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How to Cut a Pineapple

Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Forbidding from the outside, pineapples are sweet and tangy on the inside. Their wonderful flavor makes them a key ingredient in a diverse range of recipes, from cakes to casseroles, which means there’s much to be gained from learning to cut this rather intimidating fruit. With the simple step-by-step instructions included here, you can learn to cut a pineapple, and more importantly, how to cook a pineapple, so let’s get started!
By Inspired Taste

Introduction

The pineapple is a tropical fruit that most likely originated in South America and now grows in tropical climates all around the world. Pineapples sold in the U.S. are mostly grown in Hawaii and the Caribbean. The fruit is generally available year-round, but peak season for pineapples is March through July.

Pineapple is a healthful way to add sweetness, variety and a wealth of important nutrients to your meals. It is rich in manganese and vitamin C and has a flavor that is both sweet and tart. It can be cooked in a variety of ways from baking to grilling to sautéing and more. It is also delicious raw as a salsa, blended into a smoothie or just on its own.

Fast & Fresh Pineapple Salsa

How to Choose a Pineapple

Pineapples do not significantly ripen after purchase, so look for a fruit that is ready to eat when you are at the market. Here’s how you can pick a perfect pineapple every time.

  1. Look for a crisp green top indicating freshness and golden skin indicating ripeness.
  2. Feel the skin to make sure it is firm. Dark spots and soft spots indicate decay.
  3. Pick up the fruit for weight. A fruit that is heavy for it’s size is full of juice.
  4. Smell the fruit. If its fragrance is sweet, it is ripe.

How to Cut a Pineapple

There are so many rewards to cooking with pineapple, so don’t let that scaly skin scare you off. You can master cutting a pineapple once and for all with these simple instructions.

What you need:

  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Small round cookie cutter, optional tool

1. In this step, you will remove the crown and base of the pineapple. Lay the pineapple on the cutting board and cut off the crown at a point about one half inch below the crown. Next, cut off the bottom of the pineapple by making a cut about one half inch from the bottom.

Remove the crown and base of the pineapple

2. In this step, you will remove the skin. Stand the pineapple upright on your cutting board and cut down the sides. Don’t worry about cutting deep enough to remove the eyes. Just remove the skin.

Cut off the skin of the pineapple

3. In this step, you will remove the eyes of the pineapple. To do this, lay the pineapple on its side and find a diagonal line of eyes. You will remove the line of eyes in two cuts. First, use your chef’s knife to cut down one side of the line of eyes. Angle your knife so the edge is under the center of the eyes.

Cut down the line of eyes

Second, make the same cut down the other side of the eyes. Again, your knife should be at an angle so the edge is under the center of the eyes. After you make this second cut, you should be able to remove the line of eyes in one piece. Repeat this step until you have worked your way all the way around the pineapple and removed all the eyes.

Remove the eyes of the pineapple in strips

4. In this step, you will cut the pineapple into pieces. Depending on how you will use the pineapple, you may way to cut your pineapple into slices or into wedges.

To cut the pineapple into wedges, stand the fruit on its base or widest end. Then cut through the center so you have two half-moon shaped pieces. Then stand one half upright again and cut through. Do the same with the other half so the pineapple is divided into quarters.

Cut the pineapple into quarters

Next, you should remove the fibrous core. To do this, stand each quarter up on your cutting board and slice off the point of the triangle that was at the center of the fruit.

Remove the core of the pineapple

Now, you can cut each quarter into smaller wedges. Lay each quarter lengthwise across your cutting board and across to make wedges.

Cut the pineapple into wedges

To cut the pineapple into rings, lay the pineapple lengthwise across your cutting board and slice through the fruit. Once you have sliced the entire fruit into rings, you will still need to remove the fibrous core.

Remove the fibrous core of the pineapple

One easy way to do this is with a small round cookie cutter. Simply press the cookie cutter into the center of the ring. You can also cut out the core with the tip of your chef’s knife or a small paring knife, whichever you feel more comfortable wielding.

Cut out the core at the center of the ring with a cookie cutter of knife

Different Methods for Cooking Pineapple

Pineapple can be used in sweet baked goods, like the classic pineapple upside-down cake, as well as in savory dishes, like fried rice and kebabs. It is as good raw as it is cooked. Here are a few different methods for cooking pineapple.

How to Grill Pineapple

Grilled Salmon and Pineapple with Maple Soy Sauce

When you are looking to brighten up your favorite grilled meal, consider adding pineapple. Grilling pineapple caramelizes the sugars on the outside and makes the inside extra juicy. Prepared in this way, pineapple goes great with chicken, pork, shrimp, salmon and veggies, like peppers and onions. It’s especially delicious with Asian-inspired marinades, featuring flavors like teriyaki and soy sauce. Next time you grill, consider some of the easy grilling methods.

  • When making kebabs, add fresh cut pineapple to the skewers. To do this, marinate the pineapple chunks and add them to skewers along with chicken peppers, onions and anything else you’re cooking. Give this method a try with the recipe for Grilled Spicy Garlic Shrimp, Pepper & Pineapple Kabobs.
  • When making foil packs, include pineapple chunks along with your chicken and veggies. The Grilled Pineapple-Chicken Foil Packs is a particularly good recipe.
  • When grilling meat, serve pineapple as a side. To do this, cut fresh pineapple into thick slices. About 5 minutes before removing your meat from the grill, put on the pineapple on the grill with a sheet of foil underneath and brush the pineapple with whatever glaze or marinade you are using on the meat. Try the Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin recipe.
  • You can also just grill pineapple chunks, no glaze or marinade needed, as in the recipe for Grilled Salmon with Maple Soy Sauce.

How to Bake Pineapple

Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Rice Casserole

Pineapple has a place in everything from casseroles to cakes Baking pineapple releases the juice of the fruit adding moisture and sweetness to whatever you may be making. Here are ways to add a special twist to your next dinner or dessert.

How to Make Pineapple Glaze, Sauce & Salsa

Grilled Caribbean Pork with Pineapple Salsa

The juicy pineapple lends itself well to glazes, sauces and salsas. It can be cooked or raw. Here are a few of our favorite ways to jazz up dinner with pineapple.

  • Pineapple is a key ingredient in one of our favorite holiday meals, Glazed Baked Ham. In this recipe, you cook the pineapple on the stove with complementary ingredients. It’s a simple recipe, but one that yields phenomenal results.
  • Pineapple and chicken are one of those combinations that are simply better together. In one of our all-time favorite recipes, Slow-Cooker Hula Chicken, pineapple, chicken and a few other flavorful ingredients cook together to make a dinner that’s absolutely delicious.
  • Swap in pineapples for tomatoes next time you make salsa, and you won’t be sorry. This fresh approach to salsa is delicious atop pork, chicken or tacos. Give it a try with the recipe for Grilled Caribbean Pork with Pineapple Salsa or Crispy Baked Fish with Tropical Salsa.

How to Sauté or Stir Fry Pineapple

Sweet and Spicy Stir-Fry Chicken

On the stovetop, you can sauté or stir fry pineapple to soften and release some of the fruit’s juices. Cooking pineapple in this way helps to create a rich, sweet glaze that tastes great with almost any kind of meat or vegetable.

  • Add pineapple to your fried rice for a Hawaiian twist on a crowd-pleasing dish. You can try for yourself with our recipe for Pineapple Fried Rice.
  • Punch up the sweetness, next time you stir fry vegetables and chicken by tossing in a cup of pineapple, like in this recipe for Sweet and Spicy Stir-Fry Chicken.

How to Enjoy Raw Pineapple

Pineapple Upside-Down Yogurt Cup

Of course, pineapple is delicious on its own as a snack or for breakfast, but you can also make some wonderful and simple recipes with raw pineapple.

  • When you are looking for a light dessert, pineapple and yogurt make a great combination. Try our quick and easy Pineapple Upside-Down Yogurt Cup.
  • Make a refreshing smoothie by blending pineapple together with other fruits, like in this recipe for an Orange-Pineapple Smoothie.
  • Don’t forget pineapple is the key ingredient in everyone’s favorite tropical cocktail, the Piña Colada, which is also delicious without alcohol as it’s made in this recipe for Piña Colada Slush.

How to Store Pineapple

Remember that pineapples do not ripen significantly after being picked, so if you buy a pineapple that is ripe, you’ll need to use it within a few days.

If your pineapple seems to be on it’s way to decaying, follow the instructions below to store your pineapple in a way that will keep it fresh.

  1. Cut up the pineapple in whatever manner will be easiest to use later. For example, cut into slices, if you are planning to make an upside-down cake. Cutting into wedges is almost always a good idea, because it will allow you to cook the pineapple later in any number of ways.
  2. Place in an airtight container in the fridge.
  3. Use within six days. If this is not possible, pineapple stored in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag will keep for up to six months.

Now that you now how to cut a pineapple, there are so many things you can do with this wonderful fruit. Give some of the recipes below a try and remember to let us know what you think by rating recipes or leaving us a comment. Enjoy!



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