How to Select and Cut a Pineapple

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on April 2, 2009

We just LOVE pineapples.  Sweet ones that is!  When we lived in the Dominican Republic, we often saw pineapple plants growing along the side of the road, or in someone’s yard.  The reason they are so expensive is that they take a LONG time to grow.  And the plant only produces 1 pineapple, every other year (so I’m told!).  The leaves of the pineapple plant have a beautiful pink and green coloring, but watch out…they are spiky and prickly!

When I go to choose a pineapple, I look for one that has a tint of yellow all the way up the pineapple.  If the bottom of the pineapple is yellow, but the top portion is still green-ish, then it won’t be as sweet as it could/should be!  If the pineapple is “all green” pass it by…it won’t be sweet at all!

Another helpful hint is to smell the bottom yellow part of the pineapple.  Does it smell sweet?  If so, then get it!

Removing the “pineapple hat” can be done 1 of 2 ways, depending on how tight it is still on the pineapple.  The first way is to take your hand up from the bottom of the “hat” and grab the “hat.”  With a good grip on the “hat,” give it a hard twist.  If the “hat” is loose, it will twist off easily.  If that doesn’t work, try #2…

Method #2…It’s difficult to see from the picture, but I am banging the “hat” on the edge of a counter.  Give it a good whack on the counter edge, as close to the bottom of the “hat” as you can.  It should pop off on the first whack…if you whacked hard enough!!!  If not, try it again.

Once the “hat” is off, cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple.

Sit the pineapple up right and slice off all the edges (I do realize there is another method to cut them, where you cut out the core before removing the “skin”.  I don’t think this method gives you “the most fruit”!). 

Be sure to cut off all the “eyes” that you see.  It is said that bacteria can live in there, so you want to remove them all.

Make 4 downward cuts around the core leaving 4 large hunks of pineapple.  Remove any last little “eye” parts.

Slice or dice as you wish.

If your pineapple is super sweet and juicy, you might consider juicing it in a juicer and then freezing the juice in ice cube trays.  You can then add a few cubes to a smoothie to give it that extra sweetness that can only come from a pineapple!

See more $5 Dinners Cooking Tutorials here

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie April 2, 2009 at 9:16 am

Great Tips! I’ve always been scared to cut my own pineapple…now I gotta try :)


Stephanie April 2, 2009 at 10:52 am

I love your “how-to’s!” This one is great! I’ve never bought a pineapple because I didn’t know how to cut it! Thanks Erin!


Daniel April 2, 2009 at 11:35 am

Extremely useful post. Our favorite pineapple is the Maui Gold–unfortunately it’s also one of the most expensive and difficult to get pineapples out there! Not exactly a frugal fruit.

Let me also say that It’s been a pleasure catching up on your new and improved site!

Casual Kitchen


Sara K April 2, 2009 at 11:55 am

Another way to tell whether a pineapple is ripe (learned while I was in Mexico) is to reach into the top “hat” as you call it and try to pull out one of the smallest leaves. If it comes out easily with little effort on your part, the pineapple is ripe. It’s worked for me for the past year. Thanks for the tips!


B. Keefer April 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I never knew how to choose a Pineapple in the store. Thanks!


Kari @ How I Became a Fiscal Fussbudget April 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

I never knew how to cut or choose a pineapple. I wish I had seen this before going to the grocery today. I siged as I passed the pineapples again. I always have had to buy them already cut or canned so we rarely get to have pineapples.

Thank you!!!


Teri April 2, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I have one of these ( and it makes life so easy…and I think I’m allergic to pineapple “eyes” anyway – they make my tongue swell up/hurt if I get any of the brown in my mouth! :(


Jessica April 2, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Thank you for sharing your tips! I LOVE pineapple but never buy it for fear of getting a not-so-good one. Question: Do you know a pineapple will last after it’s been cut into? It’s just my hubby and I, so that’s another reason I never buy pineapple – I’m not sure how long it will last after I cut into it or what else to do with it once I have.
Love this site, btw!


Erin April 2, 2009 at 2:58 pm

From my experience, a pineapple will last 4-6 days in the fridge. If you don’t think you’ll eat it, freeze the cubes for use in future fruit smoothie!


Erin April 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm

From my experience, a pineapple will last 4-6 days in the fridge. If you don’t think you’ll eat it, freeze the cubes for use in future fruit smoothie!
P.S.: Wanted to say great post!


Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam April 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm

We were thinking alike. I just cut a pineapple and thought…hmm…I wonder if this would make a good blog post and then 2 people did it within 2 days. :)


Catherine April 3, 2009 at 8:09 am

Rinsing the fruit before you eat it will help to remove a lot of the acid and will give it a sweeter taste (learned this on the dole plantation in Hawai’i!). Also – I love to eat the core!!! It’s not as tangy, and has TONS of fiber.


Erin April 3, 2009 at 8:25 am

Thanks for the tips! Never thought to rinse the fruit :) Or eat the core!



Meg April 6, 2009 at 11:22 pm

You can just bypass pulling off the “hat” and lop it off with your top cut. Saves a step.


Debbi N April 7, 2009 at 8:49 am

Erin, I am tagging you with the Attitude of Gratitude Award! I think your blog is awesome, and I have made some of your dinners, which helps my budget out tremendously.
I hope you will participate and accept this award.



Amy April 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I bought a pineapple for $1.25 this week! I live in Chicago and bought a Jewel Osco Dole Pineapple (on sale for $2.00) and used a Dole $.75 off coupon. Yeah for cheap pineapple.

Now I feel better equipped to choose a good one!


Kelsey Ramos April 15, 2009 at 11:24 pm

I just cut open my pineapple ($1.50 from Ralphs) with your instructions on my computer screen – it was so easy and simple! Thank you!


Erin April 16, 2009 at 7:20 am

Yeah! So glad you could enjoy it!!!


Donna April 24, 2009 at 7:35 am

Just an FYI to go along with your method, if you let your pineapple sit upside down over night on the counter, can leave for a day or so, it will be sweet all the way thru, even if it is still a little green. The juices from the bottom go through out the pineapple.


Kelly April 24, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I am a pampered chef consultant, and the pampered chef just came out with a Pineapple Wedger (item #2416) for $18.00. It is an awesome tool!!!


Shannon June 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Check to see if your grocery store will cut and core them. My grocery store Kroger will do it for free.


Kristen G. June 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I love my pineapple corer from Williams-Sonoma! I know 4 people who have boughten them after seeing ours in use! :)


Mrs. Schenck March 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I wish I would have read this BEFORE I purchased my pineapple. Oh well. Better luck next time. Thanks so much for the tips!


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