How To Cut A Pineapple – A Step By Step Guide 

 Last Update April 19, 2024

By Jenny Zhang

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Pineapples are Mother Nature's tropical treat, a golden burst of sunshine that's as delicious as it is nutritious. But let's face it—pineapples can be a bit intimidating at first glance, with their spiky exterior and prickly crown.

Whether it's peak pineapple season or you want to create a tropical fruit salad, whip up a refreshing piña colada, or simply adding to your favorite tacos, knowing how to cut a pineapple is a valuable kitchen skill so you can ditch using canned pineapple.

However, trust us—cutting a pineapple is not nearly as hard as it appears, and you'll have much more consistent results if you take the time to learn how to cut a pineapple properly! In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of how to cut a pineapple. Whether you want to cut a whole pineapple into cubes or rings, we will share all the methods you need to know.

How To Cut A Pineapple - Step By Step

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Gathering tools for cutting pineapple

Before you begin to cut a whole pineapple, gather the necessary tools. A sharp knife is your best friend for this task, as it makes clean cuts through the tough pineapple skin and flesh. Ensure that your knife is sharp to facilitate a smoother cutting process. Opt for a large chef's knife to cut pineapple instead of a small paring knife.

Consider using a serrated knife if a sharp chef's knife is unavailable. Serrated knives are known for their ability to cut through tough and crusty surfaces, making them a suitable choice for cutting pineapple. Ensure that your serrated knife is sharp for efficient and safe cutting!

You'll also need a sturdy cutting board that won't slip when cutting a pineapple. And finally, you can't cut a pineapple without a fresh one!

Step 2: Prepare Your Workstation

A clean and well-organized workstation is crucial for safe and efficient pineapple preparation. Place your cutting board on a stable surface, preferably on a countertop with ample space to work comfortably. Ensure there are no distractions and you have enough room to maneuver your knife safely.

Step 3: Choose A Ripe Pineapple

Woman examining a pineapple in a market

Selecting the right pineapple is key to a delicious outcome. To find a ripe pineapple quickly, use your senses:

Smell: The base of a ripe pineapple (the end without the leaves) should have a sweet, tropical aroma. Bring the bottom of the pineapple close to your nose and take a whiff. If it smells fragrant and inviting, it's likely ripe.

Touch: Gently squeeze the pineapple with your fingers to assess its ripeness. You'll know a pineapple is ripe if it gives slightly when pressed but still feels firm. If the pineapple feels soft or mushy, it may be overripe.

Color: Select a pineapple with a vibrant, golden-yellow color on its outer skin. A ripe fruit should have a consistent color with no green spots. The more golden the color, the riper and sweeter the pineapple is likely to be. Inspect the leaves on top of the pineapple (the crown). While not always a foolproof indicator, leaves that are green and fresh-looking are generally a good sign. It may be an older pineapple if they are dry, wilted, or easily pulled out.

Step 4: Trim The Ends

Trimming off the top of the pineapple

With your fresh pineapple selected, it's time to prepare it for cutting. To cut a pineapple, place it on its side on the cutting board. Utilize a sharp chef's knife to trim off the top (green crown) and the base. These cuts create flat, stable surfaces for the next steps.

Step 5: Remove The Skin

Removing The Skin of pineapple

Stand the pineapple upright on the cutting board, with one of the flat ends facing up. Starting from the top, carefully cut and slice downwards, following the natural curve of the fruit. You aim to remove the spiky outer skin while leaving as much of the sweet, juicy flesh intact as possible. Try to remove as little of the fruit as possible, as the flesh closest to the outer edge is the sweetest!

Step 6: Remove The eyes

Removing pineapple "eyes," or dark spots, is essential in preparing a fresh pineapple for consumption. These eyes are the small, brown, and hard portions of the pineapple's skin left behind after peeling, and they are not pleasant to eat.

Stand the pineapple upright. Starting at the top of the pineapple, use a small paring knife to cut the pineapple at a shallow diagonal strip that follows the spiral pattern of the eyes. Be careful not to slice too deep! You want to leave as much fruit as possible. Continue making diagonal cuts along the spiral rows of eyes, leaving a smooth layer of pineapple flesh behind.

Step 7: Cut Pineapple In Half Lengthwise

You'll have a smooth, juicy pineapple with the skin and eyes removed. Now, cut the pineapple in half, standing the pineapple upright, cutting the end down, and slicing it half lengthwise from top to bottom. This step divides the pineapple into two, each pineapple halves with its core.

Step 8: Remove The Core

In the center of each pineapple half, you'll find a tough core that's fibrous and less palatable than the surrounding flesh. To eliminate the core, lay the pineapple on its side. Cut the pineapple lengthwise at a slight angle along the length of the core, only cutting about halfway through the fruit. Repeat on the other side of the core at the opposite angle. This long, V-shaped cut will effectively slice out the tough core. Perform the same step on the remaining half of the pineapple.

Step 9: Slice or Dice

Pineapple chunks on a wooden chopping board

Now that you've removed the core, you have two options for preparing your cut pineapple:

Slices: To create pineapple slices, lay each half flat on the cutting board and cut the pineapple horizontally across the width of the fruit. These slices are perfect for snacking or garnishing desserts.

Chunks/Dices: For pineapple chunks or dices, start by cutting each half into long strips, then crosswise into bite-sized pieces. This method is ideal for adding pineapple chunks to fruit salads, salsas, or savory dishes.

Step 10: Enjoy!

Woman eating pineapple

Now, your freshly cut pineapples are ready to be savored in various ways! Their sweet and tangy flavor can be enjoyed as a refreshing snack on its own, added to fruit salads for a tropical twist, used in smoothies for a burst of natural sweetness, incorporated into desserts like pineapple upside-down cake, or even grilled to bring out their caramelized flavors.

How To Cut Pineapple Rings

Once you've successfully removed the skin and eyes from the pineapple, it's time to put your knife skills to work. Lay the whole pineapple on its side and grab a sharp knife. Carefully slice the pineapple horizontally into delightful pineapple rounds. The thickness of each pineapple round can be adjusted to suit your taste, but a range of approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch (1.3 to 2 cm) is often ideal.

The next step in converting those pineapple rounds into perfect rings is eliminating the tough pineapple core. You can accomplish this by using a pineapple corer, a round cookie cutter, or a small circular object, such as a bottle cap, to create a void in the center of each pineapple round.

Alternatively, you can employ a paring knife to skillfully navigate around the core, ensuring your pineapple rings are as enjoyable to eat as they are to look at.

How To Cut A Pineapple Into Spears

After removing the skin and eyes, place the pineapple on its side. Use your knife to cut the pineapple in half by slicing it vertically from top to bottom. Then, carefully cut each half in half again, creating four quarters. Each quarter will have a tough, fibrous core running through its center. To remove it, cut crosswise from the top corner of each quarter to the opposite bottom corner. This will effectively slice out the core.

With the core removed, you'll have four pineapple quarters, each with a flat side and a curved side. Position each quarter flat on the cutting board, with the curved side facing up. Proceed to cut each quarter lengthwise into spears. Adjust the thickness of the spears based on your preference, whether thin or thick.

How To Cut A Pineapple Into Chunks

After removing the core from each quarter, you'll notice that each quarter features a flat side and a curved side. Place the pineapple quarters on the cutting board, with the flat side facing downward. Proceed to slice each quarter lengthwise into strips of your preferred thickness. Gather all the strips together, then slice them each crosswise to make perfectly sweet pineapple chunks! Once you've done this, you can add them to your favorite pineapple recipes.

How To Store Pineapple Chunks and Slices

Place pineapple chunks and slices in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag, ensuring minimal air exposure. Refrigerate them to extend freshness, where they can last for up to five days. For longer storage, freeze pineapple chunks or slices in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer-safe bag, keeping them usable for up to six months. This method prevents the pieces from sticking together, making it easy to use the desired amount later.

Jenny passionately advocates a holistic and natural approach to health and well-being. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and years of working in food sciences, specializing in organic & natural products. She is committed to helping others embrace a balanced, natural lifestyle that fosters well-being. Jenny believes that a harmonious balance between nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of one’s well-being.