Pineapple is one such fruit that is beautiful from the inside. The vibrant, juicy fruit beneath its interesting geometric exterior makes desserts such as pineapple upside-down cake or drinks such as the Puerto Rican pina Colada so easy to make. The perfect sweetness is added to dishes like salsa and tacos al pastor. Canned pineapple is a great pantry staple. However, fresh pineapple can make a huge difference in your cooking.
It can be daunting to stare down a prickly, swollen pineapple. However, there are many ways to go from whole fruit to delicious rings or slices. This is where the test comes in. Six different methods were tested to determine the best one. We tried a variety of tried-and-true techniques and some hacks. We had a sticky countertop and enough fruit to make our tropical fruit stand. Our winning method is quick, efficient, and doesn’t waste any fruit.
A few notes about methodology
Pineapple preparation: I used pineapples of roughly the same size and ripeness for the tests. All tests were done on the same day using the same knife and cutting board.
Timing I synchronized all the methods from beginning to end. Start time was set with the pineapple, a sharp knife and a cutting board. Once I had achieved the desired size and shape of the pineapple pieces, I ended the timer.
Rating: Methods were rated based on ease and messiness, presentation and how much pineapple was lost.
Pineapple Slicing Method: Boats
- Timing6-8 minutes (for 2 “boats”)
- Rating 5/10 efficiency; 8/10 presentation
This method is about the presentation. According to eHow, this method involves slicing the pineapple half lengthwise while keeping the stem intact. Next, carefully remove the skin from the pineapple by carefully slicing the flesh. This creates four “boats”. The next step is to cut the fruit in half crosswise. Next, place the pieces back into the “boats” and push each slice opposite.
Result While this method can give you pineapple with a wow factor, the only way I could see it being worth the effort was to serve fresh fruit at a party. If you use a slice of pineapple for cooking, the method can be too complicated.
Pineapple Slicing Method: Spiral Cut
- Timing 15 to 20%
- Rating: 6/10
More information about this method: The spiral method is very popular online, with websites like Simply Recipes offering their take. Although it seems complicated, I was passionate about creating a beautiful spiral design. You start by cutting off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Next, carefully cut off as much skin as you can. The eyes (the brown spots on pineapple) should not be removed. The eyes will appear to be in a circular pattern around the fruit. You will need to cut the fruit in a spiral shape with a knife. You can now cut the pineapple into round slabs, chunks or any other shape you like.
Result While this is the most photogenic method to slice a pineapple, and it wastes very little fruit, it takes the longest time and requires the most precision to do just right. IT FELT GREAT after I had the spiral design down, and I would have happily served the rings, semicircles or wedges on platters for a party. The design might get lost if you served anything other than a simple salad or platter.
Pineapple Slicing Method: Use a Biscuit Cutter to make rings
- Timing9-10 minutes
- Rating: 6/10
This method is described in Many sources, including Fine Cooking, which provides instructions for cutting your rings out of fresh pineapple. While canned rings can be a fast and reliable way to make an upside-down pineapple cake, I wanted to know if it was worth putting my rings using fresh fruit. The usual method involves removing the top and bottom of the pineapple and then slicing it into the sides to remove the skin. Once the peel has been removed, place the pineapple upside down and cut it into rounds of 1/4 inch. Then, use a 1-1/2-inch round biscuit cutter to remove the core.
The process was quick and simple until it was time to remove the core. My first attempt was a failure. I used too thick rounds and had difficulty cutting through the flesh. Although the cores were easier to remove with thinner cuts, I found this method difficult and tedious. This method is great for anyone who likes fresh pineapple over canned and wants to make an upside-down pineapple cake or another dessert. Make sure you cut the pineapple into 1/4-inch rounds before you attempt to remove the core.
Pineapple Slicing Method: Pineapple Rings with Coring Tool
- Timing 5 minutes
- Rating: 7.5/10
This method is described by Various companies that offer a tool that can be used to cut and core a pineapple into rings. The result is a hollowed-out pineapple that’s great for making fruity drinks. This demonstration from Williams Sonoma was a great inspiration for me. The OXO Good Grips Pineapple Corer was my tool of choice for testing. It has thousands upon thousands of positive Amazon reviews. This involves removing the top of the pineapple and twisting the tool to the fruit.
While getting the corer started on my first try was simple, it didn’t prove easy to direct it down straight down. This caused the tool to poke a large hole in the bottom of the pineapple. This caused juice to leak from the bottom and sides of the pineapple and onto the sides of my cutting board. Others, including a Kitchn editor and online reviewers, had similar problems using the tool. However, quite a few people, including our food stylist, reported no problems at all as long as they were careful to direct it down. This method created uniform rings perfect for dessert making, despite the potential pitfalls. This tool can be used to make a refreshing, summery drink in a hollowed-out pineapple as long as the hole is not cut in the fruit.
Pineapple Slicing Method: Slice around the Core
- Timing 5 minutes
- Rating: 8/10
The method is With the pineapple skinned, stand it upright and cut four rectangles. This is the core of the pineapple with some flesh. I cut the remaining slabs into spears and then into cubes. You can leave them like spears, though.
The result The best thing about this method was that it was the fastest. However, the downside to this method is the amount of pineapple that goes to waste. Between cutting the peel and around its core, I am still astonished at how much delicious pineapple was left. This would be my preferred method to make a fruit salad out of fresh pineapple.
Pineapple Slicing: Slice through the Core
- Timing9-10 minutes
- Rating: 10/10
This method is described in our How to Cut a Whole Pineapple article. It’s one of the most popular methods to cut fresh pineapple. Start by removing the top and bottom from the pineapple. Next, cut the skin. You then cut the pineapple in half lengthwise, slicing through the core. The core of each wedge can now be removed by slicing it in half. You can then cut the wedges into chunks or slabs.
Result in This technique was quick and yielded a lot of pineapple flesh. You can see the core of the pineapple more clearly if you cut through it. This reduces the amount of pineapple that is wasted. This method is also very versatile. This is a fast way to get spears or uniform pieces that can be used for salads, platters, or even pizza.
It all depends on the shape of your pineapple when deciding which method to use for cutting fresh pineapple. Corer tools are best if you don’t want to spend too much time or effort and need fresh pineapple rings. The “boats” and the “spiralized” options can be used to create a cool, impressive display of fruit for your party. I prefer the “boats”, but both are good choices. My favourite method is “through the core”. It’s fast and simple to get the core out, and then you can take the spears, wedges and chunks.