Follow these simple steps to cut the prickly tropical fruit into chunks, spears, or rounds.

By Teri Tsang Barrett
Updated October 26, 2020
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Credit: Johnny Miller

What's not to love about the pineapple? This sweet tropical fruit has an almost citrusy sharpness and intense fruity perfume. It's wonderful in desserts and fruit salads and also works well in savory recipes, from salsas to marinades to pork or seafood dishes. If you've been too intimidated to buy a whole pineapple and cut it into rings, spears, or chunks, we're here to help. Follow these simple steps and you'll quickly become a master at cutting pineapple. No more precut pineapple, impress friends and family by adeptly cutting a whole pineapple into neat, juicy pieces. Here's what you need to know.

First select a choice specimen: Pineapples do not ripen once picked, so look for fruit that's heavy for its size, fragrant, and golden in color. A bit of green is fine but pass over any fruits that are black or soft in spots. Once you're ready to cut up the pineapple start by slicing or twist off the leaves—save them for a garnish if appropriate, or discard. Use a serrated knife, to cut the pineapple, it makes quick work of both the pineapple's tough outer skin and sweet, interior flesh. Trim about 1/2-inch in on both ends of the pineapple to make it flat, then stand the fruit on one end.

Following the contour of the fruit, slice off the skin, taking care to stay as closer to the skin as possible. The sweetest part of the fruit is closest to the skin—some pineapple "eyes" may remain, but these are easily removed using either a melon baller or a sharp paring knife, working in a circular motion.

For pineapple spears or chunks, you want to halve the pineapple lengthwise through he core, then halve lengthwise again. Slice off the fibrous center core, then lie the pineapple flat and cut into spears or wedges as desired. To cut your pineapple into rounds, start by laying the fruit on its side after trimming both ends and slicing off the prickly skin. Slice the pineapple crosswise into rounds. To remove the core, use a biscuit cutter to punch out the center.

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