You’re an expert at picking produce. A boss at buying only what your family will eat and nothing more. You’ve mastered the fine art of grocery shopping, no doubt about it. And now, it’s time to sort through your loot. As you prepare to unload those shopping bags, you suddenly wonder why, why, why, you thought it was a good idea to toss that hard-to-cut coconut into your cart in the first place.
From slicing melons to pitting seeds, some fruits are far more challenging than others. But don’t worry, there’s an easy solution to chopping up that produce you just purchased. Here are 15 tricky fruits that give lots of folks a run for their money, and the easiest ways to approach each.
Don’t worry, we’ve all YouTubed this one before. Here’s the simplest way to slay this beautiful, complex fruit. First, you’ll want to slice the top off about half an inch down. Using a sharp knife, slice along the white membrane lines. Turn the fruit inside out by prying all the sections apart. If all goes according to plan, you should be able to pop the seeds right out into a bowl.
Next: There’s a better way to tackle this common fruit.
Even if you have orange-slicing down, it never hurts to add another hack to your pocket full of tricks. In this suggestion from Delish, you’ll want to chop the top and bottom of the orange off, then align your knife with the white center of the fruit. Slice through it, and unravel the orange. Boom, ready-to-eat segments.
Next: You don’t want to waste any of this fruit while trying to separate it from its skin.
These fuzzy fruits are tasty, so you don’t want to let any of the fruit go to waste. But that’s just what will end up happening if you try to slice the skin off. Instead, try the smoother powers of a spoon. Once you’ve successfully cut the ends off, you should be able to sneak a spoon in between the skin and the flesh. Rotate the spoon around the entire piece of fruit, and the flesh should pop right out.
Next: This one’s harder than it looks.
With the pointed end of the mango facing away from you, slice off one “cheek” with a serrated knife. Repeat on the other side, then place each half flesh side up on your cutting board. Cut a criss-cross pattern into each half, and then turn over. Finally, cut the flesh away from the skin.
Next: Whether you want rings or wedges, a pineapple is easier to cut than it looks.
Using a sharp serrated or chef’s knife, cut the top and bottom of the pineapple off, then stand the remaining chunk of fruit upright. Rotating around the cylinder, slice down the sides to remove the skin. Create rings by cutting width-wise, and then into smaller chunks from there. If you want pineapple wedges instead of rings, The Spruce offers another way to quarter the peeled fruit and remove the core all at once. Somehow, pineapples always taste a little bit sweeter when you’ve actually done the work yourself.
Next: You’ll need to break out your toolbox to get into this tropical fruit.
Get ready to bust out your tool box, because busting open a coconut requires just that. According to Pound Place’s handy infographic, you’ll need a cutting board, sharp knife, hammer, and screwdriver. And be prepared to use a little muscle with this one.
First, place the sharp end of your screwdriver at the coconut’s soft “eyes,” using the hammer to press on top of the screwdriver. After draining the coconut, hit your knife against the shell. A crack will open, at which point you’ll be able to insert the screwdriver, splitting the coconut in half. From there, you’ll be able to chop it into chunks. Easy, right?
Next: Here’s a helpful hack to make a tasty snack a bit more enjoyable.
Pitted cherries aren’t nearly as good as those without, but who has time to do it? You will — after learning this handy little trick. Delish recommends using a serrated pastry tip. First, remove the cherry’s stem, and then puncture it with the pastry tip — or even a sturdy straw or paper clip. And voila, the pit will pop out of the bottom.
Next: A clever way to slice up a summer treat
This one may seem like one of the easier fruits on the list, but you never know; maybe you’ve been doing it wrong all this time. Next time you’re about to cut into that juicy ball of goodness, try slicing it in half crossways. You’ll want to place each half onto your cutting board, face down. From there, you can cut it into a grid, and pick out any obvious seeds as necessary.
Next: There are only two required steps for this one.
9. Passion fruit
This exotic fruit is so delicious, but it sometimes seems like more effort than its worth — at least for those who don’t know just how simple prepping passion fruit really is. You’ll need a sharp knife and a spoon for this one. Simply slice the fruit in half, and the fruit and seeds can be scooped out from there.
Next: It’s scarier than it looks.
10. Dragon fruit
OK, where do we begin? Staring at a dragon fruit is undoubtedly intimidating, but getting the goods from one doesn’t have to be that hard. Using a sharp knife, cut the fruit in half lengthways. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon, trimming any leftover skin with a knife. From there, you’ll have no problem chopping the rest of the flesh into chunks.
Next: Martini, anyone?
Sure, you may be thinking, “There’s such a thing as an olive pitter.” Chances are, most folks don’t have this specialty tool lying around. Luckily, Deputy Test Kitchen Editor of Food & Wine, Justin Chapple, shows us how to pit an olive without having to use a fancy appliance you really don’t need.
You’ll need two round, plastic lids, like the ones you get with a takeout order, for instance. Place one lid right side up, and place a few olives on it. Next, you’ll set the second lid on top, inverted. The perimeters of your lids should line up with one another. Using one hand to hold the lids in place, begin smashing down on each olive with either your hand or a meat mallet. You should be left with mostly intact, pit-free olives. So go ahead, and enjoy that martini you so deserve.
Next: There’s only one tool required for this one.
Again, a strawberry huller — much like an olive pitter — isn’t something you need or likely have lying around. Turns out, having to get creative on this one is way cooler, anyway. As Delish points out, “It’s no opening Champagne with a saber, but hulling a strawberry with a straw makes for a pretty decent party trick: Slide it through the berry like you would skewer a kebab, and the stem pops right off.” Needless to say, a strawberry huller is a total waste of money.
Next: Monkeys know what’s up with their fruit of choice.
There’s not much to peeling a banana, right? Wrong. Turns out, most of us have been doing it the hard way. Rather than peeling from the stem, which is the toughest part of the fruit, it’s better to peel from the bottom. Monkeys figured this trick out long ago, and humans are taking notice. Not only will you save more of the actual fruit — using force to open at the stem will only smash valuable flesh at the top — but you’ll have a handle to grip onto while eating.
Next: Cutting this trendy fruit sometimes requires a little extra thought.
Yes, we want all the guacamole, all the time. But there are some meals that call for cubes of the stuff, instead of a mushed-up mix. Luckily, there’s a simple method for creating those cubes. First, grab your knife and separate the fruit into two pieces by running the knife along the entire avocado, long ways. Ditch the pit by chopping your knife into it and swiftly pulling it back out. Then, slice a grid pattern into the avocado, and use a spoon to remove the insides. To see it in action, you can check out this helpful video from The Kitchn. Go ahead, have all the avocado toast your heart desires.
Next: It’s hard to resist this succulent, sweet fruit.
If you’re not one to dig right into a delectable peach while standing over the kitchen sink, know that you have options. For a less-messy way to attack a peach, start by cutting the peach all the way around, and twisting the two halves apart. Once you’ve removed the pit, cut each half into slices. If you want to remove the skin, The Spruce suggests using a paring knife to delicately separate the skin from the flesh.