How to pick and cut a pineapple


During my honeymoon I was eating fresh pineapple every day in Maui, which was heaven to me because I love pineapple.  However, for many people the only experience they have with pineapple is out of a can, which is heart breaking for true pineapple lovers.  Two weeks ago at work I had an employee ask me how to pick and cut a pineapple.  I explained it in person but I figured it would be best to use pictures to show the process.

Pineapple cell

There are three indicators on a pineapple as to how ripe it is, once you learn all three it is very easy to pick a sweet pineapple.  The first indicator is the cell size, when you look at a pineapple it is made up of a bunch of cells (see picture above).  When I say a “cell” I am referring to the five sided segments of the pineapple outer shell that makes up the structure of the pineapple.  If you put a few pineapples together you can clearly see that the size of the cell varies from pineapple to pineapple.  You want the cell to be as large as possible because as a pineapple grows the cell expands.  The larger the cell the more ripe the pineapple, the smaller the cell the younger the pineapple.

smell bottom of pineapple

The second method is the smell.  If you pick up a ripe pineapple and smell the bottom (where the pineapple fruit broke off from the stem) it should smell like pineapple.  If it doesn’t smell like anything, then it isn’t ripe yet.

pull pineapple leaf

The third method is to grab one of the center leaves on the top of the pineapple and give it a very light tug.  If the leaf easily comes off then the pineapple is ripe.  If the leaf doesn’t want to come off then it isn’t ripe yet,  9/10 times when the bottom smells like pineapple the leaves will easily pull out at the top.

cut pineapple top and bottom

Now that you know how to select a pineapple you have to know how to properly cut a pineapple.  Take a sharp knife and cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple.  Make sure you only cut off about 1/2″ from the top and bottom because you don’t want to waste too much of the edible pineapple “meat”.

cut pineapple sides

Use your sharp knife and carefully “carve” the sides off the pineapple.

follow curve of pineapple side

Make sure to follow the shape of the pineapple so you only remove the outer skin (rind).  In the picture above I laid the pineapple on its side so you can easily see the curve of the pineapple, but when you actually cut it make sure the pineapple is sitting on the flat bottom side for stability.

cut off sides of pineapple

You should end up with a six sided pineapple once you removed all the sides.

cut pineapple in half

Now just cut the pineapple in half right down the middle.

cut pineapple into six spears

Lay the pineapple halves on the large flat side then use your knife and cut diagonally towards the center so you are left with six even pieces.

cut center off pineapple spear

Lay each piece on its side so the center of the pineapple is exposed against the chopping board so you can easily cut the center off.  Only remove the “hard” part that is too tough to eat.  I like to juice the center part but you can just throw it away if you don’t want to juice it.

enjoy your pineapple spears

Once you remove the center from each piece you should be left with six pineapple “spears” like you would find at Disneyland.  The difference is if you buy a whole pineapple and cut it yourself each spear should only cost you about $0.50 instead of paying $3 a piece at Disneyland.  Now that you know how to pick and cut a pineapple, you too can enjoy my favorite fruit.

How to select and cut a pineapple
Article Name
How to select and cut a pineapple
Ever wonder how to pick a ripe pineapple? Learn how to select and cut a pineapple.
Derrick Chan
Follow Me

Derrick Chan

Sr. Manager eCommerce Innovation at Taco Bell
Ever since I was 5 years old my mom had me helping out in the kitchen.So it didn’t come as a surprise that I ended up loving food.Whether eating, cooking, smelling, seeing, or reviewing I enjoy all aspects of food.
Derrick Chan
Follow Me

Latest posts by Derrick Chan (see all)

About Derrick Chan 152 Articles
Ever since I was 5 years old my mom had me helping out in the kitchen. So it didn’t come as a surprise that I ended up loving food. Whether eating, cooking, smelling, seeing, or reviewing I enjoy all aspects of food.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.