Fresh pineapple is a sweet, tropical and juicy fruit. But if you happen to buy one that's not ripe yet, let me tell you how to ripen a pineapple at home and lots more about this tropical fruit.
How to ripen a pineapple
Eating fresh pineapple is a wonderful experience. Everyone loves a sweet juicy pineapple but what if the pineapple you just bought isn’t ripe yet? A pineapple that isn’t ripe will typically have a sour, tangy flavor. It won’t be terrible but it won’t be sweet and juicy either.
When you ripen a pineapple at home, the texture, color and aroma will develop making it more enjoyable to eat.
If you bought a pineapple and it is not yet ripe, you can definitely speed up the ripening process. There are two ways to ripen a pineapple:
- Place the entire fruit in a brown paper bag along with an apple, peach, pear or banana and seal the bag. These other fruits produce ethylene gas which causes ripening to occur. Keep the bag sealed for about 12 hours. If you detect a sweet aroma then your pineapple is ready. If not, reseal the bag and check again in a couple of hours.
- You also can ripen pineapple by standing it upside down on its crown or leaves. You may want to trim the leaves a little bit making a flat surface so the fruit easily balances on them. By turning the fruit upside down the natural sugars in the fruit will flow easily to the crown and ripen it.
How long does it take for a pineapple to ripen?
When you’re growing a pineapple, the plant itself takes sixteen months to produce fruit. From that, it takes six more months for the fruit to be ripe enough to pick.
When you pick up a pineapple from the store, though, it will typically be ripe and ready to eat in one to two days.
How to pick a good pineapple
As with most fruit, there are three things to bear in mind to find out if a pineapple is a good one:
- The skin of a pineapple becomes a yellow or golden color as it ripens.
- A perfectly ripe and ready-to-eat pineapple will typically have very consistent color from the base to the top.
- The darker this color gets, the riper it is. Therefore, a dark orange pineapple is overripe.
- If you press a pineapple with your fingers, it should give but still be firm. As with other fruits, this indicates peak ripeness.
- Squishiness indicates that the fruit is overripe
- Finally, sniffing the pineapple near the base will tell you all you need to know.
- If it smells sweet, then it’s ripe and good to eat.
- If it’s pungent or bitter, then the pineapple isn’t good!
- Bitter is underripe, and pungent is overripe.
How to cut a pineapple
Cutting a pineapple really is quite easy once you learn how. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be an expert in no time at all!
- First, take off the top by twisting it and then cut about ½-inch off of the base so the bottom of the pineapple is flat and will easily stand.
- With the pineapple upright, remove the other skin with one smooth motion. Start with the tip of the knife at the top of the pineapple, and then press down, gently sliding the knife forward as you go. You should be able to take the skin off in long strips.
- Finally, remove the flesh from the core. The easiest way to do this is to stand the pineapple upright, position your knife so that it will cut between the core and the flesh, and slice all the way through. You can do this in third increments, or in any increment that you’d like.
- Finally, slice the fruit into bite-sized pieces, and enjoy!
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How to core a pineapple
Coring a pineapple can be tricky. To do it, you ideally need a pineapple corer that is designed precisely for that.
This simple kitchen tool is typically around the size of a vegetable peeler, with a long metal tube attached to a handle.
The tube is pressed into the top of the pineapple, cleanly removing the core from the fruit itself.
How to cut pineapple rings
Pineapple rings are, thankfully, nice and easy to cut.
I’d suggest removing the top and base first so that you have a flat side to stand the pineapple up on.
With the pineapple vertical, remove the other skin by slicing downwards, removing the skin in one long, smooth motion.
After that point, lie the pineapple on its side, and slice circles off the length of it.
How to store a pineapple
How to store pineapple depends upon whether you’re looking to store a whole pineapple or chopped-up pineapple.
To store a whole pineapple, simply place it on your counter when you bring it home from the store. It should be ripe and ready to eat within a day or two, so it will only keep for around three days if it’s at room temperature.
If you want your pineapple to last longer than that, I recommend placing the whole fruit in the refrigerator. Be sure not to place it along the back wall of your fridge where it tends to be damper than other places in the refrigerator.
Moisture will lead to faster spoilage of the pineapple, which is certainly less than ideal.
To store cut pineapple, I recommend putting it in an airtight container, covered, and placing it in the fridge.
Add a little bit of orange juice to the container, if you’d like, as that acts as an antioxidant for the pineapple. This simply means that it takes a lot longer for it not to no longer be fresh. Plus, it also adds a nice flavor, making for a delicious tropical snack.
As always, I find it helpful to visit the FDA website for food storage guidelines.
How long is pineapple good for
A whole pineapple will stay fresh, at room temperature, for two to three days.
A whole pineapple will stay fresh in the refrigerator for five to six days.
Cut up pineapple will stay fresh in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for three to four days.
Recipes with Pineapple
- Grilled Pineapple Rum Chicken
- Grilled Pineapple Slices
- Breakfast Parfaits With Pineapple
- Pineapple Mojito
- Pineapple Mango Ice Pops
- Pineapple Chicken Chili
- Chicken Meatballs With Pineapple Rice
- Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- Pineapple Orange Smoothie from Dizzy Busy and Hungry
There are a number of different types of pineapple breeds and categories out there, thanks to the fact that the fruit has been around for a long time.
Growers and sellers have always been happy to try to make different breeds of pineapple. It’s a treasured fruit, so they know that new varieties will typically sell well.
The baby pineapple is a smaller version of the typical pineapple that you might find in supermarkets.
Baby pineapples are also known as “Queen Victoria’s Pineapples” and are about two-thirds the size of a regular pineapple.
These small pineapples are sweet and tart and delightfully flavorful.
They can be a bit hard to track down, but I highly recommend seeking one out because they really are a tasty variety!
I just love baby pineapples, don't you?
How to dehydrate pineapple
Dehydrated pineapple is a wonderfully simple and tasty snack that we often can’t get enough of. It’s sweet and pleasantly chewy in a way that’s nicely satisfying.
To dehydrate pineapple, place chunks or rings on a mesh tray in your dehydrator at 135˚F/58˚C until they’re uniform in color, and have shrunk a little.
Depending upon the size of the pineapple pieces you’re using, this can take from eight to sixteen hours so be sure to allow enough time for this.
A quicker way to have a pineapple snack is the cook it in the air fryer. Air fryer pineapple is also really delicious and so quick to make.
Here’s an easy air fryer pineapple recipe from Belly Full that you will definitely enjoy!
I hope that I’ve been able to help you learn a thing or two about how to ripen a pineapple, as well as how to do any number of other things with pineapples, too.
However you decide to prepare it, I hope you enjoy your pineapple and it's a sweet juicy ripe one!
Be sure to visit the Swirls of Flavor Amazon Storefront for GG's personal kitchen recommendations!