How to Chunk a Pineapple Like a South Seas Island Boy

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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.

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Step 1: 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


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


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


Step 5: Cut the Halves in Half


Step 6: Cut the Quarters in Half


So now you have eight sections.

Step 7: 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


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


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


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


Hold the section in the middle while doing this.

Step 12: Cut Through the Core at the Other End


Step 13: Remove the Core Piece


Step 14: Cut the Flesh Into Chunks


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


Step 16: 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!


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      40 Discussions

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      Prometheus

      11 years ago on Introduction

      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.

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      PrometheusPrometheus

      Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

      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.......

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      AlenaK9Prometheus

      Reply 2 years ago

      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.

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      RukaY1

      4 years ago on Introduction

      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 "

      1 reply
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      foobaz utneRukaY1

      Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

      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.

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      kranders

      6 years ago on Step 17

      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!

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      UltraMagnus

      11 years ago on Introduction

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

      7 replies
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      kopomeroyUltraMagnus

      Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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

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      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.

      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.

      2 replies

      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.

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      PizzaPlanet

      10 years ago on Introduction

      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

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      tubbychick3n

      10 years ago on Introduction

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

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      jquinby

      11 years ago on Introduction

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