How to Cut a Pineapple Like a Hawaiian

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I learned how to cut a pineapple from the locals. Now you will, too.

Chopping a pineapple used to seem daunting to me. Buying a whole pineapple at the grocery store never even crossed my mind—how was I supposed to chop that thing? But while vacationing in Hawaii this past year, I watched a demonstration at the Dole Pineapple Plantation and now I’m a pro.

That evening, I bought a pineapple on the way back to my vacation rental (these Airbnbs have gorgeous kitchens!) and tried it myself. It was so easy, I did it on my first try! And the presentation is so beautiful, you’ll want to serve pineapple at all of your summer parties.

We found the best recipes from Hawaii!

How to Tell If a Pineapple Is Ripe 

Before you even get to chopping, you’ll want to make sure you pick the perfect pineapple. Since pineapples don’t ripen after they’ve been picked (that was brand-new information to me!), it’s important to choose one that’s already ripe. Look for these three things:

  • The scent should be subtle. If there is a strong pineapple scent, then it is overripe. Look for one with a mildy sweet fragrance.
  • The leaves should be green and fresh-looking. If you see one with dry, brown leaves, put it back.
  • The color actually doesn’t matter. Yellow pineapples received more sun than green ones, but they are both perfectly ripe.

Did you know eating pineapple has incredible benefits for your health?

How to Cut a Pineapple Like a Hawaiian

Step 1: Remove the top

cutting pineappleBrianna Griepentrog/Taste of Home

Do like a Hawaiian and twist off the top so you can plant it later and, if you live in a warm climate, grow another pineapple—it takes 2 years! I find it easier to chop the top off with my knife. While you’re at it, chop off the bottom, too.

Step 2: Quarter it

how to pineappleBrianna Griepentrog/Taste of Home

Cut the pineapple in half (from top to bottom), and then in quarters. Chop off part of the core of each quarter.

Step 3: Cut off the rind

how to pineappleBrianna Griepentrog/Taste of Home

The demonstrator at the Dole Plantation used a long, skinny serrated knife to cut the flesh off the rind. At first, I thought a specialty pineapple knife was a little silly, but after cutting one without it, I realized it’s pretty valuable! Its flexibility allows you to cut closer to the rind and at just the right angle, giving you more pineapple to enjoy! Purchase a Dole pineapple cutting knife here.

If you don’t have a pineapple knife, your normal chef’s knife works just fine. Cut lengthwise until you reach the end.

Editor’s tip: If you want to cut some of the acidity, soak the pineapple in water for a little bit. This will reduce that burning sensation you sometimes feel when you eat too much of the fruit.

Step 4: Chop

how to pineappleBrianna Griepentrog/Taste of Home

After soaking the pineapple, place it back on its rind and chop into 1/2-inch pieces.

Step 5: Serve

how to cut pineappleBrianna Griepentrog/Taste of Home

For a nice presentation, nudge every other piece to one side to form a zigzag pattern. Serve it right on the rind, along with toothpicks so people can easily grab a piece (or five!) of pineapple. Learn how to make malasadas—an alternative take on the doughnut that originated in Portugal.

Next up:

These Pineapple Desserts Are Tropical Bliss
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Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.