Introduction: 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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

Use a colander to drain the your seeds.

Step 8: Seeds Galore!

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

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.