Learning how to cut a pineapple is one of the great joys of kitchen knifedom. You weld your samurai-like blade to separate the spiny crown and prickly skin from the sweet, juicy fruit, and you feel exhilarated. But you must use a sharp knife. Otherwise it’s pure torture!

For a quick and easy primer, watch my video How to Cut a Pineapple. Or, if you prefer the old-fashioned art of print, scroll down further and read my photo-packed tutorial. Pop Quiz Question: What continent is the pineapple originally from? (Find the answer at the end of this article.)

How to Cut a Pineapple — Video

Read more about the Shun chef knife used in the video and featured in the photo up top in my article Best Chef Knives—Six Recommendations.

How to Cut a Pineapple — Tutorial

1) Make sure the pineapple’s ripe. Three things to look for:

Can you easily pull out a leaf from the crown?
Is there a rich yellow-gold color spreading from the bottom up?
Can you smell a sweet aroma when you sniff the base?

(TIP: Don’t be afraid to let your pineapples sit on the counter to ripen for two or three days before eating. Supposedly, they don’t ripen after being picked, but I heartily disagree.)

2) Off with the crown and bottom.

3) Then, skin that puppy. Just a quarter-inch or so deep. Don’t get fanatic about eliminating every last bit of the eyes. You can leave bits and pieces behind and you will never ever taste them or even be aware of them.*

4) Light clean-up—if there’s an eye of two that’s just too present, cut it out.

5) Stand the poor, naked pineapple up on it’s end and slice in two.

6) Lay a half, flat side down, on your board and slice it into quarters.

7) Stand each quarter up and slice out the the corner strip that contains the core.

8) Lay the two quarters side by side and slice into eights.

9) Then, perform the final series of cross slices that transform the pineapple into bite-sized chunks.

10) If it will take you more than a day to eat the pineapple chunks you’ve cut, then don’t slice into chunks the remaining second half. Stow it in the fridge. Pre-prep by cutting it into quarters and coring, then wrap each quarter in plastic wrap.

*NOTE: The sweetest part of the pineapple hugs the outer edges, so don’t cut off more skin than you absolutely need to. Plus, obviously, you’ll waste less fruit. There’s a whole alternate approach to cutting a pineapple where you slice minimal skin and then turn the pineapple on its side and remove the eyes with long diagonal slices. If you really want to maximize your return, you’re welcome to try it. But me? I haven’t got the time!


Answer: South America

  1. My friend is from Saipan, where pineapples grow in your yard, and she used the diagonal method you mentioned. I had never seen that before. I was impressed with the efficiency of it. She told me that’s how everyone did it at home. But I will stick to the method you beautifully demonstrated!

  2. Ah, this is the technique I use too! :D

    I used to use a pineapple slicer; you cut off the top of the pineapple and push it on, twisting so it slices down and presents you with pineapple rings, plus a hollowed-out pineapple skin.

    However you need the pineapple to be ripe, but not *too* ripe – after a few non-starters I went back to slicing it with a knife like this, much more convenient in the end.

    • Thanks, Kyle. Yes, I’m aware of those pineapple slicer tools, but have never tried them. My research tells me that they also waste pineapple—especially the outer flesh which is the sweetest. Who wants that? Slicing with a sharp knife is much more fun anyway. . .

  3. Pineapples are so difficult to cut, so thanks for this tutorial. And it’s the perfect fruit to cut for a knife guru!

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