Introduction: How to Chunk a Pineapple Like a South Seas Island Boy

Picture of How to Chunk a Pineapple Like a South Seas Island Boy

I could not find very much on the web about the best way to cut a pineapple into chunks so I decided to use this forum in order to pass on the secrets of the island boys who do this for a living. This skill has been passed from father to son for generations but is in danger of being lost in our modern mechanized world.

Island Boy Tip: Please be careful when using a knife for any purpose. You must respect the blade. It can cut you.

Step 1: Be Sure to Choose a Ripe Pineapple

Picture of Be Sure to Choose a Ripe Pineapple

Island Boy Tip: You can tell a ripe pineapple by the smell. Just sniff the bottom (stem) end and if it smells like fresh sweet pineapple, it's ripe. If not don't buy it. Pineapples ripen on the plant before they are picked and will not ripen further. Make sure the flesh is firm, not soft. Don't worry about the brown leaf tips.

Step 2: You'll Need Two Tools

Picture of You'll Need Two Tools

1. A large knife to cut the pineapple into sections.

Island Boy Tip: Use a serrated bread knife unless you have a razor-sharp machete or chef's knife.

2. A small knife to cut the sections into chunks.

Island Boy Tip: Use a fillet knife or thin boning knife.

Step 3: Lop Off the Leaves

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Island Boy Tip: Leave a small section of leaf stem on the end. This will hold things together.

Step 4: Cut the Pineapple in Half

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Step 5: Cut the Halves in Half

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Step 6: Cut the Quarters in Half

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So now you have eight sections.

Step 7: Insert the Filet Knife Into the Leaf Stem End of One Section

Picture of Insert the Filet Knife Into the Leaf Stem End of One Section

Island Boy Tip: Insert the knife below the central core and above the outer skin. This is the secret to keeping everything together at this point. This makes the following steps much easier. You won't find this tip anywhere else.

Step 8: Cut Forward Away From You

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Island Boy Tip: Go close enough to the skin to keep most of the flesh but don't go too close or you'll get undesireable eyes in your chunks.

Step 9: Cut to the Other End of the Core

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Island Boy Tip: Continue cutting away from you, then go up toward the core but don't cut through it.

Step 10: Cut Back Toward You Below the Core

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Slowly! Be careful not to cut yourself! When you get half way through, grasp the section at the other end and continue cutting toward you.

Step 11: Cut All the Way Back and Cut Through the Leaf Stem

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Hold the section in the middle while doing this.

Step 12: Cut Through the Core at the Other End

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Step 13: Remove the Core Piece

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Step 14: Cut the Flesh Into Chunks

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Island Boy Tip: Cut down and pull the knife toward you slightly. Cut just above the skin but not all the way through it and chunks will stay put.

Step 15: Grab the Whole Section and Dump the Chunks Into a Bowl

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Step 16: Do the Same With the Other Seven Sections

Picture of Do the Same With the Other Seven Sections

Step 17: You Now Have a Bowl Full of Nice Clean Pineapple Chunks Cut the Island Way! Enjoy!

Picture of You Now Have a Bowl Full of Nice Clean Pineapple Chunks Cut the Island Way! Enjoy!


Prometheus (author)2008-04-30

As a born-and-raised Hawaii resident, I can suggest the normal method of cutting into eighths by circumference, but 16ths are not unheard-of for things like salad and toppings. Top and core it first though, and do not use the bottom 1/4" of the pineapple for the noob.....It is an "apple" structure, but the bottom is not as sweet as the rest. Use a very sharp knife to carve a pineapple as the skin is tough and armored like an armadillo. Do not bake pineapple slices over 300ºF. If making a pizza, top with cold pineapple in the last 10 minutes of baking for best results. Canadian bacon, canadian ham, and pineapple make the typical "hawaiian pizza" by american-continental standards. The top and the bottom are the toughest part, so either eat them to clean your teeth, or pulverize them skinless in a blender for a "pulpy" Hawaiian cocktail drink. The flavor is just as sweet, it's just tougher to bite through. Dole Canneries does the best job in canned pineapple from Hawaii-grown farms last I checked. California-grown simply does not make it as sweet as it can be from Hawaii, and that's not a hometown bias.

Prometheus (author)Prometheus2008-04-30

Might I add, if you bought pineapple imported, remove it from the metal can right away, as the citric acid reacts with the tin, producing a metallic taste. Import as fresh as possible and remove from metal cans ASAP. I am born and raised....I know canned from fresh, where whole pineapples were 59¢ each, even if they weighed 2 lbs. Pineapple reacts with galvanized tin....remove it and store in HDPE right away to retain flavor and freshness. Consume within 18 days of picking or 12 days of delivery on the west-coast (california) for best quality. Do not buy "fresh" pineapple on the east coast, as it cannot possibly exist. The real thing comes from Hawaii, a subsitute comes from California, never accept anything otherwise or you'll never enjoy it for all it really is. The East Coast suffers for that, as well as they suffer from the lack of general culture......sad that.......

AlenaK9 (author)Prometheus2017-01-15

Lack of general culture? Wow, really? I live in east Tennessee and we are full of culture here.Sure, we don't have native pineapples here, but we have so much more! You sound ignorant.

RukaY1 (author)2015-06-18

I know there is a tool that can cut all the pinapples for you. It saved lots of my time. Find more info of the tool by searching google "pineapple easy slicer art creativelife "

foobaz utne (author)RukaY12015-06-18

Yeah, I considered that when I decided on this method. It got lots of bad reviews. The plastic blade was not sharp enough and it broke easily. There is a metal version which looks better but is very expensive.

kranders (author)2013-06-09

Excellent! I like to buy fresh pineapple at least a couple times a month, but my "chunking" method has always been a little suspect (and messy). This looks like it'd give me much better results. Can't wait to try it out!

UltraMagnus (author)2008-08-05

so, is it true that pineapple workers don't have fingerprints because the stuff in pineapple eats them away?

kopomeroy (author)UltraMagnus2011-07-31

The enzyme is called bromelain - a proteolytic enzyme. (It cuts proteins and is often used as a meat tenderizer.

tubbychick3n (author)UltraMagnus2008-08-30

wow. I've never heard that, but it would be interesting to find that out.

UltraMagnus (author)tubbychick3n2008-08-30

well... it was a plot line in hawaii 5-0.... but wikipedia seems to say it is true...

tubbychick3n (author)UltraMagnus2008-08-31

haha, that is pretty crazy. i also saw some special where it showed some people with a disease that made them not have any sweat glands. and i guess without sweat glands on their hands, they leave no fingerprints. that was completely unrelated, but i just thought that was an interesting random fact.

krowii (author)tubbychick3n2008-09-14

Dude I totally saw that on Medical Mysteries!

tubbychick3n (author)krowii2008-09-15

yeah. i think that's where i saw it.

grue (author)tubbychick3n2010-02-13

episode of csi that involves pineapple murders in 3... 2.... 1...

incorrigible packrat (author)2008-02-05

I was denied the pleasure of eating fresh pineapple until I was 24 or so. My immediate reaction was "Damn, I've missed out". My next reaction was "Damn, it's eating my face", having forgotten about the enzymes that fresh pineapple contain. Since then, I've eaten many a fresh pineapple and have developed a cutting technique similar to yours, but not as good. The pineapples still eat my face though.

Sprinkling salt on sliced pineapple stops it from eating your face, but I don't like the taste so I just rinse my mouth quickly after eating =)

Mmmm, salty pineapple... Yeah I just kinda live with the face-eating. Mind you. I don't eat pineapple all too often, not living anywhere near pineapple land. By the way, a little salt on a nice crisp apple, such as a Mac, is sometimes quite tasty.

PizzaPlanet (author)2008-09-30

good instructable another way to make sure your pineapple is ripe is to see how easily the longest leaves fall of the easier the ripper. I mean if you dont feel like sniffing a pineapple bottom

tubbychick3n (author)2008-08-30

great instructable, but for some reason i feel it needs a video. 5/5

jquinby (author)2008-05-31

I have to say that this is one of my all time favorite instructables.

GreatEgret (author)2008-05-03

Very useful tips. Until recently I was never quite sure how to cut a pineapple. I tried your method and it was really simple.

drummonkey92 (author)2008-04-26

hey this is awsum! i searched for pineapple coz we've had one for a while n this was realy great! best way to serve in my opinion is with a salt and lemon/lime juice paste to dip into :) discovered it in srilanka when i ate one for breakfast everyday, it may not sound very nice but if you get the proportions right it's lovely.

torklugnutz (author)2008-04-22

I like the core. It's tasty, textured and full of vitamins. As long at it doesn't feel too hard when I cut through it, I leave it on the tips of the triangles.

GuardianStorm (author)2008-04-20

Thanks for this :) just cut up a pineapple for lunch :)

tom_brown (author)2007-10-20

Who says that information is unavailable on the internet on the topic ??

Please refer to the sites below to Learn How to cut a PineApple.

How to cut pineapple

Cut a pineapple tutorial

foobaz utne (author)tom_brown2008-04-19

Yes, these are but two examples of what I was able to find myself. Messy, tedious, time consuming. Hence this instructable. Thanks for proving my point. ;-) BTW I highly recommend that you try both methods, then decide for yourself . . .

WilderLust (author)2008-04-19

lol... thats funny! this is the method i have always used on melons of various types except that there is no solid core. makes perfect sence to also use it with pinapples... very nicely done :-)

mrsbrojoe (author)2008-02-17

WOW! This was SO MUCH FUN!!! I wish I would've known about this method when I was a prep cook - it is so much faster, less messy, less waste, etc. I love to eat the freshest food possible, but sometimes opt out for the sake of convenience - have been looking at this pineapple on my counter for a week and knew I needed to use it or lose it and frankly paid too much to throw it away! Thx!!! Makes me wonder what other fruit & veggies I can get handy with - jicama, for one!

foobaz utne (author)mrsbrojoe2008-02-17

I'm glad you found it useful. As for jicama, I just peel it with a potato peeler and shred it with the coarse side of a cheese grater. Add orange sections, cilentro, a little vinegar, salt, and chili powder. Use as a salad or condiment. It is like a fresh chutney.

smurfsahoy (author)foobaz utne2008-04-18

You mean salsa. Chutneys are by definition cooked.

foobaz utne (author)smurfsahoy2008-04-18

Where'd you get your "definition"? ;-) See:

mikeasaurus (author)2008-04-18

why on earth would you post your address (or anyone else's) on the internet? I'd be checking for anthrax on every envelope! Yikes.

djspikehead (author)2007-12-16

I was wondering how to cut a pineapple a couple of weeks ago and did a search on the web. All of the websites that I found suggested removing the peel first followed by cutting out the eyes and then slicing the pineapple into rings. The core can then be removed from each ring and the rings are cut into chunks. I like your method better because cutting out the eyes was messy and tedious, although you end up with a tiny bit more pineapple you can eat in the end since you're not cutting away all the stuff around the eyes. I never encountered your method in my search. Thanks for enlightening us :)

tom_brown (author)2007-10-20

ANyway I must COn-GRAA-LU-LATE You COM-ARADE You have done a fine JOB KEep up the good work Next Challenge how to cut Pineapple Underwater in 2 MINUTES

theRIAA (author)2006-08-02

i was cutting a pineapple the other day and had no idea how to do it, thank you... the pineapple was brown on the inside though....

zachninme (author)theRIAA2006-12-02


JohnPark (author)2006-10-10

Great tip, thanks for sharing it.

chebang (author)2006-08-02

I love the title on this. I also love the skill. Awesome.

TheCheese9921 (author)2006-08-02

i prefer canned lol

TabLeft (author)2006-08-02

this is awsome... I think i might buy a pinapple on the way home just to try it

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