The easiest way to cut a pineapple

Lizzy Briskin

A one-cup serving of pineapple chunks contains over 130% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

Cutting a pineapple is easier than it looks

Pineapples are popular, thanks to their naturally sweet, bold and refreshing flavor. Whether you enjoy fresh pineapple all on its own, turn it into a zippy tropical salsa or even dunk it in melted chocolate for a fruity treat, it’s easy to see why this fruit is enjoyed around the world.

Of course, before you can start snacking, you have to get through its tough exterior and break the fruit down. Despite its spiky presentation, pineapple is easier to cut than it looks, and once you learn how to cut wedges, spears and rings with these simple methods, you’ll never be far from your favorite fruity snack. 

What’s the best shape to cut pineapple?

Because of the unique shape of pineapple, you have a few options for shapes you can cut it into.

The easiest shapes to achieve are:

  • Rings: This might be the most fun shape you can make from a whole pineapple. It’s also the perfect shape for grilling. Making pineapple rings is easy to do — you just need a round cookie cutter to cut the pineapple core out of each ring.
  • Spears: You can easily make long, thin spears for skewering or snacking.
  • Wedges: This is the most common shape for fruit salads, appetizer boards and other snacks, as you can cut pineapple wedges into delicious and easy-to-pack two-bite treats.

Tools for cutting pineapple

Aside from the fruit itself, you need a few very important kitchen tools to properly cut a pineapple.

First, you need a sharp, large knife — skip the paring knife for this job and instead, reach for your chef’s knife. The 8-inch kitchen knife from J.A. Henckels is a great and highly useful knife for most of your cutting needs.

In addition, make sure your knife is sharp. Sharp knives are easier and safer to use. If you’re in doubt, run your knife along a honing steel or electric knife sharpener before you start. The lightweight sharpener from Presto is a great tool to keep on hand for knife maintenance.

The final important piece of equipment you need for pineapple cutting is a sturdy cutting board. We like this extra-large bamboo board from Indigo True. It’s heavy enough to stay in place on the counter and made with bamboo for safe cooking and eating.

How to cut a pineapple into spears or wedges

When you have your tools and fruit ready, it’s time to start cutting. Here’s the easiest way to break down your pineapple.

  1. Remove the top. Place the pineapple on its side and slice off the thorny crown. Cut as close to the crown as you can to reduce waste and make the most of your fruit.
  2. Flip the fruit. Next, place the pineapple cut side down on your cutting board. Let it sit on its head like this for about half an hour. This helps any juices that drain to the bottom of the fruit run back through the pineapple and distribute evenly. However, if you’re short on time, you can skip this step.
  3. Remove the end. Place the pineapple back on its side and slice off the bottom a half-inch or so. Now you have a flat surface on both ends.
  4. Remove the peel. Stand the fruit on its narrow end and use your knife to remove the skin in sections. Try to avoid cutting away the pineapple flesh as much as possible. It’s easiest to do this by making more smaller cuts rather than a few large swipes to remove the skin. Curve your knife to follow the natural taper of the fruit.
  5. Slice in half. Now you have a naked pineapple on your cutting board. To make spears or wedges, keep the fruit standing upright and slice the pineapple in half from top to bottom.
  6. Remove the core. Place the two halves cut side down on your cutting board and divide each in half the long way. You now have four quarters. Place one quarter on the cutting board and angle your knife to remove just the hard center core. Repeat with the remaining quarters.
  7. Trim to size. Now your fruit is free of inedible core and skin. You can serve the wedges as is or slice them into thinner spears. To make bite-size pieces, slice the wedges into chunks cross-wise.

How to cut a pineapple into rings

If you’d like to make pretty fruit rings, follow the instructions until step four. Then, instead of cutting the fruit into halves, lay it on its side and divide it into half-inch planks the short way. Finally, use a circle cutter to stamp out the core of each round.

Alternatively, a quick and easy way to make rings is with a handy pineapple corer. You can remove the core of the entire fruit with one cut, then divide the cored pineapple into rings. 

How to store cut pineapple

Once you’ve done the work of breaking down your fruit, you can store pineapple pieces for up to seven days in the fridge. Just be sure to store the fruit in an air-tight container.

You can toss pineapple slices into a salad, sear them on the grill (outside or inside), or blend them into a frosty tropical drink. Don’t forget the paper umbrella!

Can I use the pineapple skin?

Yes, in fact, the skin of the pineapple is full of antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties. Take advantage of these health benefits and the tropical flavor by turning the peel into an infused tea.

Simply steep the peels in a pot of hot water with a bit of sugar and your favorite warming spices, like cinnamon sticks or cloves.

Lizzy Briskin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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