How to Cut and De-Seed a Pomegranate

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How to Eat a Pomegranate: Learn how to cut a pomegranate and de-seed it, with no mess or wasted seeds! If you've ever wondered how to open a pomegranate, this is for you!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The Delicious Pomegranate

Late October, early November is the season for pomegranates, pinkish red orbs filled with crunchy, juicy seeds (known as arils), bursting with flavor.

You can get them at most supermarkets, but if you live anywhere near where they are grown, it’s best to get them at a local farmer’s market.

Here you are most likely to find the ripest pomegranates – the ones whose peels are beginning to crack open, their plump, ripe seeds expanding beyond the peel’s ability to contain them.

My parents have a big, beautiful pomegranate tree that fills with fruit every autumn. We wait until the last possible moment to harvest them, so their seeds have time to ripen to a deep red burgundy.

How to Eat a Pomegranate

Over the years we’ve experimented with how to eat a pomegranate pretty much every way possible. The challenge is to how to open and de-seed them. Some people wonder “Do you eat pomegranate seeds?” The answer is yes! 

how to eat a pomegranate - a bowl full of pomegranate seeds

How to Cut a Pomegranate

Pomegranate juice will stain, and you don’t want to destroy the seeds while removing them. Some people cut them in half through the middle and use a wooden spoon to whack the arils out of the pomegranate. We have never found this method particularly effective with our pomegranates. It can be rather messy, and ends up bruising a lot of the seeds, especially if they are ripe and juicy.

What follows is a step-by-step guide on how to eat a pomegranate and effectively open it – which, if done well, results in not one broken seed, and takes hardly any time at all.

How to Cut and De-Seed a Pomegranate

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes

Pomegranate juice stains! While this method of cutting and de-seeding a pomegranate shouldn't produce much juice, you may want to take care with what you are wearing while cutting or eating a pomegranate.

The juice will stain a wood cutting board (you can use vinegar or lemon juice to get the pink out) so you may want to cut on a plastic cutting board.

Ingredients

  • 1 pomegranate

Method

1 Make a thin slice on the bottom of the pomegranate: With a sharp knife, slice 1/4-inch off of the stem end of the pomegranate and place the pomegranate cut side down on the cutting board to stabilize it.

The pomegranate's blossom end, the one that looks like a crown, should be on top.

2 Cut around and remove the crown of the pomegranate: Use a paring knife to cut a circle, at a shallow angle, around the crown of the pomegranate, cutting it out.

3 Make shallow, vertical cuts along the ridges on the outside of the pomegranate: Notice the gentle ridges along the outside of the pomegranate. Use your knife to cut along those ridges, just through the red part of the pomegranate skin, from blossom end to stem end.

You should make about 6 cuts. If you can't feel the ridges, don't worry about it, just make several gentle cuts (not so deep as to cut any of the seeds underneath) from top to bottom around the pomegranate.

4 Pry open the pomegranate: Use your fingers to gently pry open the pomegranate. It should open easily, exposing the seeds (more accurately called arils).

Continue to open the sections, if you've made 6 cuts, you can pry open 6 sections.  It helps to work near or over a large bowl, so that as you open the fruit, any loose seeds find their way to the bowl.

5 Pry the seeds away from the peel and membranes: Working over a bowl, use your fingers to pry away the seeds from the peel and membranes.

If you like, you can fill the bowl part way with water. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the water while pieces of membrane will float to the top, making it easier to separate the membranes from the seeds.

If you are concerned about staining your countertop, you can pry open the pomegranate and remove the seeds underwater, but you shouldn't need to if none of the seeds have been cut into.

Once you are done stripping the pomegranate seeds from the skin and membranes, skim the membranes from the top of the water, and strain the seeds from the water.

Put the seeds into a serving bowl and munch away. Remember to be careful about where you are eating them. Seeds falling onto a light carpet and then getting squished will cause staining. Eat immediately or store chilled in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

How to make juice from pomegranate seeds

If you want to make juice from the seeds, pulse a cup at a time in a blender, just enough to break the seeds, and then use a rubber spatula to push the juice through a fine sieve. Note that if you over-blend, you'll end up blending in the more bitter core of the aril. Just pulse a few times and strain.

Add sugar to desired sweetness level. 2 large pomegranates will generally yield 1 cup of juice.

Note that pomegranates are very acidic and will react with metals such as aluminum or carbon steel.

How to freeze pomegranate seeds

Once you have de-seeded your pomegranate, make sure the seeds are dry. Arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in freezer for 2 hours or until frozen. Once frozen, put them into a freezer bag or container and store them in the freezer.

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How to Cut and Seed a Pomegranate

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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98 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Dan

    Well articulated and on point. No messy stains and all the juice is extracted.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Marcia

    I followed a slightly different method and had juice in places I did not want. Next time, I try your method. How much should be eaten to be beneficial? My pomegranate was huge! That’s a lot for eating immediately. I will freeze some of them, but I wasn’t sure what a “serving size” is considered to be healthy.
    I don’t mind eating the whole seed, but the last taste and texture is far from satisfying as the juice is.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Lin

    Takes FOREVER to separate arils from skin! Been doing it this way for years and it’s a pain! Hitting with wooden spoon is better. Who cares if arils are bruised!? Your going to chew them up!

  4. Ash Richardson

    This workes great! I had a hard time getting the seeds out because it was my first time we seeding it on my own. But the cutting technique was perfect thanks!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Chris Syre

    thanks for letting me know how to buy them according to their ripeness ! Didn’t know that

    Show Replies (1)
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