How To Open A Pineapple Without Using A Knife

Millions have come across intriguing viral videos showing how to pull apart a pineapple without using a knife. The process looks simple and straightforward enough, with bite-sized morsels of the tropical fruit popping out with ease. As it turns out, this method is definitely possible, but you need to make sure you're using the right kind of pineapple, and you may need to pry the fruit out with a little bit of elbow grease.

In a YouTube video, user @AngelaJeanCleaning shows how to do this trick, noting that once the pineapple is de-stemmed, tapped, and rolled, individual pieces probably won't just pop out with a little tug (video creators that suggest as much are probably helping to score the pineapple off-camera). You'll likely need to dig portions of fruit out with your fingers.

It's also advised to use a very ripe pineapple but just beware that, the riper they are, the more juice they might have, even if you aren't storing them upside down. Because of this, opening a pineapple in such a way would be a fun activity to do outside where the juice could ooze and spray onto the grass instead of your kitchen counter. All in all, this method might not be as mess-free as you've seen in some videos, but it is certainly a way to do the job without a knife.

No knife, no problem

There are a few tips for this hack that can yield the best results possible. To select the ripest pineapple, pay attention to its color. For this task, you'll want an exterior with as much yellow as possible. A little bit of green is okay but you should avoid a dark green fruit. You can also decipher ripeness by scent. Focus on the bottom of the pineapple for this test — if it has a pleasant, sweet aroma, you've got yourself a good fruit. You can also press the skin with your finger; the flesh beneath should give a little, but not be rock hard.

If the crown of the pineapple is too spiky for your hands, simply cover it with a clean kitchen towel, then grab hold and twist. It shouldn't take a whole lot of effort to remove the top. Be sure to save it so you can make the ultimate tropical summer tea. You can also use that same kitchen towel to protect your hands from the spikes on the pineapple rind when you go to roll it on the countertop. If a little juice escapes, it will absorb right into the cloth.  

When you're ready to pry the chunks of fruit away (these are sometimes called the "eyes" of the pineapple), you don't necessarily have to use your fingertips and nails. Using a small demitasse spoon or even the serrated point of a grapefruit spoon will help remove the first pieces. From there, it should be much easier to remove the rest of the eyes with minimal effort. 

Other ways to open a pineapple

Most other ways to cut a pineapple often do involve a knife — and for good reason. The outer skin on the fruit is much too thick and tough to be edible or to peel away with just your hands or a conventional peeler. 

Ree Drummond's genius method to cut up a pineapple, for example, involves using a very sharp chef's knife to cut the top and bottom off the fruit, followed by the skin. She then cuts it, lengthwise, into eight spears, removes the tough core and chops each spear into chunks. There are also specific tools that insert right into an unpeeled fruit and cut through it so you are left with rings without a core.

Opening a pineapple without a knife is best if you want to eat bits of the fruit one after another, but if your plan is to use the fruit in recipes like the ultimate piña coladas or fish tacos with spicy pineapple salsa, it's probably easier to use larger chunks that you extract with a knife because they won't be attached to the skin.