How to Cut and Seed Pomegranate
Follow these expert tips for getting the most out of your pomegranate.
Pomegranate seeds are a juicy, tangy nutrient-rich part of a fruit that's both delicious on its own or used as an ingredient in your favorite dish (or drink!). The large round red superfood can often be found in the unrefrigerated produce section. Using pomegranate for the first time can seem a bit overwhelming, and even a bit mysterious since it's the seeds of the pomegranate that you actually ingest, but it's a fairly simple process once you follow these expert tips.
How to Tell If a Pomegranate Is Ripe
For the easiest cutting and seeding experience, you'll want to make sure that your pomegranate is at peak ripeness. There should be no hints of green in the fruit, and it should be between a deep red and purple color, with no blemishes on the fruit's skin. "To determine if a pomegranate is ripe you want it to be a little heavy, but still have a nice hollow thunk to it," explains executive chef Will Stormant of Dr. BBQ in St. Petersburg, Florida. "You can test this by tapping it with your knuckles." Additionally, the heavier the pomegranate, the more juice the fruit will contain, so pick one with a good heft to it, explains vice president, culinary director of Martha Stewart Living, and the host of our Kitchen Conundrums series, Thomas Joseph.
How to Cut a Pomegranate
Cutting and seeding a pomegranate is actually very simple and efficient, according to Stormant, just make sure you avoid cutting into the arils (or seeds), since that's where the juice is, when making the cut. To make your incision, you need to find the X axis and then make a partial cut, or score, all the way around the fruit in a circular motion. According to Joseph, once you have the pomegranate lightly scored, you should use your fingers to separate the two sections and pull it apart. A ripe pomegranate should come apart with slight pulling. If you cannot separate the two halves this way, score the fruit a bit deeper and trying again.
How to Remove Pomegranate Seeds
According to Joseph, the easiest way to get the seeds out of the fruit is to use a spoon and a deep, wide-mouth bowl. "Flip the pomegranate over in your hand and use the back of a spoon and gently tap the back of the pomegranate and the seeds will fall out," he says. You can use either a wooden or plastic spoon. Rotate both the halved fruit and the spoon as you go to make sure that you are tapping the fruit at all angles and not leaving any of the arils hidden in the pomegranate membranes. The wider the receptacle you use the easier it will be to capture all of the seeds the tapping releases. "Within a few seconds the pomegranate is completely seeded, just take out the little pieces of membrane, and then you're ready to serve your pomegranate in fruit salad, to garnish a cocktail, or as a snack."