Most people don’t want to buy a whole pineapple because they really have no idea how to pick one that's ripe and cut it up themselves. So they resort to purchasing those pre cut chunks in the plastic clam shells, which are actually one of the more dangerous items you can buy at the store, believe it or not, because they have some of the highest chances of making you sick. This is one of the items that health inspectors will never eat, being handled by different people and sitting on the shelves for awhile exposes it to things like listeria that can make you sick.
So I am going to show you how to cut up a whole pineapple yourself which really is so much safer in the long run, unless you like food poisoning, then by all means go for it.
Using a sharp chef's knife, I am using a 6 inch Wusthof Classic Chef's knife or even a serrated knife would work, to trim off the top and cut off the bottom. Giving you a nice sturdy base to cut on.
Next, you want to slice down the sides, cutting off the tough outer skin, now I am going to show you two ways you can do this, the first way, cutting off the tough outer skin and inner spikes. Continue all around the pineapple, following the natural contour of the fruit. Then cut the pineapple across giving you 4 wedges, slice the inner core out and cut into chunks. This way is super easy but it does waste a lot of the fruit by leaving it attached to the skin.
The second way, allows you to save so much more of the fruit. You want to slice down the sides, BUT just cut the skin leaving the inner spikes, continue all around the pineapple, following the natural contour of the fruit. Now it looks similar to before but we have all these spikes that would hurt to bite into. So you just going to follow the natural curve of the spikes and with a wedge motion remove the spikes all the way around.
You get this beautiful looking spiral fruit after, and you can then do the same thing, cut the pineapple across giving you 4 wedges, slice the inner core out and cut into chunks. This way leaves so much more fruit, but it takes some time, so its really up to you if you need to save time or money.
You want to pick a pineapple that’s plump and fresh looking. Fresh, green leaves in the crown are a good sign. The body should be firm – not soft. Some people say to pull on the leaves and if they pull out easy it’s ripe, that’s just not true. So don’t go around ripping out pineapple leaves in the grocery store, that’s rude. But, If you do want to give it a smell, go ahead, if it smells juicy and sweet, it probably is.
A pineapple will not ripen any further – get any sweeter – after picking. Most pineapples in the grocery store are picked ripe and the sooner they are eaten, the better. If you don’t plan to use a fresh pineapple right away, store it in your refrigerator.