fantastic method. I usually cut and deseed with my hands, this method is even better. Thank you. I love the pom! Can’t get enough of it.
These are excellent instructions. The quickest way that I had previously found was to quarter the pom, then work the seeds out from there, which resulted in a lot of lost seeds due to the cuts. This is much better. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
I just opened and prepared my pomegranate and following your instructions to a T I was able to make the snack of a life time! I always passed them in the supermarket because I thought that too much time and energy on just one fruit, my Doctor wants me to try new fruits rich in all that good stuff a body needs to stay healthy and low fat as possible. I love the Pom already and you made complete and easy to prepare results, kudos to you !! Thank you
I opened my first fruit the wrong way by just cutting it in half. I looked on the Internet found your method and it worked!! I thought I would do the juice as you described and it was wonderful. Thank you for your clear instructions!! Delicious!!
This absolutely works. It took me 10 minutes from start to finish and no mess. Do it exactly as given in the instructions and you will never hesitate to buy pomegranates again.
HOW TO CUT & OPEN POMEGRANATE
My pomegranates always seem to split before sept..I picked some today before they split but they are not the color they need to be….why are mine splitting before they are ripe?
Hi Pete, it could depend on the variety. Some pomegranates are ripe before they are fully red. Do you have a Wonderful variety or a different one? If you are not sure, the test is the taste. Have you tasted the split ones?
I use frozen pomegranate airls to top off a spinach/romaine salad with fresh pears, pecans or slivered almonds, fresh grated parmesan cheese topped with huckleberry or raspberry vinaigrette dressing drizzled on top. The frozen arils are just like fresh. Lemons are very alkaline when they get into your digestive system, are pomegranates that way too?
Hi Marilyn, I don’t know about lemons being alkaline in your digestive system, as they are naturally very acidic. Pomegranates are acidic too.
While some people eat the hard seed inside the arils, be aware that the seeds can clump together in the intestine forming a fruit-seed bezoar that can cause a blockage. I know from experience that this is a highly uncomfortable condition! I now spit out the seeds after I chew them.
Thank you for revealing this problem. I too have intestinal problems and to avoid the pain and complications that come from seeds, I will definitely not eat them.
Thank you, this is a very effective method.
Elise, I never tackled a pomegranate before. Your straightforward instructions encouraged me to try. annie’s comment (in addition to others) has me wondering where the family’s Wearever juicer is. I’m sure I have it somewhere. I have a lot of Wearever things. My dad sold it door to door before the war (WWII). He used to cook Anglefood cake on top of the stove to show the superior insulation qualities of Wearever.
As a young person I lived in Coney Island for many years.When the weather got cold, the Chinese apple m an came with his pomegranates, set up a table on the boardwalk, cut them in half and used an orange juice squeezer to fill up a paper cup for 25 cents. What a treat for early winter; in addition the man with the charlotte russes came, as well as the roasted sweet potatoes, and the hot jelly apples, also cold and candied. Those were happy times just before and after WW2.
Great tips. A friend gave me 4 fruits from her tree yesterday. I never had a technique in cutting it before. Now, it’s more inviting to have them with less trouble. Thanks.
Hey Elise, I came across your fantastic website looking for ways to open pomegranate! Can you believe it:) I am writing a blog post about it and took a liberty of sending my readers to your blog to learn how to do it quickly and efficiently. I only started using the fruit recently and cannot believe how complimentary it is to so many dishes. Have you ever tried it with your breakfast porridge? I wish I had a pomegranate tree as your folks do, I would eat it all winter :)
I, too have an old wearever citrus press and it works beautifully, no splashes or mess. I do each half twice, reversing the “fold” and get a little more juice. I freeze juice in plastic bottles so can pull one out when needed. I usually drink it straight, no sugar, maybe a little water. I want to try jelly but without so much sugar. will try Pomona’s universal pectin. I am fortunate to live in So. Calif where I can grow these and I have around 6 varieties.
Is it ok to use the seeds in a smoothly ? I have never used them before, bought my first one today and am anxious to get started.
Well, there are hard little bits inside the pomegranate arils that probably wouldn’t do well in a smoothy. I don’t recommend it.
Thank you so much Elise for opening my eyes to this wonderful fruit! Every since you showed us how to open them and extract the seeds, they have become a regular part of my diet. They are so good! And, really pretty easy to peel and store in the fridge for sprinkling on salads, yogurt and eating by the handful. One of my favorites, is to use them in place of grapes in Waldorf salads. The crunch of the pome seeds compliments the crunch of the walnuts!
Wonderful! Pomegranates are magical, aren’t they? So glad you are discovering all the ways you can play with them.
I would like to freeze the seeds but will they still have that juicy crunch and taste the same. I would be freezing them in a single layer until frozen, then put in baggies.
Thanks for the instructions! They worked great. I had some brown arils… I’m assuming my pomegranate was getting old? (It came in a fruit basket and I had been putting off figuring out how to cut it…)
Yes, the brown arils are either old or bruised. Need to discard those.
When using the arils on a salad or as a garnish, do you use more mature seeds? The fruit I purchased yesterday was not at all mature and the seeds we “chewed” or tasted seemed quite woody.To seed the pomegranate and end up with enough juice for a smoothie was quite an adventure today. Thank goodness for the internet and the wealth of information to get this little project accomplished. Thank you!
I try to always use the ripest arils possible.
That worked great! Thanks!
if you have diverticulitis do NOT eat the hard seed inside. I put the soft seeds inside the Magic Bullet and then press the results thru a sieve, add some sugar to taste and water and shake it all up and drink it. I had a big glass this morning. This pulp also makes great jelly/jam, too.
My best friend visiting taught me this method just a week ago, and it’s great. When I feel naughty, I like to chew directly in the cut sections, it makes me feel like haute bourgeoisie (not “country cousin” like someone said above, I’d rethink of that in these terms!). The addition of the bowl with water is very interesting, although since I’m not usually eating the seeds very quickly I’m afraid that putting them to contact with water might reduce their life span, even if I dry them after.
Anyway, now I know where those 2 indelible stains on my favourite jumper came from…
Just made a wonderful version of a Waldorf salad using your classic recipe and swapping out the grapes for pomegranate arils! Delish! Will certainly be reminded to make it again whenever I see Pomegranates in the stores.
I feel the most important part of the de-seeding of pomegranate fruit is the nutritional value. I have heart disease and this miracle fruit has just what the doctor ordered. Antioxidants! Your method of de-seeding a pomegranate is “da’ bomb!” Hope this make more people realize the value of ease from this underestimated fruit and move it to the top of lifelong health. Thank you so much!
Hi, Elise, and thanks for all the wonderful recipes and tips. How do you know when a pomegranate is ripe? My seeds aren’t usually ruby red throughout, but have lots of white bits. Thank you, Eleni
Great question. It does depend on the variety of pomegranate. “Wonderful” variety pomegranates are truly ripe when they are deep ruby red as pictured. Of course you can eat them when they are less ripe, they will just be a little less flavorful and a little more tart. Other varieties never get that deep red color but stay light pink. If you are buying pomegranates at the store, pick the heaviest pomegranates of the same size. So, if you are choosing between two pomegranates and one is heavier than the other, that one is juicier and should be more ripe. If you are buying pomegranates at the farmers market, look for pomegranates that have begun or are beginning to crack open at the sides. If they have already cracked open, that’s the best, as long as mold hasn’t set in, which happens pretty quickly when the pomegranates have started to crack open.
not all of pomegranates are ‘acidic’ those ones that are acid are not in the mature status..here in my country there are acidic ones from Israel at the supermarket X. But in the supermarket Y they don’t taste acid..they were very sweet(they were also from Israel). And in the supermarket Z there were fruits exported from Spain (the worst ones! trust me) and I don’t like this kind of variety as it is more pink colored than ‘that red’ (those ones that were in your recipe).’that red’ colored form means more antioxidants!
Hello Kflip, it is true that not all pomegranates are very acidic. There is one variety that I tried recently that hardly has any acid. It is not true that those that are acidic are not mature. Our “Wonderful” variety pomegranates are wonderfully sweet, they are also acidic. In fact, if we are processing a lot of them for making juice, we will have to wear gloves, because like handling a lot of lemon juice, the acid can really begin to burn your hands. As for the color of the pomegranate arils, again there are different varieties. I have found some varieties that are completely ripe and just light pink. However, I do see around here, that people harvest and eat pomegranates before they are fully ripe. The Wonderful variety should produce deep burgundy colored seeds, if left on the tree to ripen long enough. Most people pick them too early, or choose “perfect” looking pomegranates in the store. The best way to tell that a pomegranate is ripe is that the pom is beginning to burst open, developing cracks along the side.
Modernist Cuisine presents a really clever way of extracting the juice from pomegranate seeds – seal the arils in a vacuum bag (e.g. FoodSaver), and then just run over the bag with a rolling pin. Snip the corner off and you can just pour out the juice!
I would imagine it would work with a relatively heavy duty Ziploc (freezer bag), but you’d probably want to get as much of the air out as you can with the water displacement method below.
Great idea Mark, thank you!
I came across your original instructions awhile ago, which equipped me to brave the enigmatic pomegranate. Thanks to your advice, I now love them! They are especially delicious stirred into plain Greek yogurt, adding a great crunchy texture.
Very helpful! I had a rough time the first time I tried to get seeds out of a pomegranate!
funny, i just bought a 10 lb bag of pomegranates at my local farmers market. they were all bursting at the seams… some were even getting over-ripe, but i managed to save some of the seeds inside. discarded the mushy ones… maybe i’ll make juice!
I have never tried this method. I always cut it in half and spank the seeds out. As long as you squeeze it to loosen them up, it works pretty well.
Watched a YouTube of this guy who cut around the “equator” of the pomegranate, pulled it apart, “stretched” the halves apart a bit around the circumference, turned the cut part down on his palm, hit the pomegranate with a wooden spoon, and the seeds fell into the bowl. Took about 30 seconds. I’ve never seen anything like it! FASTFASTFAST!
I’ve de-seeded this way before and have tried another way I discovered over youtube the other day. Just slit a pom all round and twist it to halve. Loosen the edges a little. Place the halve on your palm, with a bowl at the bottom. Using a wooden spoon, beat onto the pom until all seeds falls into bowl. This took me 2 minutes :)
We’ve also had great results with that method. We’ve even managed to have none of the pods break on one attempt! The skin needs to be cut just right. Naturalmarketer on youtube definitely has the right method (even if the terms in his instructions are not 100% accurate)
We tried this the other day and it didn’t work well with the pomegranate we were using. Like I mentioned in the post, these techniques that have you beat the pomegranate with a wooden spoon haven’t worked with our pomegranates. Many of the arils end up bruised.
This way worked great for me but I’m going to try your recommendation on the next one.
I love a combo of the seeds with diced mango. I put the seeds, sliced strawberries, and chocolate chips and almond slivers over raspberry sorbet. But one of my absolute favorite uses is this recipe. Everyone loves it–not every ingredient has to be included, but the dressing is crucial (dressing from Cooking Light–the rest I augmented).
Strawberry, Pomegranate, Clementine, Spinach Salad
Clementines in sections (or navel orange)
Feta cheese crumbled (optional)
I like to toss the spinach only with the poppy seed dressing, then add the rest of the ingredients on top in individual portions.
Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar (balsamic or red wine)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Process first 5 ingredients for 30 seconds in a blender. With blender running, pour oil through food chute in a slow, steady stream, and process until smooth. Stir in poppy seeds. Keeps for weeks in the fridge. This salad is also very good in the summer—just impossible to add the pomegranate seeds.
I recently bought pomegranate seeds from a produce market. How long are they good for once they’ve been taken out of the casing?
You should probably eat them up within a few days. Store them in the fridge, covered, or they will quickly dry out. ~Elise
omg i just ate my first pomegranate and it was wonderful no wonder all of my friends bring bags of them to school and just eat them throughout the day they are wonderful!!!!! i love them but i am kind of worried about eating the hard inner seed although i have been eating them anyways (to hard to resist) is it ok to eat it?
Yes, it’s perfectly fine to eat the inner seed. We always do. No problem. ~Elise
This was soooo helpful! You mentored me through my first fresh pomegranate. Thank you! I was careful, but I still splashed pomegranate droplets all around my sink. Luckily no stains, but I can see why you were always sent outside to eat them as a kid. They are the perfect messy kid food!
I open it a different way but this totally works tooo!!! thx!
It works even better and avoids the splatters if you fill a bowl or the sink with water and do it all under water. The bitter yellow skin part floats and the delicious seeds sink to the bottom where its easy to get them.
I must have found a magic pomegranate because I spilled juice all over my counter (off white color) and it did not stain my counter one bit. It wiped right up, no staining, and the juice was so sweet no sugar needed at all!!
I bought 20 or more organic. They are so wonderful and healthy. I keep all the seeds in a frozen bag in the freezer and keep them as long as I want. Every morning I eat 2 or 4 tablespoon of seeds, eat the whole things, I enjoy the flavor I have enough for 3 to 6 months ahead. It is a delice fruit.
Honestly, the best way I’ve found to enjoy pomegranate is to pour a nice hot bath, put a garbage bin or bowl next to the tub for the rind and membrane, get naked, and enjoy that pomegranate and soak. Doesn’t hurt to have a little vino too. Simple indulgence.
Michelle, Evidently I now have a reason to eat MORE pomegranates : ) I like your style & I love wine – I think we could be good friends : )
I make raspberry jelly when the season rolls around. Any comments as to making pomegranate jelly? I would strain out all of the seeds. Would you make it with the same proportions as raspberries? Alternatively I could put the juice into my marmalade. Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated.
Check out our recipe for pomegranate jelly. :-) ~Elise
Does anyone know for how long can the seeds be frozen? I’d like to enjoy them over the summer as well.
Ok, I must be the country cousin or something. I cut mine in half, and then score the rind and just pull off chunks. I take a chunk and pull back on both sides of the rind which pulls the membrane away from the seeds… and I just bite right in!! I do bite down on the seeds to crack them open but I have been spitting them out after the pulp is gone. Not as elegant as the rest of you… but quick and easy!
Barb, same here.
Thank you so much, what a great site!! My first pomengranate and it is sitting on the counter looking at me, was mocking me, but now I know how to handle it. What a wonderful site!!!
I have tried all of the above methods for juicing pomegranates except beating with a spoon. By far the fastest way I have found is cutting the fruit in quarters and squeezing in the Wearever Orange squeezer I inherited from my mother. Place in the “bowl” and press down on the handle to squeeze the juice out. I put about 3 gallons of juice in my freezer last fall in quart baggies. We add it to other fruit juices to drink every morning with breakfast.
Charlotte, I never spit the seeds out when I eat pomegranate, and I’ve done this for 30+ years. Swallowing them is not a big deal, and I’ve never had any problems. The seeds are somewhat soft, in fact, so they probably get digested. Eating the seeds whole is faster, and it does give you the satisfaction of eating the whole fruit. I don’t know anything about the nutritional content of the tiny pits, though. I suspect they contain a bunch of minerals and lots of fiber.
I’ve just been putting a handful in my mouth, sucking the juice off the seeds, then spitting the seeds out. Kind of messy but really yummy. If you chew the hard part of the seeds and swallow them, are there any special nutrients obtained? I imagine they would be good for fiber (providing they don’t cause a blockage)
Ok this may be a stupid question, but do you eat the hard seed inside or spit it out? I tried eating them and it does kind of hurt my teeth.
Hi Julie – great question! When I was a kid I always spit out the hard seed. Now as an adult, I just chew it with the entire pomegranate seed. To each her own.
There is an even easier method of deseeding a pomegranate…
After cutting it in 1/2 hold the pomegranate cut side down over a large bowl and with the back of a large spoon, continually smack the pomegranate. All the seeds will come right out and should fall right into the bowl.
Hi Matt, we have huge pomegranate tree and every year get dozens of pomegranates to process. I’ve seen that technique, but I have not been able to get it to work effectively with the pomegranates that we grow. Even if I can get most of the seeds out that way, what ends up happening is that many of the arils get bruised from the whacking and they don’t last as long. Many burst or break and splatter their juices everywhere.
That’s how I do it too. Works the best for me! (The spoon & bang method).
I haven’t tried this, but my friends make Pomegranate Jelly and juice using a electric citrus juicer (Waring). Cut them in half and juice like an orange. Messy, but if you’re doing a lot, it does speed things up.
I’ve made juice that way too. It is about 3 times as fast in terms of getting the juice. However, the juice isn’t quite as good as it ends up getting more of the bitterness of the membrane in it. So, if you really are picky for perfection, the seed-it-first method is the way to go.
I’ve never actually eaten a fresh pomegranate before; so what you’re saying is all you eat are the seeds and discard the rest?
Yes, eat the seeds and compost the rest.
It makes sense when you open the pomegranate. The inside is pretty much all seeds. The volume of seeds is somehow larger than the original fruit. It’s a pomegranate miracle!
HAHA a pomegranate miracle! My friend made salsa with these and it was totally amazing. I haven’t had them whereI could actually chew the seeds before. They’ve always been too tough. But the ones she had were amazing. Does that have to do with the age of the pomegranate?
“I cannot eat dinner without wearing it.”
I love the way the one time I forget to wear my scuzzy T that’s when the spirit of Jackson Pollock invades my pomegranate.
At our house, we use these same steps, but do all of this in either a large bowl full of water or a sink full of water. This really helps cut down on the splatters. Of course, I cannot eat dinner without wearing it.
I have recently graduated from using this method of de-seeding a pomegranate, then I found a better quicker method. Take off the stem of the fruit and score the skin around the pommy, pull it apart and hold one half, open end down in your cupped hand and bet it soundly with a large wooden spoon or similar and the seeds will fall out into the large bowl you are holding it over. This method means you can get all the seeds out in about ten seconds, then all you need to do is pick out the white pith that has also come away.
Yes, many people use this method. I have never found this to work well with our pomegranates, as the beating action ends up bruising some of the fruit. This is okay if you eat the all of the seeds from the pomegranate right away, but if you store them at all, they don’t last as long. I have also seen the technique you mention demonstrated effectively with pomegranate seeds that dislodge easily. Ours never have, and you end up having to really whack the heck out of the pomegranate, causing a bit of a mess and bruising the seeds.
Yes Elise everything you say is true and I wouldn’t use the method I posted if I needed the seeds for decoration purposes, but so many people are put off trying pomegranates because of either the mess or the time involved in getting the seeds out. I posted the bashing method to try to get more people to eat the fruit getting the job done in double quick time. I hope we can agree that both methods have their uses.
Indeed! I’ve also seen the method you describe used very effectively with pomegranates where the seeds just fell out, with a light tap with a spoon.
I did this method yesterday and it worked wonderfully! No mess, fast and easy! And spanking it with a spoon let me get my aggression out. lol.
Yep – we beat ours too – works like a charm!! Make sure you DON”T CUT IT IN HALF or you’ll have a mess on your hands. Do like suggested above & only score it, & then PULL it apart.
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