How To Cut A Pineapple

I prefer to get local, seasonal fruits and vegetables whenever possible. But no matter how often I check, it never seems to be pineapple season in Cleveland. So I make do with the imported ones. Whether you have access to local ones or not, it’s handy to know how to cut them once you get them.

Start with a whole pineapple.

Lay it down and cut the top off, about an inch from the end.

Set the top aside to use in a centerpiece, or on top of whatever dish you’re making with the pineapple.

Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise.

Lay each half down and cut in half lengthwise again. Make sure you cut right through the center of the core.

There are three ways you can hold it to cut the core out. First, stand the quarter up with the core facing to the side and, using your large knife, cut straight down.

The second way is to turn it so the core is facing you and use a paring knife. This is a bit slower, but you have better control so you can trim closer to the core.

The third way is to lay it down and slice toward yourself with the paring knife. This offers the most control, so you can get the closest trim, but cutting toward yourself is slightly risky. Don’t do it unless you’re very confident in your knife handling.

Next, cut each quarter in half lengthwise again.

Now you’ll cut the peel off. Again there are a couple of ways to do it. First, stand the segment up and cut down with the paring knife.

I’ve tried that step with the big knife and I can’t get it trimmed close on the first try. I end up spending more time cleaning it up than it would have taken to work slower with the smaller knife to begin with.

If you have a curved knife you can get even closer, and you can work with quarters instead of doing that last cut two pictures back. I don’t have a curved knife, so I go slower.

The second way is to slice toward yourself. Again, don’t use this method unless you are very confident in your knife handling.

You want to trim as close to the peel as possible, but sometimes you get too close. Then you end up with bits of “eye” left in. These are stiff, almost spiny pieces of the peel. You don’t want to eat them, and will need to trim out any of them that you left.

If you didn’t get it all while you were cutting off the peel, trim off the bottom.

Now for one last lengthwise cut — we’re down to one-sixteenth wedges if you’re counting.

Lay these long, skinny wedges on their sides and cut lengthwise about a third of the way from the base. You want a wide slice of the skinny end of the wedge, and a skinny slice of the wide end.

Turn all the segments sideways and dice into bite-sized chunks.

And that’s it.

I’ve got a really incredible recipe coming up that I used this in. If you like pineapple even a little bit, you’re going to want to come back for this one. Sign up using the form below.