Introduction: How to Deseed a Pomegranate

Picture of How to Deseed a Pomegranate

Deseeding a Pomegranate can be easy, fast, and FUN, just follow these few simple steps. You'll end up with delicious juicy seeds and very little mess to clean up. The best part, by the end you'll be smiling.

Pomegranates are a hallmark fruit of winter. Originally believed to be from Iran, pomegranates are now cultivated in many places around the world and are found in a kaleidoscope of dishes. Pomegranates have become increasingly popular with their wide array of health benefits and for their splash of color added to any winter meal. The problem? They are not exactly the easiest fruit to break into and enjoy without making a mess and taking up time. There are a numerous tricks and techniques to break into this thick skinned fruit, but nothing as quick, easy, and anger releasing as in the following Instructable!

Step 1: Things You'll Need

Picture of Things You'll Need
You'll need the following to deseed your pomegranate:
  • Pomegranate(s)
  • Sharp Kitchen Knife
  • Wooden Spoon, preferably with a flat back
  • Small Bowl Filled with Cold Water
  • Plastic Cutting Board
  • Apron (not pictured)
  • Strainer/Colander (not pictured)
A special note: I chose to use a plastic cutting board since they are easier to clean than wooden alternatives. Pomegranate juice can stain wooden cutting boards. If you do use a wood cutting board, vinegar or lemon juice can reduce the pink coloration in any stains left behind. 

Step 2: Create a Flat Surface

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Since this technique involves whacking the seeds from the fruit, we want to remove any obstructions that would prevent the ideal whack. 

Most pomegranates have two protruding parts: the crown (the persistent calyx), and occasionally a stem. Most store bought pomegranates have already had the stem removed, leaving only the crown.

With your kitchen knife, cut off the crown taking care to remove as little of the pomegranate as possible. This is important because if you cut into the seeds (arils), not only will you have a juicy mess on your cutting board, but when you get to the whacking step, you'll have some pomegranate juice spray.

Step 3: Halve the Pomegranate

Picture of Halve the Pomegranate

Again, using the kitchen knife, cut your pomegranate(s) in half parallel to your first cut. If you cut the pomegranate correctly, you should be able to see a five pointed star shape created by the seeds as shown in the photo.

Rinse off any juice that runs from either of the two halves. This is a preventative measure to reduce juice splatter. 

Step 4: Loosen the Seeds

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Grasp half of the pomegranate in your hands and gently pry on the sides of each hemisphere to loosen the seeds. 

Repeat with second half of the pomegranate.

Step 5: Prepare Yourself for a Good Whacking

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Place and cup the pomegranate in your non-dominate hand with the seeds facing your palm. There should be a space between your palm and the fruit. This is where the seeds will fall. Make sure that your fingers are below the flat surface of the pomegranate so that they don't get whacked!

Step 6: Whack Away!

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Put on your apron, or make sure you are wearing clothes that can get a splattered a little--just incase. Remember, pomegranate juice stains!

Steps for Whacking:
1. Place your hand with pomegranate over your bowl of water.
2. Double check that your fingers on the fruit are out of the way.
3. Start by whacking the flat surface on the fruit with the back of the wooden spoon. You want to hit the pomegranate with enough force to jolt the seeds but not hard enough to crack the skin of the fruit.
4. Let any seeds that accumulate in your palm drop into the water.
5. Adjust your grip on the fruit so that you can whack the sides of the pomegranate to remove remaining seeds.
6. Again, allow the seeds accumulated in your palm to drop into the water.

The water allows the good seeds to sink to the bottom of the bowl and get washed. The pomegranate membrane floats. If you have seeds stuck to pieces of membrane, pick them off and they should sink to the bottom, leaving only the membrane floating. 

In the end, all of your seeds (arils) will be in your bowl of water, and you can compost the empty shell. 

Step 7: Drain Your Seeds

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Use a colander to drain the your seeds.

Step 8: Seeds Galore!

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Congratulations! You have just deseeded your pomegranate(s) in most likely a record amount of time.

Now that removing the seeds has become easier, try tackling a more creative pomegranate dish: dark chocolate pomegranate bark, or pomegranate gelato. My personal favorite: in an autumn salad or on top of butternut squash soup!


Step 9: Storing Extra Seeds

Picture of Storing Extra Seeds

Pomegranate seeds freeze really well. I just place them in a gallon or other appropriately sized ziplock bag or tupperware and freeze them until I need/want them again. If you wait until the outside of the seeds are dry before you freeze them--they will freeze as individual seeds instead of one giant clump.

Comments

vikasK30 (author)2016-07-21

Medicinal properties of pomegranate here

vikasK30 (author)2016-07-21

Medicinal properties of pomegranate here

upmade made it! (author)2015-05-24

and indeed it did result in me eating more pomegranate! My dad bought one today and I totally took it as a sign that I need to try this because we rarely have them around..

It worked out really well, all the seeds came out! I didn't do the water trick because I didn't read that beforehand, but I did notice some pieces that were bad and just picked them out. Next time I will probably do the water part after deseeding because I quite enjoyed whacking the fruit and just letting the seeds fall into the bowl without getting my hands sticky. Thanks!
ps the picture was taken after we already enjoyed a few servings

upmade (author)2015-05-23

Cool!! This might result in me eating pomegranates more often. Thanks! Also, I love how clean and clear your instructions are, I didn't actually need to read the text to understand.

sina161 (author)2014-10-13

this is a one of the delicious junk food in iran.I'm iranian by the way.we make this usually in winter.

ihart (author)2014-02-10

As an alternative to this great Instructable, I use one of these tools to de-seed pomegranates. It's costs $9 and avoids the splattering mess of some other methods I've tried. It's called the "Shoham Pomegranate Seed Removal Tool" You could probably improvise something like this as well.

kelleymarie (author)ihart2014-02-11

WOAH! Thank you ihart! I had no idea that such a tool existed, and it would definitely reduce the potential juice splatter. Thank you for sharing, I'll definitely be passing this video around.

zawy (author)2014-02-11

When I first saw this I did not think it could work and would not get more than 50% of the seeds out. I tried it and got about 20% of the seeds out. Next time I'll try the other instructable like this one that agrees with two of the comments here and the video another commenter posted which all indicate the best way to cut is from end-to end down the middle (or "lengthwise") rather then through the cross-section middle.

kelleymarie (author)zawy2014-02-11

Hey Zawy! I'm sorry you couldn't get that many seeds out. I've always cut the pomegranate down the cross section and haven't had any trouble. I found a video here that may help if only give another visual of the instructions above (practically identical!) and maybe how hard you have to whack the pomegranate. Please let me know if you find that cutting the pomegranate lengthwise helps, I'm always looking for additional tips and tricks!

HiGhC (author)2014-02-07

It's much easier to simply cut it in half and deseed with hands underwater, the wax floats to the top leaving pomegranate goodness at the bottom

JettaKnight (author)HiGhC2014-02-11

My first pass reading this I saw "underwear", and thought, gee, well that will keep your clothes from getting stained.

I give this spoon method a try so I don't looked like a crazed chimpanzee tearing into the pomegranate.

kelleymarie (author)HiGhC2014-02-07

Hey HiGhC! Thank you for the suggestion. I used to deseed all of my pomegranates that way, that is until I started making pomegranate juice. When I started down the juice road, I found that the underwater method was slow and time consuming (although slightly cleaner) since I was deseeding upwards of 30+ pomegranates. I discovered the spoon method and haven't looked back since. I think it's just a case of how many you are planning on deseeding and how much time and patience you have. For me, it was way more fun and less time to just start whacking away rather than peel! But to each their own. :D

sb4 (author)2014-02-10

Doesn't cutting the fruit in half cut some of the seeds also? Seems like that would make more mess and the seeds would go bad sooner.

Also, does this technique really get all the seeds out of every pocket? When I pry apart a pom, it seems there are little isolated pockets that wouldn't empty when pom cut in half. Not sure though.

kelleymarie (author)sb42014-02-10


Hey sb4! You are totally right. In step 3 when you are halving the pomegranate some of the seeds do get cut as well, releasing some of the juice. It's usually only a small puddle that can be wiped up. I also avoid further mess by rinsing each of the pomegranate halves before getting to the whacking step. This prevents most of if not all of the juice splatter when you are hitting the pomegranate. If you want to avoid the cutting of the seeds all together, you can score the outside of the pomegranate around the middle going a couple millimeters deep. Once you have scored the entire circumference of the pomegranate, you can gently pry the fruit apart into it's two halves. This method will and should keep the seeds intact.

As far as the seeds going bad, it depends on how soon you are going to use them. I tend to juice them or freeze them to use later. If you are juicing, it doesn't matter if a couple of seeds are cut. If you are freezing, it also shouldn't matter.

Finally, it does take a couple whacks to get all of the seeds out of every pocket, but they will all come out with some good whacking. When you loosen the seeds in step 4, you will be loosening all of the seeds in those deeper pockets, helping to insure that the seeds come out. You can also pull the few remaining seeds out as well if you are tired of whacking.

Hope that helps!

sb4 (author)kelleymarie2014-02-10

Thanks for reply -- I'll try the prying and whacking. If its faster -- fantastic! Thanks for the instructable.

hafaizi (author)2014-02-09

That is not the way. The correct and easier way is to remove the crown by digging in with the tip of the knife about an inch deep and removing a conical section. This is the plug that holds the pomegranate together. Remove this and the pomegranate is easily pulled apart.

kelleymarie (author)hafaizi2014-02-10

Thanks for the input Hafaizi. I think there are MANY ways to deseed a pomegranate, and they each have a time and a place making them all "the right way" depending on what you are looking for. I think the method you are talking about is also documented on the site here.

It is a great method, but when I'm deseeding a large number of pomegranate, I prefer the whacking method. The small amount of mess is definitely WORTH the time saved. And, as a bonus, in the whacking method, I am usually smiling by the end!

mikolynn (author)2014-02-09

Hi! Time ago I post an ibles with this too:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Peel-off-a-pomegra...

;)

kelleymarie (author)mikolynn2014-02-10

Awesome! Great minds think alike! Thank you mikolynn!

lilianaelliot (author)2014-02-10

Thank you sooooo much! I love pomegrate but, have never known how to deseed it. You are awesome.

Ricardo Furioso (author)2014-02-09

Thank you for a very useful and lovely Instructable.

Please do more like this.

Goose (author)2014-02-09

Just tried it and it works great.. Love how easy it is next I'm going to buy a bag full and have one every night after dinner...

Thanks for a great idea.

onemoroni1 (author)2014-02-09

Yeah, an easy way to get the luscious seeds!

snoopindaweb (author)2014-02-09

Cool.! Thank You.

matzo75 (author)2014-02-09

exactly the same as dkistner! i never buy pomegranates because of the difficulty of getting the seeds out !! thanks a lot !!

Robinrific (author)2014-02-09

Good to know!

erezx (author)2014-02-09

Amazing! Haven't tried it yet, but sure plan to
surprise grandma at our next Rosh Hashana fest! That's the Jewish holiday where
it's accustomed to eat pomegranates for a good new year :)

dkistner (author)2014-02-09

This is very helpful. I admit, I never buy pomegranates because of the difficulty of getting the seeds out. Not anymore!

moamenenoo (author)2014-02-06

I Love Pomegranate :)

Wolfbane221 (author)2014-02-05

been wasting my time all my life. Thank you for this.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2014-02-05

I just love eating pomegranate seeds :D

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