Selecting and Slicing a Fresh Pineapple

Pineapple goldenThe Spoon Mage™ loves her pineapple almost every day. Fresh pineapple is incredibly nutritious and does wonderful things for her arthritis. This magical banish my arthritis property comes from an anti-inflammatory enzyme called Bromelain that exists within fresh pineapple. Neither dried nor canned pineapple works as well on my pain, and forget about pineapple in a pill. Go fresh for less pain and great flavor!

A pre-cut pineapple is twice the price of a whole pineapple at the grocers. Even if you don’t have a pineapple slicer it is easy to slice up a pineapple. With practice, you will be a pro – a pro that saves money!

There is a great lot of pineapple inside the fruit. You will cut off what looks like an extravagant amount of the outside and it will make you feel wasteful. Not to worry, there is a lot left for you to eat.

To select the perfect pineapple, start by picking one up. 

As with all fruits, it should feel hefty for its size. Weight is an indicator of a high water content.

Look around the outside for soft spots or mold that may indicate an over-ripe fruit well on its way past deliciousness. Be careful around the pointy stems as they are quite sharp.

Give it a good sniff. A ready to eat pineapple will smell sweet and simply divine.

If the pineapple looks good but is not yet ripe, let it ripen on your kitchen windowsill a few days, turning half a turn each day. Often a nice ripe pineapple is a pretty deep yellow such as in the picture above, but even the less gorgeously colored fruits can be good as gold. You’ll know it is ready to be sliced when it smells as sweet as candy!

How to trim a pineapple:

Using a very large sharp knife, slice off the leafy top of the pineapple. This can be discarded or centered on a platter if you are having friends over for a dinner or party and would like a pretty centerpiece. Arrange the pineapple slices or chunks around the leaf stems.Pineapple End Cut

In the picture to the right you can see the little dark circle in the center of the pineapple. That is the core. It is almost always removed and discarded. Some cultures love to eat it. My Thai friend enjoys the core!

Pineapple Side SliceNext, slice off the bottom of the pineapple in exactly the same way you just cut off the top. This allows the pineapple to stand nicely at attention so you can more easily slice off the sides.

Stand it up on end and slice off the bumpy skin vertically making long slices from top to bottom all around the pineapple. If a sharp spine sticks out, cut it off.

You don’t need to get silly about it, just cut off most of the outside.

Slice, turn the pineapple a bit, slice, turn, and continue in this way around the pineapple, going back to get bits that you might have missed.

Now it’s time to decide if you want chunks, rounds, or spears.

This is how to make chunks:

Stand the pineapple up on its end and slice completely in half, using the core as the guide for the center.Pineapple Quartered

Then cut each half in half. Now you have four long quarters that come to points in the middle.

Stand each quarter on its end and carefully slice straight down to remove the section of woody core which is now exposed at a triangular point for easy removal.

pineapple golden chunksIn the pic to the right, the front and center strip has had its core removed. The three in back still have the core points. Slice them all off.

To make chunks, first slice the spear once more lengthwise, finally cutting across the strips horizontally.

Serve pineapple chunks chilled or at room temperature, or whip up a tasty Strawberry Pineapple Delight!

How to slice rounds and spears for grilling:

Rounds:

While a professional pineapple corer is nice to remove the core in one fell swoop making it easy to slice the pineapple for grilling, perfect center circles do not make the pineapple tastier.

Use a large knife to cut the rounds and a small knife to cut out the core.

Lay the skin removed whole pineapple on the side. 250-PineappleRoundUsing a large knife, make slices approximately 1 inch thick. Do your best to make the slice even in thickness.

Lay a single round flat on the cutting board. Using the point of a paring or other small sharp knife, cut around the core.

Please be careful so you don’t slice you – just slice the pineapple.

Flip over the round.

Now you can see a sort of dotted line that indicates the pathway your knife took on the other side.

Use that as a guide and finish the cut on the other side, then pop out the core.

Your slices are now ready to grill.

If a slice broke on one side, no worries.

Pin it together with a water soaked toothpick before grilling. It will still taste delicious.

Strips:

To grill strips instead of rounds, go ahead and quarter the pineapple as if you were going to cut chunks. Remove the core.

Now slice each quarter into two or three long thick lengths depending upon how big your pineapple is. As with the rounds, you will want strips at least 1 inch thick.

The strips are now ready for grilling.

It will take about 10-12 minutes on a hot grill, turning them carefully a couple times until they have beautiful char marks.

When the grill marks look like the picture on the right, the pineapple is ready to eat!

Don’t be afraid to baste the grilling pineapple with some barbecue or other sauce as the pieces grill.

This reminds me. I have a terrific recipe I keep forgetting to put up for Grilled Pineapple with Brown Sugar Rum. I’ll put it up soon and link it here.

It doesn’t matter if your pineapple is cut into strips or rings for grilling.

Just make sure the pieces are big enough so they don’t fall through the grate!

Pineapple golden

A golden pineapple all ready to slice and enjoy!

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