Behind The Butter

how to cut a pineapple

When I worked at the yacht club, I had to cut a lot of pineapples for dessert and breakfast displays. For months, I HATED it. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get all the pineapple chunks to be the same size. Finally, one morning Chef took me aside and very slowly demoed how to properly do it. I felt a little silly then because it was a lot easier than I thought…and now, I’ve been happily cutting pineapples for three years and counting!

Pineapples are in season right now and buying the whole fruit is much for cost efficient (and delicious!) than buying a ton of cans. Look for pineapples at the store that are firm (but not like a rock) and have a sweet scent to them. Stay away from the rock hard pineapples that look pale and lifeless.

So, first cut off the top of the pineapple:

Then, using a large sharp knife, carefully shave away the prickly sides of the fruit like so:

Now, once all the prickles are gone, cut the pineapple in half:

And cut each half so you have four thick pineapple spears:

The next step can be tricky. Using your knife, cut diagonally into each spear and down to slice away the thick core. You’ll be left with flat pieces.

It might take some practice, but you’ll get the hang of it! Now just slice each piece into semi-thin slices….and you’re done!

Now finely dice your fresh pineapple and toss it in this whole wheat carrot cake! Delish.

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60 Comments

  • Reply
    Luyi
    April 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    This is really helpful, and your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks, Jenna.

  • Reply
    Maria
    April 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Williams-Sonoma has an amazing pineapple cutter!!!! I saw the demo in the store and I almost bought it. I put it on our registry for our wedding.

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/search/results.html?words=pineapple%20easy%20slicer

  • Reply
    Hannah (Culture Connoisseur)
    April 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Haha, everyone has their own way. We do things a bit differently but the results are the same. I think I do it in a way that avoids my hands getting dirty. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so dainty… j/k

  • Reply
    Jessica
    April 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I’m in shock that the directions you just provided were step by step exactly what I do! I must be a genius. No… just kidding. Glad to see I can do ONE thing right — thanks for the tutorial!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    April 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    This makes me laugh as I was searching the internet last night on how to cut my pineapple!

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    April 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Mind explaining how to slice mangoes next? They always cause me so much trouble!

  • Reply
    PeteLPN
    April 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Love that the pic has graphics (“Core–>”). Fancy!

  • Reply
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen
    April 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Helpful city! I remember when I finally learned how to cut a mango properly–it was like the clouds separated!

  • Reply
    ellalinea
    April 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    What a nice tutorial!! Thx ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing
    April 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I am ready to eat some pineapple right about…now. Thanks ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Stephanie@MyThornsHaveRoses
    April 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I’m pumped that I’ve been cutting it the right way without even knowing it!!

  • Reply
    Heather at Heather's Dish
    April 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    That’s exactly how I learned to cut it too! So much easier and I love how methodical it is!

  • Reply
    Natalia - a side of simple
    April 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Does it prove how much I’ve hated cutting these up when my mom asks me to if I say that this is one of my favorite posts by you? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Mama Pea
    April 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Just wanted to add, if your pineapple is ripe enough, you can eat the core! It is AMAZINGLY sweet and delicious. Until your tastebuds burn out.

  • Reply
    Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)
    April 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Great how to Jenna! Pineapples can be tricky !! …and pickery. Is that a word ?

  • Reply
    gia
    April 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks! Great to know!

  • Reply
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    April 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    It does seem so easy once someone shows you! I’m usually pretty good at the pineapples, it’s the mangos that always get me. One day my dorm had them (very unusual, trust me) and it was the funniest thing watching everyone try to cut it.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    April 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for this post Jenna! Very helpful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Charles
    April 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I do the skin after quartering, at the same time as the core, and as my knife is typically shorter than my pineapple, take out the core with the quarter section standing on end. It all tastes the same though.

  • Reply
    Cait @ Beyond Bananas
    April 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Awesome – thanks for the step by step instructions!

  • Reply
    Mary @ stylefyles
    April 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Nice demo! I cut mine (almost) like that. But my pieces are never quite so symmetrical. I bookmarked your method (in my head) for next time!

  • Reply
    val @ lotsofdishes
    April 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I’m totally buying a pineapple tonight. But… I usually leave the cutting up to my boyfriend. I’ll be sending him this tutorial!

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    April 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I was totally lost before I learned this too! Thanks so much for the step by step ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    April 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Ahuh, that’s how you do it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the demo. Much appreciated. I always suffer through with a big cleaver. Not pretty or particularly safe… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hieidi xo

  • Reply
    Colleen
    April 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Hey Jenna! I had the same dilemma when I was a culinary intern at a resort in Florida and the chef showed me the same way to cut them…sooo much easier than I woulda thought. glad you’re sharing the tip with everybody!

  • Reply
    Shannon
    April 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I work with a woman from the Philippines and she cuts pineapple differently. She individually slices out all they “eyes” the little dark spots on the flesh once you shave off the majority of the outside “skin.” She says if you don’t do this it can make your tongue hurt from the roughness. And it doesn’t take as long as it sounds. Just an FYI!

  • Reply
    betty@runbetty
    April 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    OMG, I have been OBSESSED with pineapple lately.

    We grilled some this weekend, and I think that might be my absolute favorite way to eat it!

  • Reply
    Erin
    April 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks for the advice! I only like fresh pineapple. You might be interested to know that this month’s Real Simple has a Little House on the Prairie quote about cake on page 17!

  • Reply
    lori
    April 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Exactly the way we learned it on Maui, eons ago.
    And those pineapple corer, space robbing gadgets just take up space and cause you to lose all your juice all over your cutting board, counter, floor, shirt sleeves…
    …….and the cores can be beautifully stored in the freezer to be added to your Pina Colada green smoothie!

  • Reply
    kate
    April 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Ive been eating (and obviously cutting) pineapple like a mad woman lately. Its hands down my favorite fruit.

  • Reply
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    April 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I did a post like this a few months ago!
    http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/01/pineapple-tips-other-fun-tips-what-are.html

    Sorry for the link. Just delete this comment if you want. I am just glad to know the way I have always cut and cored a pineapple is the same way as your trained professional way is!

  • Reply
    Karen
    April 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    What a super-useful tutorial, Jenna! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Baking 'n' Books
    April 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I stand at the fridge eating pineapple…and strawberries…and kiwi…

    I’d rather be standing on a beach while I was doing it.

  • Reply
    Moni'sMeals
    April 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    bless you!!!
    I buy it all the time pre-cut. I know how but I get lazy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Molly
    April 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I cut mine the same way. This post has given me a bit of a kick in the butt to go cut up the one sitting in the kitchen right now. Making your Heath Blondies is a much better idea though-which I’m actually doing tonight!

  • Reply
    salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle)
    April 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I LOVE pineapple! THis just reminded me how much I was needingto buy some!

  • Reply
    Jess
    April 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Fresh pineapple is by far the most superior type of pineapple. Thanks for spreading the word ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    April 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I made your Strawberry Aqua Fresca (?) recipe today and it was sooooo good!! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Paige @Running Around Normal
    April 27, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    “Now finely dice your fresh pineapple and toss it in this whole wheat carrot cake!”

    I think I’ll do just that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Tessa @ Amazing Asset
    April 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    That is exactly how my mom taught me to cut a pineapple! It really is the most efficient way ๐Ÿ™‚
    BTW those pictures are so pretty!

  • Reply
    Laura @ LauraLikesDesign
    April 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    This was really informative! Thanks, Jenna! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Kristin
    April 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    So funny! I just cut a pineapple a half an hour before I saw this (and I had to google how to do it)! It was worth the effort for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    French Heart
    April 27, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    LOVE Pineapple….esp in smoothies. That Provence blue bowl and yellow pineapple look so inviting.

  • Reply
    Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily
    April 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks! Really helpful….I always knew there was an easier way.

  • Reply
    Wine Girl (Kitchen Doesn't Travel)
    April 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Good to know! Thanks for the tutorial.

  • Reply
    Chand
    April 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I watched Bette Midler cut up a pineapple exactly the same way on the old Martha Stewart show. Bette is from Hawaii and said she had pineapple everyday after school. Martha asked her how she cut them and she proceeded to show her. She said she ate the core as well! I’ve been doing it that way ever since.

  • Reply
    Katrina
    April 27, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I love pineapple and always buy the pre-cored ones’s. I must try this. Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous
    April 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I have a great pineapple cutter…it’s basically like a giant apple corer. It does waste a little if you have a short, fat pineapple. But it’s so fast and easy, I love it!

  • Reply
    Allie
    April 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Yumm that big bowl of pineapple is making my mouth water!

  • Reply
    Simon Food Favourites
    April 28, 2011 at 1:22 am

    awesomeness. you can buy in a can too now ๐Ÿ˜‰ but not as nice.

  • Reply
    Anne
    April 28, 2011 at 3:12 am

    But I like the core! I know most people don’t, but if the fruit is ripe, it is the best part. Seriously!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    April 28, 2011 at 3:41 am

    This is awesome! I honestly had no idea how to cut a pineapple before, and that’s scared me away from buying them. Thanks for the demo!

  • Reply
    Kristin @Wounded Fawn
    April 28, 2011 at 4:14 am

    I worked in a restaurant from age 14-18 and a lovely petite Vietnamese woman taught me how to cut a pineapple and tons of other life lessons. It’s always so interesting to see who will take the time to step aside with you and guide you. Your pineapple cutting tutorial brought back great memories!

  • Reply
    Annie D @ Annie's Simple Life
    April 28, 2011 at 4:38 am

    MMMMmmm pineapple. I have one to cut tonight!!! I hate how messy your hands always get… but it’s SOOO GOOD!

  • Reply
    Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    April 28, 2011 at 4:52 am

    this is actually so useful! pineapple is my favorite fruit but i always buy the precut fresh stuff in the produce section which im sure is a major rip off!

  • Reply
    Laura @FoodSnobSTL
    April 28, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I sliced the tip of my finger nearly all the way off trying to cut a pineapple. Needless too say, I’m still a little nervous to cut one :/

  • Reply
    Shannon
    April 28, 2011 at 9:05 am

    That’s even easier than the way I usually do it – thank you! And I even have a pineapple waiting to be chopped, so I’ll try it out today ๐Ÿ™‚

    – Shannon

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