There is one thing that tends to eat up our grocery budgets more than anything else. Can you guess what it is?
Choosing to pay for almond milk (instead of making homemade almond milk) or yogurt (instead of homemade yogurt) or even tortillas (instead of homemade tortillas) can eat up a lot of your grocery budget without you even knowing it!
That’s why it’s important to learn a few basic kitchen skills, like how to cut a pineapple. Not only is pineapple DELICIOUS, but it’s incredibly affordable and convenient if you learn how to cut a fresh pineapple properly yourself!
Speaking of convenience, have you ever seen fresh pineapple at the grocery store, cut up in chunks or slices, ready to go?
Have you seen the price tag?!
One of those containers at my local grocery store costs $6.99. That’s nearly THREE TIMES as much as one pineapple costs.
Just wait – it gets worse.
The amount of pre-cut pineapple in those containers is roughly HALF the amount of fruit than you would if you cut a pineapple yourself… And that’s being generous!
That’s like paying $6 for ONE pineapple. Would you ever pay that? Heck no!
So then why would we spend our hard-earned grocery dollars on pre-cut pineapple at the grocery store when we can learn how to cut a pineapple ourselves?
If you’re thinking, “Well Tiff, that’s why I buy canned pineapple. It’s a lot cheaper than fresh pineapple!”
You might be right there – cans of pineapple are often just a $1, especially around the holiday season. And it’s hard to beat paying just one dollar for real food!
But so often, canned pineapple doesn’t fall in the “real food” category because of the other stuff companies add to it. From high fructose corn syrup to coloring agents to additives and preservatives, there can be a bunch of stuff in canned pineapple that you just don’t need. Especially when it’s so easy to cut a pineapple yourself!
And thankfully, you don’t need any fancy equipment to cut a pineapple. Pineapple corers are nice, but they’re not required. All you need to learn how to cut up a pineapple is a cutting board and a sharp knife.
I realize that there are a lot of ways you can do this, but I’m going to show you MY way. Which I also think is the best way to slice pineapple because it wastes the least amount of fruit (no bias whatsoever!) . Once you do it once or twice, it’s also really fast!
How to Cut a Pineapple: Step-by-Step
First, you need to cut off the top (where the green pokey leaves are) and the bottom (the flat-ish part where it’s harvested from the plant). You want to get as close as you can to the leaves and the bottom, so that you’re getting as much fruit as possible. Remember that you can always slice a little more off, but once you’ve chopped it off, it’s really hard to get that fruit back.
To do this, place the pineapple on its side. Use a very sharp knife (I have and recommend this set) to cut off each end. When you’re done, the pineapple should mostly be able to sit upright.
Next, you’re going to cut the pineapple in half from the top down. This will expose the core that runs down the center of the pineapple, and it’s the easiest way to remove both the core and the skin, without any special tools like this pineapple slicer (wouldn’t that be FUN to have?!).
Once the pineapple is cut in half from the top to the bottom, you’re going to remove the skin. You’re going to stand the pineapple upright and carefully cut the skin away from the flesh, working from the top down.
The key here is to cut enough off so that your pineapple flesh isn’t pitted with the hard remnants of the skin pocketed into the flesh, but not so much where you’re left with barely any fruit at all.
This simply takes practice. The more pineapple you cut, the better you’ll get and the easier it will be to find that sweet spot that’s just beyond the skin but not into the meat of the flesh.
Once you’ve cut all the skin off, you’re going to cut out the core next. The core is slightly darker and runs down the very center of the pineapple. It’s very tough and stringy and it doesn’t have a ton of flavor, so most people don’t eat it. You can though, use it in smoothies or boil it in water to make pineapple tea.
You can also dehydrate pineapple it if you’d like, and mix it in with homemade trail mix and there’s a good chance no one will even notice!
Using your knife, cut each half of the pineapple again from the top down through the center of the core. At this point you have four pieces of pineapple that sort of resemble a triangle shape.
To cut out the core, stand each piece upright and use your knife to slice downward. Similar to the skin, there’s a sweet spot where you’re cutting off the entire core but very little flesh. This takes practice, but if you do by chance cut off more flesh than you intended to, it’s easy to go back and cut the flesh off of the core.
At this point, you have pineapple that’s ready to eat! You can cut it into thin slices, into big chunks, into long stripes… however you want!
When we visited Costa Rica a few years ago, pineapples were 25¢ each and we ate no less than 3 every day. Since then, it’s been one of our favorite fruits to eat year-round. And as you can imagine, I’ve cut up A LOT of pineapple over the years!
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way about pineapple:
Can cut pineapple be frozen?
Yes! Use the flash freezing method I share in this post to freeze pineapple. If you make smoothie packets or freezer meals, there’s no need to freeze the pineapple separately. Just toss it all in together.
Can cut pineapple be left out?
Ideally no, but there are times when I’m short on fridge space and something has to come out. Pineapple is naturally acidic, so it won’t go rancid very fast. Leaving it out overnight or for a few hours while the kids snack isn’t a big deal, but you generally want to store it in the fridge.
Will cut pineapple turn brown?
Eventually yes, but in my experience, freshly cut pineapple retains its color for several days!
When does cut pineapple go bad?
If kept in the refrigerator, freshly cut pineapple will last for a lot longer than you think. I’ve had pineapple the fridge for over a week without any issues. If you’re concerned about it going bad, use the smell or taste test. Soured pineapple will also have an “off” taste, almost like sour meets fermentation, and the sweetness will be gone. Trust me – you’ll know it when you taste it.
How do I cut pineapple rings?
Unfortunately you need a pineapple corer in order to slice rings. You’ll still cut off the top and the bottom, but then you’ll use the corer to remove the outside skin and the inner core. At that point you can place the pineapple on its side to cut slices.
How to pick out a ripe pineapple?
We learned in Costa Rica that pineapples are ripe when they are a bright, dark green – NOT orange or yellow!
When they’re orange or yellow, they are past their prime. The pineapples are still delicious and definitely edible, but they just not going to be quite as sweet.
Pineapples tend to be a fixed price at the grocery store, like $1.99 each or 2 for $5. When I’m shopping for pineapple, I aim to get the biggest pineapple I can find that’s a dark green. That means I’ll get as much fruit as I can, and cutting it within a day or will give me the sweetest fruit.
My rock bottom price for pineapples is $1.50. Anytime I see pineapples go that low, I stock up! I’ll cut them all up at one time, freeze some, dehydrate some and intentionally put pineapple on the meal plan for the week.
How do I store a pineapple?
Most people store pineapples standing up straight, as seen in the very first image of this post. This causes all the juices to flow to the bottom of the fruit (thank you gravity!).
The “solution” to this is to cut the top off the pineapple, put it on a plate and then turn it upside down in the fridge so the juices can flow back the other way. But I don’t like this because:
- My fridge isn’t big enough to hold a pineapple standing upside down
- It turns the pineapple cutting process into a multi-hour, two-step occasion.
- The juices can run down AND THEN OUT of the pineapple, leaving you with a dry pineapple and lots of pineapple juice (and a possibly messy fridge).
- With my luck, I’ll forget I put the pineapple in there until hours later!
So instead of doing this, we simply store our pineapples on their side. Yes, on their side!
Gravity will still pull the juices to whatever part of the pineapple is sitting on the surface, but the juices will be far more distributed. You can also make a point to turn the pineapples over each day (perhaps right after you pour coffee?) and the turning will help distribute the juices throughout the entire fruit.
Do you know how to cut pineapple? Or are you more of a pre-cut from the refrigerator, or canned pineapple type of person? Would you be willing to give cutting fresh pineapple a try? Leave your ideas and comments below!
Continue Reading…How to Cut a Pineapple