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I wanted to cut up a whole, fresh pineapple, but wasn't sure exactly where to start without butchering it up badly - I wanted to cut it up into nice pieces!! Are there any techniques that would work that would enable me to be able to cut it up into nice chunks?

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Would you mind trying to phrase your questions so that they aren't simply yes/no questions? –  hobodave Sep 1 '10 at 17:08
    
Yes, I can!! :>) –  AttilaNYC Sep 1 '10 at 18:22
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5 Answers

First, you have to peel the pineapple.

  • Cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple and set it upright on your cutting board
  • Using a sharp knife shave the skin off from top to bottom, following the contour of the fruit

You then have two ways to cut it into either rings or chunks:

Pineapple Rings

Next, you lay it sideways and cut it into slices as thick as you wish.

You then use a paring knife to cut out the corky centers of each slice. You now have a pineapple ring.

Pineapple Chunks

Next, cut it lengthwise down the center. Cut out the exposed corky center. This can be done with a V-shaped cut. You can then break down the fruit into chunks as desired.

Here is a step-by-step guide with photos: http://howtocutapineapple.com/

Here is a step-by-step guide on video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJJ-iQkbRNE

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I'm with you through the two bulleted steps, but unless I need rings, my next move is to cut it lengthwise instead of crosswise. Much easier to remove the corky center from the long, open piece than from a closed ring. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 1 '10 at 17:19
    
@Michael: Thanks. I updated my answer. –  hobodave Sep 1 '10 at 17:30
    
One tip - I've got a metal shaker for drinks. The "middle" piece - the one that has the strainer part in it has a perfectly-sized lip at the top that will punch out the core on pineapple slices. –  awshepard Sep 1 '10 at 18:36
    
@awshepard: Thanks, I bet a biscuit cutter would work well too. I have a set of nested ones, I'll try it next time I get a pineapple –  hobodave Sep 1 '10 at 19:01
    
I use a biscuit cutter for rings. For chunks, I take the peeled pinapple and cut it lengthwise into four pieces. It's easier to cut out the core with one cut on each spear, than trying to make a V cut in a pineapple half. –  Juju Sep 1 '10 at 20:11
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I never cut rings -- I always cut pineapple so it's more like a pickle spear. (I find it easier to grill that way)

  • trim the bottom of the pineapple, so it sits flat on the cutting board.
  • (don't trim the top, it's a useful handle)
  • Hold the top, and take a sharp knife, and start at the top, slicing down along the outside edge ... you start going out, then down, then back in, to follow the shape of the pineapple. Depending on what you're going to be doing with it affects how deep you need to cut. (I've never had a problem with the occassional little brown circle; if you want to cut those off, feel free, though).
  • cut off the top of the pineapple
  • set it back upright again, and cut it down the middle, then rotate 90 degrees and again, so you have 4 quarters.
  • slice out the center of each of the quarters ... you should see a slightly lighter bit ... that's the core, and it's kinda tough, so you want to take it out.
  • slice the quarters into sticks, then chunks if you want.

  • munch on the cores you removed when no one's looking. (it's not all core, so I kinda nibble on the edges)

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if you're not going to use a pineapple corer (which I don't), grab a sushi or a long sharp knife, and:

  • deskin the pineapple like you would cutting a donair
  • cut a square around the core
  • push the core out
  • Now you have a hollow cylinder
  • if you want chunks the type you put on a pizza:
    • Cut the pineapple with the required thickness
    • and then just chop it like you'd chop a tomato or mango
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A slightly different technique than the one in hobodave's post.

a picture speaks a thousand words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GViaOUTC3rY

this technique gives you a nice looking pineapple at the end, with the pieces able to be eaten like a lolly.

alt text

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Pineapple Rings

Pineapple Slicer

This thing is sweet.

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