How to Open a Pomegranate

Four Methods:Cutting VerticallyCutting HorizontallySubmerging in WaterScoring Horizontally

You can cut through a pomegranate the same way you would cut open an apple or an orange, but you'll lose a lot of precious juice held by the red, fleshy arils inside. This page will show you how to prevent this from happening.

Method 1
Cutting Vertically

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    Place the pomegranate on top of a cutting board. Since pomegranate juice stains pretty much everything, you may want to protect your cutting board with a cloth and your hands with rubber gloves.
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    Cut the top crown around the top of the pomegranate until you can pop it off like a lid. Remove it and dispose. The fruit should be in a cone shape after your cutting (see video below).
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    Slice the skin along the ridges of the pomegranate. The ridges are at the boundaries of the internal sections of the pomegranate - you'll be able to see where they naturally lie. You do not want to cut through and slice the seeds. You only need to score the skin, so only cut through until you hit the white parts.
    • A set of sections radiate from the calyx (top or blossom end) and a second set from the stem end. The two sets are divided by a ridge running around the pomegranate about two thirds of way down from the calyx.
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    Gently pull the pomegranate apart. It will fall into a star shape. If you didn't slice the bottom, the individual slices will be attached at the center, like a flower. You can then eat the pomegranate as is, or separate the arils first.

Method 2
Cutting Horizontally

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    Make three horizontal scores all the way around the fruit. One should be dead center, and the other two should be split the top and bottom in their respective halves. Don't pierce all the way through the fruit; just pierce through the skin. The fruit should remain in one piece after you've made your cuts.
    • You may want to put rubber gloves on; the pomegranate stain can be pretty fierce!
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    Pry up the top and bottom of the fruit. The skin should come off, starting to reveal the seeds. Very few seeds should come off with the skin. If there is excess skin sticking the body of the fruit, peel it away, too.
    • On the top, a bit of the calyx may still be lodged into the fruit, depending on the fruit and where you made your slice. If it is, remove it gently.
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    Score the fruit along one of the exposed star-like lines vertically. Again, don't pierce all the way through. This is just so you can "unwind" the fruit later.
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    With your thumbs in the initial center cut, pry apart the pomegranate into two halves, or disks. With the vertical incision you just made, pry open each disk, exposing a line (and then two) of pomegranate in front of you. Each row of pomegranate will display several large chunks of the juicy, tasty seeds.
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    Arrange or dig in. The two center halves will be busting full of the arils, while the top and bottom sections can be discarded. That's how you open a pomegranate -- how you eat it is up to you!

Method 3
Submerging in Water

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    Cut the pomegranate in half, top to bottom. No need to cut off the calyx or any part of the pomegranate -- just in half. If you're concerned with juice getting everywhere, score it around the midsection.
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    Grab a large bowl and fill it with water. If you have two halves, place them face down in the water. If the fruit is just scored, pry it open (forming two parts) while the fruit is submerged, also placing the fruit skin side up. This will keep the juice from getting everywhere.
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    Coax out the seeds with your fingers. The white pith will float and the seeds will sink. As you get closer and closer to the skin, you'll be able to invert the fruit, getting all the seeds, even the ones closest to the edge. When you're finished, you'll be left with the skeleton of the pomegranate, like two inverted caps.
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    Get out your strainer. Dispose of the skin, skim off the white piths (tossing those in the trash, too), and just strain out the water. Tada! Seeds in a bowl. Every single one 'em.

Method 4
Scoring Horizontally

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    Hold the pomegranate so the stamen end is up.
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    Lightly score the fruit around the horizon line.
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    With your fingers along the cut line, pull open the pomegranate so you have two halves.
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    Place one half, seed side down, in the palm of your hand.
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    With a wooden spoon hit the skin of the pomegranate hard until the seeds fall freely. Do this over a bowl and be sure that you're not wearing light colors.
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    Repeat with the other half. This should take about 30 seconds to de-seed the entire fruit.

Warnings

  • Pomegranates are stains waiting to happen. Wear appropriate clothes and/or gloves while dealing with this fruit.
  • Knives are sharp. Be careful.

Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Bowl of water (for submerging method only)
  • Strainer (for submerging method only)

Article Info

Categories: Food Cutting Techniques