How to Cut a Pineapple | Tips and Tricks

by Nindo Mom on May 21, 2011

NOT the way to cut a pineapple

My son and I both love fresh pineapple. But pre-cut fresh pineapple from the grocery store usually costs a lot more for the same amount of fruit that you’d get from a fresh one. Plus, pre-cut fresh pineapple typically has an anti-browning agent added to the liquid, and I like to avoid additives in my family’s food whenever possible.

Growing up, my mother never bought our family a fresh pineapple–not even once. It was only the canned stuff for us. So when I became the head of my own household and learned how to properly core and and cut a fresh pineapple, I was pretty thrilled–and my taste buds were pretty happy. :)

Safety Precautions

When cutting a fresh pineapple, always keep safety foremost in your mind. You’ll be doing a lot of knife work to a fruit with a lot of roundness to it, and you don’t want the fruit to wiggle out of your grasp at the wrong moment.

Optional safety equipment: has a Metal Safety Glove for Kitchen Use that I would love to have for safe cutting. It’s advertised as an oyster glove–but that’s only because of the

Pineapple before ends are removed

extremely high quality of the glove, and the frequent danger you encounter when shucking oysters. It is a bit on the costly side at nearly $140 for a single glove–but if you’re doing a lot of work in the kitchen that leaves you open to cuts, or if you happen to be a bit clumsy in the kitchen, the cost seems well worth it to avoid constantly cutting your hands.

As a lower-cost alternative, Amazon also has Cloth Safety Gloves for Kitchen Use. They’re about $23 each–or $46 for a pair–and each glove is designed to fit on either hand. In addition, it’s available in extra-small size, which reviews for the product say may be the best fit for most women’s hands.

Preparing to remove pineapple spines

Getting Down to Business | Cutting the Pineapple

Cutting a fresh pineapple isn’t difficult, once you get the hang of it. The key is to take things one step at a time and to not rush. You’ll realize that the few minutes it’ll take you to cut the pineapple will be WELL WORTH IT as you and your family bite into that sweet, juicy fruit!

1. Rinse the whole pineapple in the sink.

This will help to remove any contaminants from the skin of the pineapple, which could be transferred to the fruit inside during the cutting process.

2. Dry pineapple off with a clean dish towel.

This will help to keep the pineapple from slipping around while you’re cutting it.

Pineapple spines partially removed. Any remaining bits of spine will need to be removed individually.

3. Set pineapple on a stable surface.

4. Don Safety Cutting Gloves, if you have them.

5. Remove the top of the pineapple.

Holding the base of the pineapple securely with one hand, use a sharp knife to slice off the top (the part of the pineapple with the leaves). This cut should take off about 3/4 of an inch of fruit off the top of the pineapple. Discard the slice, including the leafy top.

6. Removing the base of the pineapple.

Grasping the newly cut top end of the pineapple with one hand, use the knife to slice off the bottom 3/4 of an inch from the base of the pineapple. Take care to make this cut as straight as possible. Discard the slice.

7. Remove the pineapple spines.

Stand the pineapple upright on it’s base. Holding the pineapple securely with one hand, carefully slice off the skin, one strip at a time. Each time you remove a strip,  turn the pineapple a couple of inches so you can easily make the next cut. Discard each strip of spiny skin as you remove it.

Pineapple Core

If any tiny spiny spots remain after the skin is removed, you’ll need to remove these spots with your knife individually. What these spots are: the surface of the pineapple varies in depth, as do the spines, and sometimes all of each spine doesn’t completely off come off with the first slice.

8.  Remove the pineapple core.

Once all the skin and spines have been removed from the pineapple, locate the core of the fruit. It runs down the center of the fruit and appears to be slightly woody in texture (which is IS). Your goal should be to remove the core while avoiding removal of the “good” fruit surrounding it.

Placing the knife along one edge of the core, then slice straight down. Reposition the knife on another side of the core and repeat. You’ll make a total of four cuts.

Fresh pineapple is healthy and delicious!

(If you are really eager for a taste of fresh pineapple, you can take this opportunity to bite off the bits of soft pineapple still clinging to the core. Just pretend the core is an ear of corn on the cob, and eat away!)

9.The Final Touches

Slice pineapple spears into the desired size of chunks and refrigerate.

Pineapple Nutrition

A fresh pineapple yields about 4 cups of fruit.  Each cup of fruit has 74 calories, 2.2 grams of fiber, and .84 grams of protein.

Nutrition information per cup:

Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Vitamin B6
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Vitamin B12


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