How to Cut a Pineapple

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How to Cut a Pineapple

Pineapple is a popular fruit, when perfectly ripe offering a wonderful blend of sweetness with a hint of tartness.

Whole pineapple on a marble counter.

How to Know if a Pineapple is Ripe

Smell is your best indicator of ripeness. Turn the pineapple over and smell the stem at the bottom. If it smells perfume-y and sweet, your pineapple is ready to go. Pineapples don’t technically continue to ripen once they have been cut, but they will soften a bit. If you don’t smell a sweet pineapple-y scent from the bottom of the fruit, you can let it sit at room temperature for another couple of days, which should improve the texture and enhance the sweetness a bit. If there is no scent, it’s definitely not ripe. Give it the smell test in the store before you buy it!

The pineapple should also feel heavy for its size; that means it’s got a nice amount of juice in it.

Various sized pieces of pineapple on a cutting board.

It should also have a little bit of give, especially at the base and the top. Choose pineapples with healthy green leaves at the top.

If it smells sour or vinegary then it’s probably overripe and you should skip it. Also avoid pineapples with wrinkled skin, or blemishes, or those with leaves that look past their prime.

How to Store Cut Pineapple

Cut pineapple should be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it in an airtight plastic zipper-top bag for up to 6 months. Do not store peeled or cut pineapple at room temperature.

How to Cut Up a Pineapple

Slice off the green spiky top using a sharp heavy knife.

Woman cutting the top off of a pineapple.

Place the pineapple on its bottom and use the knife to slice downwards removing the skin in pieces. Cut so you lose as little of the pineapple as possible.

Woman slicing the outside off of a pineapple.

The sweetest, juiciest part of the pineapple is the outside part closest to the skin, so keep as much of it as you can.

Remove the eyes (little brownish black spots) using a paring knife.

How to Cut a Pineapple: Everything you need to know about buying, storing, cutting and cooking with pineapple!

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Woman using a knife to get all remaining skin off of a pineapple.

Cut off the bottom of the pineapple.

Woman cutting the bottom off of a pineapple.

Cut the pineapple in half from top to bottom.

Woman cutting a peeled pineapple in half.

Remove the core from each half with a knife.

Woman using a knife to take the core out of a pineapple.

Slice the pineapple into long spears, or…..

Woman cutting a peeled pineapple into long slices.

Cut it crosswise into half circle slices.

Woman cutting a halved, peeled, and cored pineapple.

You can then cut the slices or spears into cubes or chunks.

Baby Pineapples

Baby pineapples are possibly the cutest fruit around. They are often from South Africa, and might be called Queen Victoria Pineapples. They are usually about 4 to 5 inches tall, and about 3 to 4 inches in diameter, and are often less acidic than their larger cousins. You can find them at specialty stores, and online, sometimes sold by the crate.

How to Cut a Baby Pineapple

How to Cut a Baby Pineapple

You can cut baby pineapples in the same way you cut larger pineapples. The core is much more tender, though, so you don’t have to worry about cutting that out.

You can simply remove the bottom and the skin, and leave the top on, then cut the pineapple into quarters. You might consider leaving the top leaves on, which makes for a fun presentation.

How to Cut a Baby Pineapple

People can pick them up by the leaves and eat them. Or think about using them as a garnish for cocktails or mocktails!

How to Cut a Baby Pineapple

How to Use Fresh Pineapple

Obviously pineapple is excellent eaten straight up, or added to fruit salads of all kinds. Fresh or frozen pineapple is great to have on hand for smoothies, or to chop or puree and add to marinades to help tenderize meat and lend some sweetness to the dish. Pineapple is lovely in fruit salsas, stir fries, or to add to kebabs. Sliced pineapple is also wonderful on the grill.

Recipes with Pineapple:

Small white plate of Fried Green Tomatoes with Pineapple Mint Salsa.
5 from 2 votes

Fried Green Tomatoes with Pineapple Mint Salsa

Classic fried green tomatoes get a modern twist with a few spoonfuls of a vibrant and sweet-tangy fruit salsa.
View Recipe

Sweet and Sour Chicken
4.75 from 4 votes

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This pretty, sweet, and gentle old-school Chinese-American favorite comes together in 20 minutes. So easy and delicious, it rivals any restaurant's sweet and sour chicken.
View Recipe

Tropical Fruit Salsa / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /
5 from 2 votes

Tropical Fruit Salsa

This will add color and crazy flavor to anything it’s served with.
View Recipe

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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