While precut pineapple pieces and rings are convenient, purchasing a full pineapple has its own charm. Until it dawns on you that you have no idea how to cut a pineapple. You're not alone, and we're here to assist you. It's not easy to handle a pineapple; even the most skilled of us can feel cumbersome. With these pineapple cutting tips, you'll be able to go from market box to fruit bowl in no time. 

Before we get started on knife skills, let's talk about pineapple selection: Best pineapple season is from March to July, and choosing a nice one depends on how ripe it is when you buy it. Pineapples, unlike some other fruits, do not continue to ripen after being harvested, so choose wisely. Look for fruit with a yellow rind rather than a green one, as this indicates that the flesh will be sweet and juicy and high in vitamin A and C. Smell the bottom of the fruit: it should have a pleasant sweet scent. Squeeze the pineapple gently to see if it gives a little. Good. 

Get that ripe, ready-to-eat tropical fruit into the kitchen and follow the step-by-step pineapple cutting instructions. You'll soon be able to make your own pina colada using simply a blender. Or how about using those nicely cut rings to decorate a sparkling pineapple upside-down cake in a pan? 

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 Step 1 

Place the ripe pineapple on a clean cutting board on its side. Obtain a well-knifed chef's knife, not a serrated knife, which may release too much liquid. With your other hand, hold the pineapple steady and slice downward about 1/4 inches into the rind to remove the pineapple's spiky top. Spin the pineapple 180 degrees and cut off the bottom in the same way, being careful not to lose too much flesh on either side. You're making a flat, even basis for your pineapple so it can stay steady while you cut. 

Step 2 

Lift the pineapple. With your non-cutting hand, balance the pineapple. Beginning at the top, slice down about 1/4 inches from the rind, following the curve of the fruit. Rep until all of the peel has been removed, following the shape of the pineapple and turning as needed. 

Step 3 

You should now have a relatively clean, cylindrical pineapple, but let's give it a little trimming before moving on. Remove any "eyes," black areas, or sections of rind that remain with your paring knife. You won't want to eat them raw, but you may use them to make tepache, a Mexican fermented pineapple drink, together with the discarded rind and core. 

Do you want to make wedges, spears, or chunks? Are rings a better fit for you? 

Keep the pineapple upright and move your knife to the outside edge of the core, the fibrous dark yellow circle that runs through the center of the pineapple. Remove one large pineapple lobe by cutting straight down from top to bottom. Remove the lobe and set it aside. Slice down again after turning the pineapple a quarter turn, effectively cutting around the core. Turn the pineapple once more and repeat, then cut off the final piece with a knife. Four large portions of pineapple flesh, plus the rough core, should be available. Remove the core and discard it or preserve it for another use. 

Slice each primal pineapple cut into chunks, spikes, or wedges, one section at a time. If you're creating something like pineapple salsa, now is a good time to dice the pieces even more. After you've peeled the pineapple and removed any eyes, lay it on its side and start slicing it into circles.