How to Cut a Pineapple Into Perfect Rings and Chunks
Much like cutting a mango or a watermelon, slicing your pineapple into edible chunks can be quite challenging if you’ve never done it before—or fail to do every time you buy the prickly fruit. However, a pineapple’s tough shell and intimidating leafy crown shouldn’t deter you from including the nutritious fruit in your daily diet. Yup—it’s not just a sweet snack that upgrades your fruit salads and smoothies, but it’s also a prime dietary superstar. Just one cup of pineapple packs in 206 milligrams of blood-pressure-stabilizing potassium, 28.9 milligrams of cold-busting vitamin C, and 86 milligrams of eye-protecting vitamin A. If you’re craving the tropical plant and want to reap its benefits, learn how to cut a pineapple with these easy-to-follow tips from Chef Claudia Sidoti, Head Chef and Recipe Developer at HelloFresh, below.
How to cut a pineapple
“Place the pineapple on its side on your cutting board,” Sidoti says. “With a sharp cook’s knife, slice off the top crown and about a half inch of the top of the pineapple. Stand the pineapple upright on the cutting board. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut away the skin from top to bottom, following the shape of the pineapple. The outer edge of the pineapple is the sweetest part, so you want to keep that if you can. Cut the bottom half an inch or so off the pineapple.”
How to cut a pineapple into rings
Sidoti’s got the perfect hack to get those glorious ring shapes your grocer achieves so gracefully—without succumbing to that steep price tag. “Lay the pineapple horizontally on your cutting board, and use a sharp cook’s knife to remove the top by slicing about a quarter-inch below the base of the leaves,” Sidoti says. “Stand upright and peel skin side by side, slicing down from the open top of the fruit. The sweetest parts are closest to the skin just behind the brown ‘eyes’ you’ll find along the perimeter, so try to keep your slices clean to preserve all that flavor. Once peeled, lay the pineapple horizontally to chop off the base and cut the fruit into rings by slicing straight down width-wise. Thickness is dependent on your taste. The fiber-rich core is edible, but lots of people remove it because it isn’t as flavorful or sweet. Use a small paring knife to cut it out of your rings, if you’d prefer.”
How to cut a pineapple into chunks
Sometimes you don’t care about the photo opp. Sometimes you just want to eat the fruit. On those terms, cut your pineapple into simple chunks by following this advice: “First, cut the pineapple lengthwise into quarters. Cut out the tough core, then cut each quarter lengthwise again. Then cut crosswise into chunks,” Sidoti says.
Pro tip from Sidoti: If you’re looking to serve a pineapple for dessert while also impressing your guests (hey, we know it’s no three-layered devil’s food cake with matcha-infused frosting), try this hack. “Cut the pineapple in half and then halve that half. Slice chunks and then separate it from the peel. Stagger the slices, and you’ll end up with a gorgeous pineapple that is ready to serve—no plates or platters required!” Sidoti says. Consider this hack the healthy equivalent to sabering a champagne bottle, and put it to use at your next soirée!