How To Cut Pineapple Like a Pro

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How to Cut A Pineapple

Love pineapple but don’t know how to cut it? You’re not alone: with its thick and spiky skin, pineapple can be intimidating! But cutting a fresh pineapple is easy — and doing it yourself will save you money at the supermarket. Plus, fresh-cut pineapple lasts much longer than the pre-cut pineapple in the produce department, which is often past its prime the day you buy it. Check out the simple steps below for how to select and cut a fresh pineapple.

First things first—to ensure that you select a ripe pineapple while at the store, smell it. The fruit should smell fragrant and a bit sweet at the stem end. Look for fresh green leaves at the top of the pineapple. Also, use your sense of touch– if you gently squeeze the pineapple, it should “give” just a little (but avoid any pineapples that have soft spots or bruises, as those are signs that it’s past its prime).

Before cutting into the pineapple, wash it under cold running water and scrub it gently with a produce brush if you’ve got one.

(You’ll need a large chef’s knife and a cutting board.)

How to cut pineapple

Lay the pineapple down on its side and cut a slice off the bottom end.

slicing off bottom of pineapple

Then slice off the top taking care to avoid the pointy leaves (they can be sharp)!

slicing off top of pineapple

Stand the pineapple up with the flat bottom on your cutting board. Holding the top of the pineapple steady with one hand, use your other hand to start cutting away the pineapple’s outer skin.

cutting off outer skin

Take off enough to get just past the brown spots (or eyes) in the flesh, but take care not to cut too far into the fruit.

cutting away brown spots

Keep the pineapple standing on one flat end and carefully slice each side of the fruit, getting close to but not cutting into the center core.

slicing pineapple vertically

Lay the pieces down with the flat side on the cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces.

cutting slices into chunks


Pineapple chunks on a cutting board.

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  • A few more tips based on experience from living 20+ years in Central America:

    For testing pineapple ripeness, pull one of the centermost leaves straight up. If it comes loosely, it’s ready; if it’s a struggle, it needs more time to ripen.

    There’s a technique for taking out the eyes by cutting them in a spiral. This way you leave more of the fruit.

    Locals usually slice the pineapple crossways about half an inch thick, then halve the disks through the core. The piece of core provides a handle to hold while nibbling on the juicy fruit.

    Finally, don’t throw out the pineapple peel and core. Locals cook the extra parts in water with 3-4 allspice balls and/or stick cinnamon, then drink it as a tea (ponche de piña).

    • — Corita Warner on July 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • ¡Muchas gracias Corita! Voy hacer el ponche con la piña que tengo en la cocina hoy.

      • — Marianne on September 10, 2023
      • Reply
  • How to cut a Papaya?

    • Hi Judy, I’ll have to add that to my list of how-to’s to work on! In the meantime, I think wikiHow does a good job with those kinds of things.

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