A pineapple can be a daunting proposition for inexperienced cooks, because they require a reasonable amount of skill to break down to be ready for cooking or using in food. There are two key elements to a pineapple, and we will look at them separately as they require different approaches.
How to Peel a Pineapple
The skin of a pineapple is very hard, and as with any fruit that is peeled it is important to remove the skin whilst maintaining as much of the fruit flesh as possible. There are a few different ways that you can peel a pineapple, but the method below is the easiest and safest for a less experienced chef.
First, you need to top and tail the pineapple, meaning cutting off the top and bottom so both have a flat edge of exposed flesh. Then run a sharp knife along the edge of the flesh, behind the skin, getting as close as possible to the skin so as to remove as little of the flesh as possible. Remember to follow the natural curve of the fruit, again to make sure you retain as much of the flesh on the fruit. Follow along the fruit, rotating it as you go until all of the skin has been removed. You may need to neaten it up slightly after a full revolution, so don’t worry if you miss small bits of skin here and there.
How to Chop a Pineapple
Chopping a pineapple can depend on what specifically you want to use it for, but there are a few considerations that are useful for any style of cutting.
Firstly, it is important to remove the inner core, which is hard and fibrous and therefore not useful for eating. Depending on how you choose to cut the pineapple you can remove the core in a variety of ways. If you are slicing the pineapple into round slices, then you can use a small pastry cutter to remove the inner core, or if the pineapple is to be diced or chopped into small pieces you can simply cut the pineapple into 4 pieces down the length of the pineapple and remove the core with a sharp knife.
Once you have the core removed, the method of chipping is determined entirely by your use for it. In many cases it will be chopped into small pieces, so it is worth remembering that the flesh is soft and yielding so be gentle with the knife as you cut. And of course always remember to keep your fingers well clear of the blade.