How to Cut a Pineapple in 4 Easy Steps

By: Laurie L. Dove  | 
person cutting pineapple
You can smell that delicious inner flesh as soon as you slice the top off a fresh pineapple. Now you're ready to cut it down to size. mirbasar/Shutterstock

Spiny on the outside and delectable on the inside, pineapples are worth the effort it takes to peel and cut them. And they're good for you too. These tropical fruits are rich in antioxidants, contain generous amounts of vitamin C and fiber, and offer helpful doses of manganese, a trace mineral crucial to maintaining your body's immunity and nervous system function.

But do you know how to cut a pineapple? For a first-timer, a spiky, ripe pineapple may be a bit intimidating, so here's how to pick the perfect fresh pineapple and then cut it into tasty chunks or pineapple rounds like a pro.


How to Select the Ideal Pineapple

Unlike some fruits, such as bananas or peaches, pineapples aren't harvested in an unripe state and then packaged and shipped to market. Pineapples are typically ripened and then picked, packaged and shipped, which means that a fresh pineapple will arrive at your local grocer fully ready to eat.

To find a fresh pineapple at its peak, select one with a strong "ripe pineapple" smell and a crown that has firm green leaves. If the leaves are brown or drooping, then the pineapple has gone past "ripe" and was not picked at the proper time; pineapples will not continue to ripen after they are harvested, but they may go bad if left to sit for too long. Next, check the body of the pineapple for bruises or discoloration, which you'll want to avoid. The freshest pineapples will have firm, unblemished skin with a golden to brown tone.


How to Cut a Pineapple: Step-by-step Instructions

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to gaining the benefits — and great taste — of fresh pineapple is figuring out how to cut a pineapple in the first place. Pineapples aren't exactly known for being easy to eat, but cutting a pineapple is a simple, four-step process.


Step 1: Remove the Top and Bottom

Place a whole pineapple on a cutting board. With a long knife, slice off the top and the bottom of the pineapple. To avoid waste, aim to remove about one-quarter inch (0.6 centimeters) below the crown and one-quarter inch (0.6 centimeters) above the bottom of the pineapple.


Step 2: Cut the Rind Off the Pineapple

person cutting pineapple
To cut the rind off your fresh pineapple, just hold it firmly on your cutting board and slice downward, removing the thick, spiky outer peel. Alliance Images/Shutterstock

Now that the top and bottom of the pineapple have been removed, set the pineapple up vertically upon its now-flat base. Steady the pineapple atop the cutting board with your non-dominant hand and use your other hand to hold the knife and slice downward. The idea is to cut the only the rind off the pineapple, so you'll be slicing about one-quarter inch (0.6 centimeters) into the interior of the pineapple as the knife moves downward to follow the pineapple's natural curve.


Step 3: Remove the Remaining Rind

Once you have removed the outer layer of the pineapple, you'll notice there are probably still some spiky remnants of the rind in the pineapple's flesh. Using a smaller non-serrated knife, such as a small paring knife or a sharp chef's knife, hold the pineapple upright and carefully cut to remove any remaining rind.


Step 4: Core the Pineapple

Now you have a beautifully prepared pineapple. It should be cylindrical and fleshy, without rind. From here, you will want to remove the pineapple core, which is the fibrous circular section that runs through the innermost length of the pineapple. There are two ways to do this.

To Use a Knife

To remove the core with a knife, keep the fruit upright on the cutting board. Insert the knife at the edge of the core (it should be easily visible because it is a darker yellow than the flesh that surrounds it) and slice the pineapple from top to bottom.


Next, place your knife at the same starting point at the edge of the core and move the blade a quarter of the way around the pineapple. Cut top to bottom again to remove one large piece. You'll end up with a wedge that should equal about one-quarter of the pineapple. Turn the pineapple a quarter-turn and slice down again, cutting around the core. Turn the pineapple once more and repeat, to cut off the final piece. Simply discard the central core. You can further slice the wedges to any size of diced fruit you desire.

If you want pineapple rings instead of chunks, simply turn the peeled pineapple onto its side after step three. From there, you can slice the cylinder into rings of any thickness you desire. You’ll need to remove the core from each round with either a paring knife or a metal cookie cutter that is approximately the same diameter as the core.

To Use a Pineapple Corer

The other method of removing the core is to use a pineapple corer, if you have one. To use this method, return to step two and, before peeling your pineapple, find the circular core and place the hollow part of the corer over it. Begin twisting the corer clockwise while pushing down until you’ve reached the bottom of the pineapple. Pull up on the handle of the corer to release the flesh of the fruit from the core, wiggling the device back and forth if necessary to pull it up and out. From there, just slice the pineapple flesh into rounds of any thickness you desire.