By Tess Reynolds

With its long jagged stem and prickly skin, a fresh pineapple is a vision of mouthwatering yet intimidating fruit. Although it is much simpler to purchase pineapple in a can, a ripe pineapple is fresher, firmer and sweeter than its preserved counterpart. Peeling, coring and cutting a fresh pineapple is a daunting task, but the succulent reward is well worth the effort.

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A pineapple with yellow skin is sure to be sweet and fresh.

Peeling a Pineapple

Step 1

Select a large, sharp knife. A dull knife requires excessive force, increasing the chance you may accidentally cut yourself.

Step 2

Remove the stalk. Grasp the pineapple in one hand and the stem in the other and twist them in opposite directions; the stalk will come away from the pineapple easily.

Step 3

Cut the top off of the pineapple. Grasp the knife firmly in one hand and the pineapple in the other. Apply the knife about 1/2 inch into the fruit at the top and slice through.

Step 4

Turn the pineapple around and cut off the bottom, using the same method as in Step 3.

Step 5

Stand the pineapple on one freshly-cut flat end.

Step 6

Place the knife at the top of the pineapple, about 1/4 inch from the edge, and press downward to cut off a section of the pineapple's skin. Spin the pineapple clockwise and repeat the process until all the skin is trimmed away. Take care to remove as little flesh as possible.

Coring a Pineapple

Step 1

Set the pineapple upright and cut lengthwise into quarters. The core is fibrous and is a lighter color than the fruit.

Step 2

Remove one section and, with the piece still upright, cut the center core section out of the pineapple.

Step 3

Look at the fruit where you removed the core. If the flesh looks fibrous, cut another thin slice until you no longer see the tough fibers.

Step 4

Remove the core from the remaining sections, using the process in Step 3.

Cutting the Pineapple into Chunks

Step 1

Lay a quarter of the pineapple on its side.

Step 2

Cut the pineapple lengthwise into 3 or 4 more slices.

Step 3

Turn these strips and cut them into 1/4 inch chunks.

Cutting the Pineapple into Rings

Step 1

Lay the peeled pineapple on its side. Grasp the fruit with one hand and your knife in the other.

Step 2

Use a paring knife to remove the core from each slice.

Step 3

Cut the pineapple into rings of your desired thickness.