Large, fresh, sweet pineapples are beginning to appear at the market. As they come into season, the price goes down and are more tempting to buy. But, as I found out a few days ago, some folks are a little intimidated by the having to peel and core a pineapple.
Recently, while picking out a few for myself, a woman approached me and asked me about picking, peeling, and coring a pineapple. We spoke for a while about my methods, and I thought there may be others who question how it can be quickly done. It really is a very easy task. You can either use a tool designed for the job, the pineapple corer, or you can use a large serrated knife.
Note: If you want to know more about picking a pineapple, visit CHEFS In Season this month. There we discuss how to choose, prep, store and cook with a pineapple, including using it with cream and gelatin.
Once you have chosen your pineapple, you are going to want to peel it and core it. You will need a knife to remove the top, a cutting board, and I like to place a damp towel under the cutting board to keep it from moving around.
Next, cut the top of the pineapple off.
Stand the pineapple on its bottom, and locate the core of the pineapple. Can you see in in the picture below? It is usually close to the center, but it may be slightly off center.
In my pineapple, the core isn't dead center, but it is close enough. Oh, and see the brown bit there at the edge, that's an eye. You'll want to remember those, but we will talk about those more in future steps.
Center the corer over the core of the pineapple.
While pushing down, begin to turn the corer into the pineapple meat. It will quickly take hold and become very easy to turn.
And turn some more, until the corer reaches the bottom on the fruit.
Once the corer reaches the bottom of the fruit, grip the handle of the corer, and pull the meat out.
If you see a few eyes still in the meat, use a vegetable peeler that has an eye remover or a paring knife to cut the eyes out.
Stand the corer on the cutting board, and remove the handle. You can slide the sliced pineapple off the corer at this point, but if the corer comes with a wedger (and mine did), you can make chunks.
Place the cutter over the corer and push down firmly. The pineapple with quickly be cut into chunks.
Remove the core from the tool by pushing the handle of a spatula into the center of the corer to push the fibrous pineapple core out.
Serve your pineapple as is, or add it to your favorite recipe.
Believe it or not, the whole process takes less than a minute with a pineapple corer. Don't believe me? I have video to prove it! We went into the CHEFS Test Kitchen and put a pineapple corer with wedger to the test. Take a look:
If you don't have a pineapple corer, you can use a large serrated knife to peel and core a pineapple.
Cut the top of the pineapple off. You can remove the bottom at this point, too. However, I find that cutting off the bottom makes the process a bit more slippery. I usually cut the bottom after the peel has been removed.
Locate the eyes that are visible in the fruit meat.
Place your knife behind the eyes and cut down the fruit, using a sawing motion, to remove a section of skin. This first cut is typically wider than any other cut that you will make to remove the pineapple peel.
Continue around the fruit, removing the peel. Try to follow the shape of the fruit while cutting to keep the fruit loss to a minimum.
Once all of the peel is removed, trim the bottom of the pineapple.
Stand the pineapple on the board, and locate the core. Cut the pineapple in half through the core.
Cut each half into quarters, to make removing the core easier.
Place the quarter flat on the cutting board, and use the knife to remove the core.
Slice the pineapple into chunks and serve, or add to your favorite recipes.
That's all there is to it. Either method you choose will quickly and easily peel and core a pineapple.
Your Turn: What is your favorite recipe to enjoy pineapple?