Step by step instructions on how to cut a pineapple, so you keep the sweetest and juiciest parts.
First make sure your pineapple is ripe. The best way to tell is to smell the bottom of it. If it smells of pineapple, it's ripe. If it smells fermented, it's overripe. It should still be rather firm, with just a little give. If it is soft at all, it is too ripe. The pineapple may have some green on the sides, but shouldn't be completely green. At a minimum it should be turning golden at the bottom and around the eyes on the sides. Where it is golden it is sweetest and most ripe.
- One ripe pineapple
1 Place the pineapple on its side on a cutting board. With a sharp chef's knife, slice off the top green crown and about a half inch of the top of the pineapple. Stand the pineapple upright on the cutting board.
2 Use a sharp knife to carefully cut away the the skin, from top to bottom, following the contours of the pineapple. Do not cut so deep as to cut away the eyes. The outer edge of the pineapple has the sweetest flesh, so you want to retain that if you can. Cut off the bottom half inch or so of the pineapple.
3 Now you have a pineapple dotted with eyes which must be removed. You can use a small paring knife to carefully carve out each one, but there is an easier way. Notice that the eyes all line up on a diagonal. You can make a diagonal cut across the side of the pineapple, like a V-shaped trench, and more easily cut out all of the eyes that are on that diagonal. Just continue to work your way around the pineapple. You do waste a little bit of good pineapple this way, but not much, and it is a lot faster than trying to carefully cut out each eye.
4 Now the pineapple is ready to cut further. There are several ways to make the final cuts of the pineapple, depending how you are serving it. If you want rounds, just lay the pineapple on its side and cut it into 3/4 inch rounds. For rings, cut out the tough core. When we were kids we preferred to keep the core in. We liked to spear the core in a solid pineapple round with our fork, and then hold up the pineapple round to eat the ripe edges.
If you just want chunks, cut the pineapple lengthwise into quarters. Cut out the tough core, then cut each quarter lengthwise again. Then cut crosswise into chunks.