Ree Drummond's Pineapple Cutting Method Is Actually Genius

When Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman, posted an Instagram video demonstrating how she cuts a pineapple, her legion of fans took notice. The comments were overwhelmingly positive, with many people noting that her way is exactly how they do it too. If you're a newcomer to whole pineapples, you may find the concept of cutting them daunting — but it's actually an easy process, especially if you approach it with a plan. Ree Drummond's five-step method simplifies it for you, making what could be a complicated task into an easy one.

Drummond's hack seems intuitive when you really think about it. It makes quick work of removing the inedible parts while preserving as much of the tasty fruit inside without wasting it. To do this, first, she removes the top, bottom, and outer rind, then cuts the juicy flesh into eight spears. Next, she removes the core from the individual pieces, and finishes by chopping them all up into bite-sized, ready-to-use cubes.

How to chop a pineapple into spears or cubes

The first step is to cut off the pineapple's spiky crown and uneven bottom, which allows the fruit to stand on its own. Use a sharp chef's knife, as the thick, woody sections of pineapples can be tough to get through. For step two, you will remove the prickly skin. Start at the top of the fruit and cut downward slices starting just inside of the rind. Work all the way around until the entire outer layer is removed. 

In the third step, you'll break down the pineapple into spears. Place your knife across the top of the pineapple widthwise and cut it in half all the way through. Then, turn your knife 90 degrees to one side and make another vertical cut down to the bottom. At this point, you will have four thick spears. Using the same top to bottom cutting motion, make two more cuts to split those spears all the way in half as well. From these eight spears, cut away the exposed centers that form the hard, inner core. These spears are now the perfect size for grilling or soaking in rum to use as a cocktail garnish. 

If cubed pineapple is what you're after, proceed with the final step. Simply chop up the spears into approximately one-inch pieces, resulting in cubes (okay, they're actually more like triangles) that are excellent for throwing into smoothies, topping on pizza, or making curried shrimp skewers

Reduce waste by repurposing pineapple scraps

Some of the comments left on Ree Drummond's video were helpful with suggestions on how to streamline the technique even further. For example, a number of people discussed removing an entire step by stopping at four big spears instead of eight. They remove the core from these larger pieces and then proceed with slicing the spears in half. The result is the same, eight spears, but only half as many cuts needed to deal with the core. 

Other commenters recommend skipping the coring altogether, noting that in very ripe pineapples, the core is just as tasty and sweet. Pineapples are highly nutritious, and their dense cores are packed with healthful vitamins and minerals. Rich in vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants, pineapple is also the only source of the digestive enzyme bromelain, which has shown anti-inflammatory and other therapeutic qualities according to a 2012 study for Hindawi, Biotechnology Research International. If you don't want to eat the fibrous core on its own, try blending it into smoothies, adding it to stir-fries, or soaking it in water for a pineapple-flavored infusion. 

Even the crown and other removed bits have their uses. Save pineapple crowns for tropical tea flavored with cinnamon, ginger, and honey. Boost the flavor and nutrition by adding in the leaves and skins too, rather than discarding them. Maximizing the amount of fruit available to eat by carefully trimming your pineapple and then making the most of its discards is truly a genius move.