If you’re ready to branch out from canned and frozen, this tutorial on how to cut a pineapple will help! With just a little bit of effort, you can enjoy fresh pineapple any time.

Marble surface with half a pineapple, scored across the middle.
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It’s easy to see why so many people avoid buying fresh pineapple—it’s a little bit intimidating! Cutting other fruits is pretty straightforward, but with a pineapple, you might not know where to start.

While it does require more work than popping open a can, if you learn how to cut a pineapple yourself, you’ll be rewarded with the freshest, most flavorful fruit to use in Pineapple Mojitos, Zesty Pineapple Salsa, Pineapple Shrimp Skewers, and more.

How to Cut a Pineapple

It’s so worth it, and once you know the steps involved, it’s really not that hard!

Pineapple salsa inside a pineapple bowl, on a white countertop.

Choosing and Storing Fresh Pineapple

First, let’s learn how to choose one!

Pineapples don’t ripen after picking, so you need to buy them ripe!

When choosing a pineapple, look for fruit with a sweet, tropical aroma; you don’t want the fragrance to be too strong or pineapple-y because that’s a sign that the fruit is over-ripe.

A pineapple should feel heavy for its size and have just a little bit of give to it when you squeeze the fruit, but not so much that it feels mushy. The leaves on the top should also be green and fresh-looking, rather than dry. (You can actually plant the top and in a few years, you’ll have your own homegrown pineapple!)

Once you bring the fruit home, store it at room temperature until you’re ready to use it – it will last on the counter for about three days before you should cut it.

How to Cut Pineapple: Step-by-Step

There are a lot of ways to cut a pineapple—you might want it in chunks, rounds, or rings like you get in a can. No matter how you’re cutting it, you’ll need to follow the first few steps in the process to peel the fruit. 

A fresh pineapple on a marble countertop next to a bottle of simple syrup.

Love pineapple everything? Don’t miss our pineapple simple syrup recipe!

Tips

When possible, it’s best to store pineapple at room temperature and then cut it when you’re ready to eat it, rather than cutting it for later.

Peeling a Pineapple

  1. Step 1 – Start by cutting off the top and bottom of the pineapple; you’ll want to remove about 1/4-inch from each end.
  2. Step 2 – Stand the pineapple on the cutting board.
  3. Step 3 – Hold the pineapple with one hand and use your dominant hand to slice off the rind in strips, from top to bottom. Follow the shape of the pineapple, curving the knife slightly as you go.
  4. Step 4 – Use a paring knife to cut away the spiky bits or “eyes.”

Cutting a Pineapple Into Chunks

  1. Step 1 – Stand the peeled pineapple on the cutting board. You should be able to easily identify where the core is in the center.
  2. Step 2 – Place the blade of your knife right where the core starts, then slice downwards to remove a whole side of the pineapple.
  3. Step 3 – Repeat this process until all 4 sides of the pineapple are cut from the core; discard the core.
  4. Step 4 – Take the sections of pineapple you’ve cut from the core and slice them into chunks, tidbits, wedges, or spears.

Slicing a Pineapple

  1. Step 1 – Lay the peeled pineapple on its side on the cutting board.
  2. Step 2 – Slice the pineapple into rounds of your desired thickness.
  3. Step 3 – For pineapple rings, use a paring knife or a small circular biscuit or cookie cutter to remove the core from each round.
Pineapple salsa inside a pineapple bowl, on a white countertop.
A pineapple, sliced in half and scored across the middle.

Tools to Use

How to Store

  • Refrigerate – Store cut pineapple in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. 
  • Freeze – Place the pineapple on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Set the pan in the freezer; once the pineapple is frozen solid, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cut a pineapple Hawaiian style?

To cut a pineapple Hawaiian style, you’ll start by slicing off the top and bottom of the fruit. Stand the pineapple on your cutting board and cut it into quarters, then cut the core from each quarter. After this, remove the rind and slice the pineapple into wedges.

Does an upside down pineapple really make it taste better?

Yes! The juices collect at the bottom end of the pineapple; once you cut the top off, you can sit the pineapple on your cutting board upside down for 30 minutes and the juices will be more evenly distributed once you start cutting.

Should I wash pineapple?

It’s a good idea to wash a pineapple, as any contamination on the outside will come into contact with the inside via your knife. Use a veggie brush—the kind you use to scrub potatoes—and do the best you can. It’s a little tricky, but it’s still important!

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