How to Cut A Pineapple Into Slices and Chunks

“How to cut a pineapple” is a great question and a popular search term. This may seem elementary to some. But the question has been asked countless times, even by those who consider themselves proficient in the kitchen! That’s probably because pineapple is delicious and people want more of it! Pineapple is great simply cut up raw. Fresh pineapple juice is sweet and makes a great addition to smoothies or cocktails. Pineapple jam, if you are unfamiliar, you must try! Pineapple is great as a dehydrated snack, it’s amazing on the grill, and a great addition as an ingredient in many dishes. Yes, it’s even good on pizza!

If you don’t often eat fresh pineapple it can be a little scary. There are a lot of people who continue to ask, “How do I cut a pineapple?” Let me just say, if you like pineapple and get yours from a can, you need to try fresh pineapple! If you buy it in a can because you aren’t sure how to work with it fresh, welcome!

I am going to show you how to cut a pineapple. I am actually going to show you two methods I use and offer some insights and considerations regarding the differences.

How To Cut A Pineapple
These are two tools you can use to cut a pineapple, a pineapple corer and slicer and a knife. The green piece on the slicer is removable and can be used to easily cut the slices into uniform chunks.

How To Cut A Pineapple: Slice or Chop

The two methods we will look at are slicing and chopping a pineapple. Slicing a pineapple is done with the fun little “unitasker” tool and chunking is done with the wonderfully sharp slicing knife. I am sure there are other ways to cut a pineapple. If you are skilled at turning a pineapple into edible pieces, please comment! I am really interested to know how I can slice a pineapple without using the coring device. Is it as barbaric as stabbing my way through the center with a knife until I can dislodge the core? According to some other outlets on the web, you can simply cut the core out of individual slices with a paring knife. I was hoping for some magical method that makes my life easier!

Regardless of the potential other options, we are looking at the coring device and the knife. There are a few main considerations you need to account for when you decide to cut a pineapple.

  • How are you going to use the pineapple?
  • What tools do you have on hand?
  • How much time do you have?
  • How concerned are you with food waste?

I slice pineapples for dehydrated pineapple rings, to grill pineapple rings for burgers, or, for one of my favorite reasons for using the corer/slicer, to create an awesome cocktail glass using the hollowed out rind of the pineapple! (This is a little tricky though as you have to be sure that you are completely centered and you don’t go too deep!)

Chunks of pineapples are great as a fresh snack. They are also good in the dehydrator, for crushing up to use in recipes, or as an accompaniment to other foods such as cottage cheese. I chunk my pineapples before juicing as well.

Take the tops off the pineapple
Before cutting a pineapple using either method, the top needs to be removed.

Prepping The Pineapple

I wash almost every fruit and vegetable I use. However, if I won’t be eating the outside layers I don’t bother, think: oranges, peeled potatoes, carrots, and Pineapples! Prepping a pineapple is quite easy. I simply cut the top off! That’s necessary no matter which method I am using.

Tip: I recently read that you can rest a pineapple upside down for 30 minutes to allow the sugars of the fruit to move throughout. The physics of that doesn’t quite compute in my head, but it’s worth experimenting.

One note, I weighed these two prepped pineapples before cutting them. I wanted to know how much pineapple the slicer wasted. I thought it was wasteful, but wasn’t truly sure.

The pineapple used for slicing, after removing the top, weighed in at 1802g, 1.8kg.
The pineapple used for cutting into chunks was 1961g, just under 2kg.
Yes, I work with the metric system when I can…

How To Cut A Pineapple Using The Unitasker Pineapple Slicer

Using the slicer is very fast! In this exercise, I was able to core and slice the pineapple in 1 minute and 20 seconds! I timed it with a stop watch! using the slicer is simple. You “assemble” it (stick the handle on), align the corer with the now visible core of the pineapple, press down, and simply start twisting! It works like a screw through the fruit and you are finished when you reach the bottom. However, like I mentioned previously, if you want to save the shell as a usable drinking vessel, you need to stop short of breaking through the bottom.

Pineapple after is is cored and sliced
When you pull the slicer out, you have beautiful pineapple rings on the tool and a hollow pineapple shell. I didn’t stop before hitting the bottom this time, notice the hole.

How To Cut A Pineapple Into Chunks

Cutting a pineapple into chunks has many steps and takes much longer when compared to the tool above. I ran a stop watch as I was cutting the pineapple too. After 10 minutes I stopped keeping track. I was stopping to snap these nice little pictures, so that obviously added time to the process.

Let me outline all of the steps as quickly as possible.

Cut the pineapple in half
Cut the pineapple right through the center of the core and then cut off the bottom as high as necessary to only have good fruit remaining.
Cut the pineapple into quarters
Again, cut directly through the center of the core along the length of the pineapple. You are creating 4 equal pieces.
Remove the pineapple core
I now slice the core from my quartered fruit. If you are really scared of a little tough core, you could do this after the next step. That’s a lot more cutting though.
Cut the pineapple into eighths
Now that you have a small flat edge where the core was, cut through the center, lengthwise, toward the skin, creating 8 relatively equal pieces.
Remove the pineapple skin
At this point is when I remove the skin. I believe it allows me to easily remove the unwanted skin while retaining as much of the soft fruit as possible. In the past, I had removed the skin of the pineapple as my very first step, but that was quite a bit awkward and slippery when trying to finish the cuts.
Cut the pineapple into chunks
The final step is to cut the long pieces into chunks. The long pieces are also great on the grill as they are easier to work with and more durable than rings. So you may want to stop with the eight long pieces.

Ok! That’s how I cut a pineapple with a knife.

Pineapple Slices and Pineapple Chunks

I mentioned food waste as a primary consideration when deciding how to cut a pineapple. And, as I suspected, there are some pretty compelling numbers.

Two different methods to cut a pineapple
Slicing or cutting a pineapple produces two very different outcomes.

After slicing and cutting the pineapple, I weighed the portions. As you remember, I was concerned about waste. I had the starting weights of each pineapple.

Original Weight:
Sliced Pineapple: 1802 grams
Chunked Pineapple: 1961 grams

Edible Fruit Produced:
Sliced Pineapple: 585 grams
Chunked Pineapple: 1219 grams

Percentage of the Pineapple “wasted”
Sliced Pineapple: 68% of the original weight was not present in the finished product!
Chunked Pineapple: Only 38% of the pineapple was missing after cutting by hand using a knife!

Cutting a pineapple with a knife produces a lot more fruit! It takes a long time though. That slicer is fast, convenient, and can create a really cool cocktail glass, but it sure does waste a lot of pineapple. I still like it! As long as you are using the shell, it isn’t that bad. I bet we could come up with many other uses for the wasted portion too. I have cut the shell up afterward, eating much of the otherwise wasted fruit. If there wasn’t a hole in the bottom, you could easily serve the pineapple from the hollow shell too!

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