin 

Avoid purchasing pineapples with the following qualities: 

  • Brown or super soft spots indicate overripeness 
  • Yellowed leaves mean the pineapple has been sitting on the shelf for a long time 
  • Dull skin means the pineapple is past its peak 
  • Green skin indicates underripeness 

How to Tell If a Pineapple Is Ready to Cut 

You’ll know when a pineapple is ready to cut when it smells fragrant and gives slightly when pressed gently with your thumbs. 

If a pineapple is very firm and / or green in color, it’s not yet ripe. You want a fragrant pineapple that’s uniformly golden in color. 

How to Ripen a Pineapple 

Pineapples don’t ripen that much further on your countertop like bananas do. As such, it’s crucial that you buy a ripe pineapple at the store. 

However, if you take home a green or underripe pineapple, you can ripen it slightly on your countertop by storing it next to apples or bananas. To take it up a notch, store the pineapple in a brown paper bag (such as a grocery bag) with a banana. 

None of these pineapple ripening hacks will magically transform your underripe pineapple into a perfectly ripe one, but it will help a little bit. 

Tools Needed for Cutting a Pineapple 

You definitely don’t need all of these tools when cutting a fresh pineapple – a chef’s knife and a cutting board will do the trick!— but a few extra kitchen tools can make life easier sometimes. 

  • Cutting board — Pick one that’s not been cross-contaminated with garlic or onion as that could infuse the pineapple with their scents. I also recommend using a larger cutting board since pineapples can be unwieldy to handle.  
  • Chef’s knife — Make sure your knife is sharp before cutting up a pineapple! 
  • Paring knife — Makes removing the eyes easier and safer (those are the poky brown dots that are left on the flesh after the skin has been removed). 
  • Pineapple corer — Not needed, but as the name suggests it makes removing the core of the pineapple so much easier, faster, and cleaner.  

How to Cut a Pineapple 6 Ways

Before cutting a fresh pineapple, think about how you plan on eating it. If you just want to snack on the pineapple, cutting it into chunks or wedges is best. If you want to grill the pineapple, cut it into spears. And if you plan on repurposing the pineapple as a bowl after you’ve removed the flesh, you’ll need to halve it. 

In my experience, the easiest way to cut a pineapple is to cut it into wedges. You don’t have to remove the skin and can simply pick up a pineapple wedge and snack on it, just like you would watermelon slices. 

However, the best way to cut a pineapple is to cut it into chunks or cubes. It requires about 2 minutes of extra effort to remove the skin, but pineapple chunks are great for snacking, freezing, salads, you name it. I love the versatility of pineapple chunks! 

Of course, you can always cut the pineapple in half and do half chunks, half wedges or spears, and so on. It’s your pineapple, cut it up however you’d like! 

1. How to Cut a Pineapple Into Wedges (Easiest) 

Pineapple wedges are great for eating as is and using as cocktail garnishes. I love that you don’t have to remove the skin. The whole process takes maybe 5 minutes! 

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Cut off the very end of the pineapple (about ½ inch of flesh). 
  4. Cut the pineapple into rings, leaving the skin on. The rings can be however thick or thin you’d like, but ¼ inch thickness is usually good. 
  5. Cut each ring in half. 
  6. Remove the fibrous core from each pineapple ring half. You can do this by simply cutting it out, or you can use a small round cookie cutter to take out the core. 
  7. Cut each pineapple ring half into wedges. 

2. How to Cut a Pineapple Into Chunks or Cubes (Best / Most Versatile) 

Pineapple chunks and cubes are great for snacking, tossing into salads and stir-fries, and freezing. If you don’t have any set plans for your fresh pineapple, this is how I recommend cutting it up since it’s the most versatile option. 

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Cut off the very end of the pineapple (about ½ inch of flesh). 
  4. Stand the pineapple up on one end (pick whichever cut end is flattest). 
  5. Carefully slice the skin off the pineapple. Start at the top and then work your knife down the side, following the curve of the pineapple to remove as little flesh as possible. 
  6. If there are any poky brown spots (called eyes) on the pineapple, remove them with a paring knife. 
  7. With the pineapple still standing up on one end, cut it in half lengthwise. 
  8. Then, cut each half into halves lengthwise. You’ll end up with the whole pineapple being cut into quarters.  
  9. Lay the pineapple quarters down on the cutting board and then remove the core by cutting it off at an angle. 
  10. From there, you can cut the pineapple spears into chunks by slicing them crosswise. 

3. How to Cut a Pineapple Into Spears

I recommend cutting up a fresh pineapple into spears if you want to grill it. Pineapple spears are sturdier and easier to flip than rings or chunks.

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Cut off the very end of the pineapple (about ½ inch of flesh). 
  4. Stand the pineapple on one end (pick whichever cut end is flattest). 
  5. Carefully slice the skin off the pineapple. Start at the top and then work your knife down the side, following the curve of the pineapple to remove as little flesh as possible. 
  6. If there are any poky brown spots (called eyes) on the pineapple, remove them with a paring knife. 
  7. With the pineapple still standing up on one end, cut it in half lengthwise. 
  8. Then, cut each half into halves lengthwise. You’ll end up with the whole pineapple being cut into quarters.  
  9. Lay the pineapple quarters down on the cutting board and then remove the core by cutting it off at an angle. 
  10. Once the core has been removed, cut the pineapple quarters into spears of your desired thickness. 

4. How to Cut a Pineapple Into Rings

Pineapple rings can be grilled, eaten as a snack, used for pineapple upside down cake, and used as a garnish for baked ham and other dishes. 

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Cut off the very end of the pineapple (about ½ inch of flesh). 
  4. Stand the pineapple on one end (pick whichever cut end is flattest). 
  5. Carefully slice the skin off the pineapple. Start at the top and then work your knife down the side, following the curve of the pineapple to remove as little flesh as possible. 
  6. If there are any poky brown spots (called eyes) on the pineapple, remove them with a paring knife. 
  7. Place the pineapple on its side. Cut into rings (¼ inch thickness is a good place to start, but you can cut pineapple rings as thin or thick as you’d like). 
  8. To remove the core from each pineapple ring, I recommend using a small cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to do so. A paring knife may also be used for this task, but it will take longer and require some patience. 

Tip: A pineapple corer makes quick work of cutting a pineapple into rings and removes the core for you while doing so. However, as explained above, you can easily cut a pineapple into rings without any extra equipment or special tools. 

5. How to Cut a Pineapple Bowl

Creating bowls out of pineapple halves is both cute and practical — hoorah for one less dish to clean after a party! Once the pineapple flesh has been scooped out, you can fill your pineapple bowl with fruit salad, pineapple salsa, or even fried rice. 

Note that you can either leave the top (crown) on the pineapple so your pineapple bowl has leaves on it, or you can remove the top before creating the bowl. 

  1. Stand the pineapple upright on the cutting board, with the leaves facing towards the ceiling. 
  2. Carefully cut the pineapple in half lengthwise. You’ll need to cut through the leaves to split it evenly in half. 
  3. Lie one pineapple half on its side. Use a paring knife to cut around the edges of the fruit, angling the knife inwards to make removing the pineapple flesh easier later on. 
  4. Cut the center of the pineapple into slices, working from one edge to the other. 
  5. Carefully scoop out the flesh from the center of the pineapple. If you angled the paring knife when cutting around the edges of the fruit, the flesh should be easy to scoop out. 
  6. Save the pineapple flesh in an airtight container, or remove the core before cubing and returning to the pineapple bowl. 

6. How to Cut a Pineapple Cup 

This definitely is not the easiest way to cut a pineapple, but it’s arguably the prettiest! For a decadent drinking experience, transform your fresh pineapple into a cup. 

You can fill your pineapple cup with a tropical smoothie or strawberry pineapple smoothie, fresh pineapple juice, Mai Tais, a pineapple cooler, and more. 

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Run a chef’s knife around the inside edge of the pineapple, about ½ an inch from the skin. 
  4. Then, cut the pineapple into quarters. Be sure to cut just the center flesh of the pineapple and do NOT cut through the skin. 
  5. From there, you can use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh. 

Tip: A pineapple corer would work well here too. Just be sure to leave a little flesh around the inside rim of the pineapple and not cut through the bottom of the fruit.  

How to Store Fresh Pineapple 

  • Fridge: Once sliced, the pineapple should be stored in an airtight container with any excess juices. It will last up to 7 days. 
  • Freezer: I recommend freezing cubed pineapple that’s been cored and had the skin removed. Lay in a flat layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, then freeze until firm (1 to 2 hours). Transfer to a zip-top bag or freezer container, label, and freeze for up to one year. 

How to Core a Pineapple

The easiest way to core a pineapple is with a pineapple corer. However, most pineapple corers create pineapple rings in addition to removing the core, so keep that in mind if you truly just want to remove the core. 

You can also remove the skin, quarter the pineapple, and then angle your knife to cut off the fibrous core. 

Or, slice the pineapple into rings and remove the core using a paring knife or a small round cookie cutter. 

Can You Eat Pineapple Core?

Yes! But it’s very tough and fibrous and isn’t that tasty eaten raw. 

If you want to eat the pineapple core, I recommend boiling it in a saucepan until soft. From there, you can freeze the core to use in smoothies, eat the cooked core as is, or puree it for using in sauces and smoothies. 

If you want to eat the pineapple core raw, you’ll need to blend it into a smoothie, juice it, or grate it using a box grater. 

What to Do with Pineapple Core 

Pineapple core that’s been boiled until soft can be added to smoothies. Or, it can be pureed and used in cocktails or mocktails. 

You can also cook it for longer with just a small amount of water (rather than fully submerging it) to create a pineapple compote, which is delicious spooned over yogurt and oatmeal! 

Raw pineapple core can be grated over salads, yogurt bowls, and any other dish that could use a pop of fresh pineapple flavor. Or, add raw pineapple core to you morning smoothie — just make sure you have a good blender! 

What to Do with the Top of a Pineapple 

If you don’t want to waste a single part of your fresh pineapple, try planting the top (crown)! Let the pineapple top dry on your counter for a day or two, then transplant it into a pot with some soil. You’ll want to bury the base up to the leaves. 

Water the pineapple top well, move into indirect light, and then wait a few weeks for new leaves to sprout! 

Can You Eat Pineapple Skin? 

Yes, but with a few caveats. Pineapple skin cannot be eaten raw in any form — it’s much too tough and fibrous. 

If you want to enjoy the skin, be sure to wash the pineapple thoroughly under running water prior to cutting it. If possible, buying an organic pineapple is also recommended. 

Note that you can only eat the pineapple skin, not the leaves. 

What to Do with Pineapple Skin

Add the pineapple skin to a saucepan, fill it with water, and then simmer to infuse the water with pineapple flavor. To take it a step further, boil the water for longer to make pineapple tea! 

Once you’ve made your pineapple tea, you’ll need to discard the skin. 

Fresh Pineapple Recipes

Now that you know how to cut a pineapple with a knife, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test! Here are my favorite fresh pineapple recipes, from sweet to savory and everything in between. 

Pineapple Beverages

Pineapple Smoothies

Pineapple Sides and Salads

Pineapple Entrees

More Useful Kitchen Tips: 

Learn how to supreme an orange with this simple tutorial! In this post, I’m sharing the best way to segment an orange, and how to remove the white pith and skin! 

Chocolate curls are easy to make, and they add a touch of elegance to any cake, cupcake, trifle, or cheesecake! In this post, I’ve provided step-by-step instructions on how to make chocolate curls.

Enjoy summer green beans all year long by freezing them! This post explains how to freeze green beans, how to blanch green beans for freezing, how to thaw frozen green beans, and more!  

Who doesn’t love a good kitchen tip? Looking for more kitchen tutorials? Check out the entire Kitchen Tips and Tricks archive for lots of great ideas!

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How to Cut a Pineapple

How to Cut a Pineapple

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Don’t waste any part of that fresh pineapple! This post shares how to cut a pineapple six different ways, as well as ideas for using the pineapple top and tough skin. 

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh pineapple

Instructions

1. How to Cut a Pineapple Into Wedges (Easiest) 

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Cut off the very end of the pineapple (about ½ inch of flesh). 
  4. Cut the pineapple into rings, leaving the skin on. The rings can be however thick or thin you’d like, but ¼ inch thickness is usually good. 
  5. Cut each ring in half. 
  6. Remove the fibrous core from each pineapple ring half. You can do this by simply cutting it out, or you can use a small round cookie cutter to take out the core. 
  7. Cut each pineapple ring half into wedges. 

2. How to Cut a Pineapple Into Chunks or Cubes (Best / Most Versatile) 

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Cut off the very end of the pineapple (about ½ inch of flesh). 
  4. Stand the pineapple up on one end (pick whichever cut end is flattest). 
  5. Carefully slice the skin off the pineapple. Start at the top and then work your knife down the side, following the curve of the pineapple to remove as little flesh as possible. 
  6. If there are any poky brown spots (called eyes) on the pineapple, remove them with a paring knife. 
  7. With the pineapple still standing up on one end, cut it in half lengthwise. 
  8. Then, cut each half into halves lengthwise. You’ll end up with the whole pineapple being cut into quarters.  
  9. Lay the pineapple quarters down on the cutting board and then remove the core by cutting it off at an angle. 
  10. From there, you can cut the pineapple spears into chunks by slicing them crosswise. 

3. How to Cut a Pineapple Into Spears

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Cut off the very end of the pineapple (about ½ inch of flesh). 
  4. Stand the pineapple on one end (pick whichever cut end is flattest). 
  5. Carefully slice the skin off the pineapple. Start at the top and then work your knife down the side, following the curve of the pineapple to remove as little flesh as possible. 
  6. If there are any poky brown spots (called eyes) on the pineapple, remove them with a paring knife. 
  7. With the pineapple still standing up on one end, cut it in half lengthwise. 
  8. Then, cut each half into halves lengthwise. You’ll end up with the whole pineapple being cut into quarters.  
  9. Lay the pineapple quarters down on the cutting board and then remove the core by cutting it off at an angle. 
  10. Once the core has been removed, cut the pineapple quarters into spears of your desired thickness. 

4. How to Cut a Pineapple Into Rings

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Cut off the very end of the pineapple (about ½ inch of flesh). 
  4. Stand the pineapple on one end (pick whichever cut end is flattest). 
  5. Carefully slice the skin off the pineapple. Start at the top and then work your knife down the side, following the curve of the pineapple to remove as little flesh as possible. 
  6. If there are any poky brown spots (called eyes) on the pineapple, remove them with a paring knife. 
  7. Place the pineapple on its side. Cut into rings (¼ inch thickness is a good place to start, but you can cut pineapple rings as thin or thick as you’d like). 
  8. To remove the core from each pineapple ring, I recommend using a small cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to do so. A paring knife may also be used for this task, but it will take longer and require some patience. 

Tip: A pineapple corer makes quick work of cutting a pineapple into rings and removes the core for you while doing so. However, as explained above, you can easily cut a pineapple into rings without any extra equipment or special tools. 

5. How to Cut a Pineapple Bowl

Note that you can either leave the top (crown) on the pineapple so your pineapple bowl has leaves on it, or you can remove the top before creating the bowl. 

  1. Stand the pineapple upright on the cutting board, with the leaves facing towards the ceiling. 
  2. Carefully cut the pineapple in half lengthwise. You’ll need to cut through the leaves to split it evenly in half. 
  3. Lie one pineapple half on its side. Use a paring knife to cut around the edges of the fruit, angling the knife inwards to make removing the pineapple flesh easier later on. 
  4. Cut the center of the pineapple into slices, working from one edge to the other. 
  5. Carefully scoop out the flesh from the center of the pineapple. If you angled the paring knife when cutting around the edges of the fruit, the flesh should be easy to scoop out. 
  6. Save the pineapple flesh in an airtight container, or remove the core before cubing and returning to the pineapple bowl. 

6. How to Cut a Pineapple Cup 

  1. Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. 
  2. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the very top of the pineapple. Set aside. 
  3. Run a chef’s knife around the inside edge of the pineapple, about ½ an inch from the skin. 
  4. Then, cut the pineapple into quarters. Be sure to cut just the center flesh of the pineapple and do NOT cut through the skin. 
  5. From there, you can use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh. 

Tip: A pineapple corer would work well here too. Just be sure to leave a little flesh around the inside rim of the pineapple and not cut through the bottom of the fruit. 

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Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 21Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 0g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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