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.

You Might Also Like

  • Luyi
    April 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm

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

  • 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.

  • 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. πŸ™‚ I’m so dainty… j/k

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Carolyn
    April 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

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

  • PeteLPN
    April 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm

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

  • 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!

  • ellalinea
    April 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    What a nice tutorial!! Thx πŸ™‚

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

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

  • 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!!

  • 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!

  • 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? πŸ™‚

  • 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.

  • 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 ?

  • gia
    April 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks! Great to know!

  • 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.

  • Amanda
    April 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for this post Jenna! Very helpful! πŸ™‚

  • 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.

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

    Awesome – thanks for the step by step instructions!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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 πŸ˜€

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

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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

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

    I did a post like this a few months ago!

    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!

  • Karen
    April 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm

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

  • 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.

  • 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. πŸ™‚

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Jess
    April 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

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

  • 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!

  • 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! πŸ™‚

  • 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 πŸ™‚
    BTW those pictures are so pretty!

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

    This was really informative! Thanks, Jenna! πŸ˜€

  • 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 πŸ™‚

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

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

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

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

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

    Good to know! Thanks for the tutorial.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Allie
    April 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm

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

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

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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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 :/

  • 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 πŸ™‚

    – Shannon

  • 2 Pineapple Smoothies | Betty Rawker
    February 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    […] and let them ripen on the counter as needed. I get around 4 cups of fruit from each pineapple. HEREΒ are some tips on picking & cutting up the perfect […]

  • Tropical fruit salad | Marshmallows and Margaritas
    July 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    […] is a lot easier than it looks, I promise. There are several different methods, but there is a photo tutorial here and a video here if you need […]

  • Tropical fruit salad | Marshmallows & Margaritas
    December 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    […] is a lot easier than it looks, I promise. There are several different methods, but there is a photo tutorial here and a video here if you need […]