10 Hacks For Cutting Pineapple

Pineapple is a luscious tropical delight that makes us want to spin around and sing like Maria in "The Sound of Music" as soon as we take a bite. But if we're really honest with ourselves, it can be a tough nut to crack, or in this case, a tough fruit to slice. Those spiky exteriors and fibrous cores are worthy adversaries for even the most skilled home cooks. But don't let yourself be intimidated. We're coming at you with a collection of pineapple-cutting hacks that will turn you into a pineapple master in no time.

In this article, we'll explore some ingenious tricks that make the process of cutting pineapple easier and more efficient. Along the way, you'll discover that a knife isn't always needed and that you can reduce waste just by learning a few techniques. If you're ready to transform your pineapple prep game, then let's discover just how easy cutting pineapple can be.

1. Twist, tap, and roll

Based on the name of this article, no one would fault you for thinking all of these tips involve a knife of some sort. While most of them do require a sharp blade, this first trick allows you to enjoy all of that tropical goodness without stepping near your butcher block. It seems like such an obvious trick once you try it, but this clever hack didn't become popular until user TwinCoast posted about it on TikTok in April 2021. Since then, the video has gained more than 880,000 likes, 44,000 shares, and 7,000 comments.

With an endorsement like that, you're probably wondering what this genius pineapple trick is all about, so here it goes. Start by twisting the top off of the pineapple. Next, tap the bottom of the fruit on a hard surface about 10 times, twisting after each tap. The third step involves rolling the pineapple on its side while simultaneously pushing down with as much force as you can muster. Once your biceps are burning, grab one of the spikes and pull it out. Finally, savor your well-deserved reward. Not only does this technique not require a knife, but it minimizes waste and cleanup. Talk about a win-win.

2. Flip it upside down before cutting

From removing the pineapple crown to navigating the treacherous spikes, there are a lot of things to contend with before you can access the fruit. Unfortunately, there's one more step to think about before slicing. Thankfully, it's an easy one. Simply flip the pineapple on its head as soon as you bring it home. This step ensures that the pineapple's juice gets distributed throughout the body, leading to equally sweet morsels.

So, why is this step necessary? Well, strange as it may seem, pineapples grow butt-side down. To put it another way, the bottom of the fruit is what's connected to the plant, not the top. As a result, the bottom receives a bunch of sugar, while the pieces near the crown tend to dry out and taste slightly bland. And since pineapple is a non-climacteric fruit — meaning that it doesn't ripen after picking — this step is necessary in order to distribute all of the juice.

Now, if you've ever seen a pineapple, you probably realize that the spiky top doesn't exactly make for a sturdy base. In order to combat this anatomical challenge, slice the top off and place the fruit cut side down on a plate. Finally, make sure to wrap the entire fruit in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This keeps the juices from pouring out and making a mess. Ideally, you should leave the pineapple like this for a couple of days before cutting, but even an hour is enough to make a difference.

3. Use kitchen towels strategically

While there are all kinds of fancy knife techniques out there to help you cut pineapple more efficiently and with less waste, they mean nothing if your workspace isn't up to the task. Here, we're talking about securing both the cutting board and the pineapple before making a single incision. We're big fans of using this towel hack to keep mixing bowls secure, and it turns out it works equally well in stabilizing pineapple.

To take advantage of this nifty technique, dampen a kitchen towel before laying it down on the counter. Place your cutting board on top of the towel, then layer another damp towel on top of the board. It seems almost too simple to be effective, but this chef-endorsed technique works thanks to friction. When wet, the towel generates just enough surface tension to keep the board and the fruit in place, no matter how wild you get with the knife. As an added bonus, you can use the towels to gather remnants and wipe down the counter at the same time.

4. Try using a bread knife

Check out any pineapple-cutting video or article and you'll see people using a chef's knife or a pairing knife to slice through pineapple's spiky skin. These tools are certainly effective, but we'd like to invite you to try another type of blade on for size. Not to worry — we're not asking you to go out and buy some fancy knife. In fact, we're almost positive you already have the right type sitting in your kitchen. The knife in question? Why, it's none other than the humble bread knife.

Also called a serrated knife, this type has a jagged edge, as opposed to the smooth edges found on other knives. These toothlike cutouts grip both the pineapple's tough outer skin and its luscious interior flesh with ease, something that stabilizes your cuts and simplifies the process. As much as we love this hack, some pineapple lovers remark that using a serrated knife (as opposed to a chef's knife) leads to more juice loss. We encourage you to test it out for yourself; just make sure your serrated knife is sharp.

5. Cut and push

Before we explain the cut and push technique, you need to understand something about pineapples' anatomy. Pineapple may look like a single fruit, but it's actually what's known as a collective or composite fruit. Like other composite fruits (which include mulberries, figs, and breadfruit), pineapple is made up of a bunch of small berries called fruitlets that grow together. With that sorted out, we're going to leverage this unique design feature into a time-saving hack you'll be dying to show off.

The first step is to cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple using a pairing knife. Next, cut along the zigzag grooves of the pineapple's skin. More than simple lines, these marks represent the divisions between the individual fruits. Once you've made your incisions, use your thumbs to push individual sections toward the core until they release. Just like with the twist, tap, and roll trick, the cut and push leaves you with bite-sized pineapple chunks perfect for snacking.

6. Experiment with a spiral cut

With over one-third of the food produced for human consumption going to waste (about 1.3 billion tons per year), it's high time we all made more of an effort to save as much food as possible. From composting food scraps to repurposing leftovers, there are all kinds of ways you can minimize food waste. One of the more unconventional ways to do so is by altering your pineapple-cutting technique.

That's right — by learning this hack, you'll reduce the amount of fruit you throw away every single time you enjoy pineapple. We've dubbed it the spiral cutting technique because it involves rotating the pineapple as you cut. But we're getting ahead of ourselves, so let's start at the beginning. The first step is to cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Next, remove the pineapple's skin, staying as close to the fruit as possible. Unlike other techniques, that means leaving the eyes (aka the dark circular spots on the flesh) on the fruit.

After you've removed all of the skin, cut out the eyes two at a time, following a downward spiral direction. The most efficient way is to hold the knife straight for the first cut, then angle it for the second incision. Continue until all of the eyes have been removed, then quarter the pineapple, slice out the core, and cut it into small pieces.

7. Follow the angles

From using pineapple as a meat tenderizer to boiling the skin to make tea, there are so many ways to work with pineapple. You're probably familiar with at least a few of these tricks, but we're willing to bet that you don't know about cutting pineapple using the skin's angles. If that sounds confusing to you, stay with us and you'll understand in no time.

To start things off, cut off the pineapple's crown and bottom. Next, cut the fruit in half. Then lay the pineapple fruit-side down on the cutting board and cut along the skin's diagonal lines from end to end. Once you've cut through all of the diagonals from left to right, rotate the pineapple slightly and do the same thing. By making just a handful of cuts, you'll be left with gobble-worthy morsels. Aside from being super simple, this technique results in very little waste (or mess), making it one of our favorite pineapple-cutting hacks by far.

8. Use a cookie cutter to make pineapple rings

If you've only been using your cookie cutters to portion out dough, then you're missing out. Not only can you use cookie cutters for meat and cheese, but you can also employ them the next time a recipe calls for pineapple rings. Before we get into the meat of this technique, make sure to remove the pineapple's top, bottom, and skin.

From there, lay the pineapple on its side and cut from end to end, making each slice as narrow or wide as you like. You'll be left with circular pieces of pineapple that have a piece of core in the middle. Find a cookie cutter or an icing tip that roughly corresponds to the size of the core and use it to cut out the fibrous middle section. We love this hack not only because of how quick it is but also because it makes perfect cuts with almost no effort. Your pineapple upside-down cake will thank you.

9. Leave the skin on for easy cutting

If you're anything like us, then cutting off pineapple skin is at the top of your to-do list when prepping this tropical fruit. We appreciate the enthusiasm, but make sure you read this section before you start slicing. Although they've got a reputation for being tough and prickly, pineapple peels can actually be your ally when it comes to easy cutting. It may sound counterintuitive to keep the peel on but just trust us.

As with most techniques, this one starts by having you remove the top and bottom of the pineapple. After that, cut the fruit in half lengthwise. Stand the pineapple up on one end and cut just the middle section of the skin off, leaving the rest intact. Removing a strip of skin gives you a stable base on which to rest the pineapple as you slice out the core. Once the core is gone, stand the pineapple up on one end as you remove the remaining skin and eyes.

10. Using a pineapple corer isn't cheating

We're going to level with you — as helpful as all of these pineapple-cutting techniques are, nothing beats the simplicity of using a pineapple corer. This tool, which looks like anything from a bike pump to a wine opener, depending on the model, has just two jobs — removing that pesky fibrous center and extracting all of that delicious fruit. In that way, it saves you from having to peel, chop, or slice and it makes cleanup a breeze.

Before you start excavating, cut the top off of your pineapple. You can also remove the bottom, but this step is optional. Stand it upright, then align the center of the corer over the center of the pineapple. Twist as you push down, making your way to the bottom of the fruit. Once you reach the end, pull the tool out and remove the fruit. Pretty much every device will leave you with rings. If you want wedges, you'll have to cut them by hand. However, that shouldn't be too much of a dealbreaker, especially considering how much time you just saved. As for the pineapple cores, feel free to use them in your next syrup, drink, or popsicle.

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table and Mashed.