Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a popular tropical fruit with a spiky exterior and sweet taste.
It’s rich in nutrients and beneficial compounds that may reduce inflammation and fight disease. It’s also a great source of bromelain, which may ease digestion, boost immune health, and reduce arthritis symptoms (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
However, pineapples have a notoriously tough rind and can be difficult to cut and prepare.
Here are 6 easy ways to cut a pineapple.
To prepare a pineapple, you should first remove its rind and leafy, sharp crown.
To do so, lay your pineapple on its side. After chopping off the crown and base, stand the fruit up and cut the rind away in 1/2-inch (1.25-cm) strips, slicing from top to bottom.
This process exposes several firm, brown circles known as the eyes.
As the eyes are inedible, you’ll need to cut a V-shaped trench for each row of eyes, then pluck out that trench to remove them.
Alternatively, you can cut a little deeper into the fruit when you initially remove the rind — but this will waste some of the delicious flesh.
Finally, lay the pineapple back on its side and cut it into thick slices. These make a great snack on their own but can also be grilled or barbecued with a little cinnamon or nutmeg.
Summary Pineapple can be cut into slices by first lopping off the crown, rind, and eyes, then chopping to your desired thickness.
Pineapple rings have the tough core of the fruit removed.
The core runs through the center of the fruit and tends to be fibrous, which some people dislike.
To create rings, remove the inedible parts as outlined above and cut the fruit into slices that resemble circular discs. Then use a knife or apple corer to remove the core.
The rings can easily be grilled or baked, as well as used as they are for upside-down cake.
Summary Pineapple rings can be made by slicing the fruit into discs and using a knife or apple corer to remove the core from the fruit.
Pineapple spears are a perfect on-the-go snack. You can eat them raw, dip them in yogurt, or skewer them for grilling.
To create spears, start by removing your pineapple’s crown, skin, and eyes using one of the methods described above.
Then, stand the fruit up and slice it in half, then into quarters. Lay each wedge on its side and slice out the core. Finally, cut the remaining wedges lengthwise into spears.
Summary To create pineapple spears, remove the fruit’s inedible parts, cut it vertically into four long wedges, then remove the core and cut it lengthwise into long strips.
Pineapple chunks can be a great addition to desserts and smoothies or a simple garnish atop oatmeal, pancakes, or yogurt.
First, follow the steps for making pineapple spears, then chop them into smaller chunks.
You can also use a pineapple corer to simplify this process. After removing the crown, place the corer over the center of the fruit, press down, and twist the handle until your device reaches the base.
Finally, unwind it to extract the cored pineapple spiral before cutting it into chunks.
Summary Make pineapple chunks by cutting pineapple spears into smaller pieces. You can also use a pineapple corer to simplify this process.
If you have a very ripe pineapple, you may be able to tug off bite-sized pieces instead of cutting it with a knife.
Pineapple is technically a multiple fruit, as it’s made up of several individual fruits that fuse to form a whole. These individual specimens are what create the hexagonal sections visible on the fruit’s rind (9).
With a very ripe fruit, it may be possible to pop out each individual section using only your fingers.
Instead of chopping off the crown, remove it by cutting along the perimeter of the uppermost segments. Then, use your thumb to apply pressure on each hexagon, pushing each separate fruit away with your fingers.
This method tends to be messier and more labor-intensive but makes for an interesting option.
Summary You might be able to de-section a very ripe pineapple using only your fingers, though this process may get messy.
Pineapple boats are a visually appealing vessel for fruit salads, frozen yogurt, and even savory dishes like fried rice and stir-fries.
Start by laying your pineapple on its side, trying to find the most stable angle so the fruit can lie relatively flat.
Next, slice a 1–2-inch (2.5–5-cm) layer off the opposite side of the fruit without removing any of the crown. Then, cut around — but not through — the rind.
Slice the flesh into cubes and scoop them out using a large spoon. You’ll be left with a pineapple boat, which you can fill with the dish of your choice.
Summary To make a pineapple boat, remove a thin, lengthwise slice from the rind and scoop out its flesh. You can then fill this tropical vessel with a meal, snack, or dessert.
Whole, ripe pineapples can be stored at room temperature but should be eaten within 1–2 days. Try resting your pineapple on its side, turning the fruit each day, to prevent its juices from pooling at the bottom (10).
You can also store a ripe pineapple in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. This will extend its shelf life to nearly a week.
Sliced or diced pineapple should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge and eaten within 3–5 days. If your pineapple starts smelling fermented, it’s no longer good.
In addition, you can freeze cut pineapple in freezer-proof containers for up to 12 months (11).
Summary Ripe pineapples should be eaten within 1–2 days. You can extend its shelf life by refrigerating or freezing it.
Pineapples are delicious tropical fruits that offer a variety of health benefits.
Though their hard, spiky exterior may seem imposing, these fruits are easy to slice after you remove the inedible parts. To simplify the process, you can even use a device called a pineapple corer.
Give several methods a go to see which ones work best for you.