Known for its sweet and tart flavor, pineapple is a delicious tropical fruit that can be enjoyed year-round. Learn how to tell if a pineapple is ripe, and understand what to do to encourage them to ripen faster. In today’s post, we’re sharing tips on how to tell if a pineapple is ripe, 3 easy methods to ripen a pineapple, and much more!
Eat them when they’re fresh and ripe, add them to smoothies, or indulge in a frozen cocktail like a piña colada!
How to Tell If a Pineapple is Ripe? (5 Easy Ways)
When you’re looking at fresh pineapples, how can you tell if they’re ripe? Some are larger than others, and the skin can range in color from green to dark orange. To help you choose a pineapple that’s ripe and ready to eat, here are some tips::
A ripe pineapple will have skin that’s mainly yellow all over the fruit. If the skin still has a lot of green it’s underripe, and if it’s a dark orange color, it’s overripe.
Underripe pineapples are hard, while a ripe pineapple will give slightly when pressed. Overripe pineapples are overly soft and should be avoided.
Turn the pineapple over and hold the bottom of the fruit close to your nose. If it smells sweet, it’s ready to enjoy. If it smells slightly bitter or pungent, it’s either not ready to eat, or it’s overripe.
Pick up a few pineapples to check the weight. A heavier pineapple will have more juice. If you pick up a large pineapple and it weighs less than one that’s smaller, choose the smaller one – it’ll be juicier.
Those spiky leaves on top of the pineapple are another good way to tell if the fruit is ripe or not. Choose a frond from the middle and give it a tug. It if comes out easily, the pineapple is ripe and ready to enjoy.
How to Ripen a Pineapple
Method 1: Place in a paper bag with other fruits
As fruits ripen, they expel ethylene gas. Place under-ripe pineapples into a bag with other fruits like bananas, apples, and tomatoes. Close the bag so the ethylene gas is trapped. This will encourage the pineapple to ripen faster.
Method 2: Place it upside down
Place the pineapple upside down on its leaves. This causes the sugars in the fruit to flow towards the top, helping the pineapple to ripen.
Method 3: Bury the pineapple in rice
If you’ve used rice to dry out a cell phone that was exposed to moisture, this tip works in the same way. Drying out a pineapple will help it to ripen. Place the pineapple into a large container and add enough rice to cover the area that’s just below the stem. Check the pineapple after a day, and continue to check daily until ripe. Don’t forget to check the pineapple regularly, as you don’t want it to become over ripe.
How Long Does it Take for A Pineapple to Ripen?
Pineapples at the grocery store can range from under ripe to overripe. Choose one that’s ready to eat or needs some time to ripen, and use one of the methods described above to help it ripen faster. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of days for the pineapple to become ripe.
How to Cut a Pineapple
Using a Pineapple Cutter
You may have noticed that some pineapples at the grocery store are peeled and cored. When using a pineapple cutter, you would first slice off the top, and then place the core over the middle of the fruit, and push and twist until you reach the bottom. This releases both the core and the skin from the fruit.
For those of us that don’t have a pineapple cutter, follow these steps to use a chef’s knife or a bread knife:
- Carefully remove the top and the base of the pineapple.
- Place the pineapple on a cutting board so it’s standing upright. Carefully cut the rind from top to bottom to remove it. If there is still some prickly rind, cut another thin slice so it’s removed.
- You’ll see the “eyes” of the fruit. Using the knife, cut diagonally along the sides of the pineapple in a V-shape to remove them.
- Cut through the middle of the pineapple lengthwise so you have two halves. Cut the two halves lengthwise. You’ll have four triangle-shaped pieces of pineapple.
- Remove the fibrous core from each triangle and discard. Slice the fruit into the desired shape and enjoy.
How to Store a Pineapple?
An un-cut whole pineapple can be stored on your kitchen counter at room temperature until it’s ready to eat. After 3 days it should be refrigerated. Left uncut, the pineapple can remain in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
A pineapple that has been cut should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. To help the pineapple last for a couple extra days, add a bit of orange juice to the container. Freshly cut pineapple can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.
Slice the pineapple into spears or large chunks, and place into a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer-safe plastic bags. Label the container and place it in the freezer. When you’re ready to use the pineapple, remove it from the freezer and thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
Will a Pineapple Ripen on the Counter?
If the pineapple you purchased isn’t ripe, use one of the methods described under ‘How to Ripen a Pineapple” to speed up the ripening process.
Do Pineapples Ripen Faster in the Fridge?
Storing an uncut pineapple in the fridge will help it last longer but will not help it ripen faster.
What to Do With a Pineapple That’s Not Sweet?
If you’ve cut into a pineapple and find that it’s not sweet, remove the top of the pineapple and place it upside down on a plate, covered with plastic wrap or foil. Place the pineapple in the fridge and check it for flavor after a day or two.
The sweeter juices from the bottom of the fruit will slowly spread throughout the rest of the fruit. You can also cut the pineapple into pieces and sprinkle it with sugar before eating. Pouring orange juice over the pineapple will also add some sweetness to the fruit.
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How to Tell if a Pineapple is Ripe (5 Easy Ways + How to Ripen a Pineapple)
Paper Bag Method
- 1 pineapple
- apples or bananas or tomatoes (see note)
Upside Down Method
- 1 pineapple
- Rice Method
- 1 pineapple
- 4-6 cups rice white rice or other variety
Paper Bag Method
- Place the whole pineapple into a large paper bag with other fruits such as apples, bananas or tomatoes.
- Fold the top of the bag down to seal as much as possible. The pineapple will be ready in 1-2 days. Inspect it once daily and remove it when ripe.
Upside Down Method
- Set aside a tall vase, container or pot that can hold a pineapple comfortably.
- Place the pineapple in it upside down so the fronds (leaves) are facing up. Wait one day to allow the sugars in the base to spread through the flesh.
- Set aside a tall vase, container or pot that can hold a pineapple snugly. Place the pineapple in it facing up.
- Pour rice around the pineapple until the skin is mostly covered. The pineapple will be ripe in 1-2 days. Check daily to avoid over-ripening.