Nothing beats fresh coconut! Coconut water is so refreshing and the meat is delicate and sweet—perfect for cooking and baking. Many people shy away from fresh coconuts, however, because they are unsure of how to open a coconut.
Opening a coconut is not hard, but it does require a little know-how. Without a tactical plan, you’ll end up smashing the coconut (or your fingers). There are a few different ways to open a coconut. Here are two methods we suggest.
How To Open A Coconut (the common way)
Using a skewer or a screwdriver, poke the 3 eyes at the stem-end of the coconut to find which one is the softest. Once you located the softest eye, use your skewer or screwdriver to create a small hole about 1/2 inch in diameter.
Over a small bowl or cup, pour the coconut water out of the hole. You may need to shake the coconut to get all of the water out.
Once the water is drained from the coconut, hold the coconut in your non-dominant hand. With your dominant hand, use a hammer or meat mallet to firmly hit the coconut around its perimeter until it cracks in half.
Place both halves of the coconut flesh-side down on a cutting board. Tap the coconut shell with your hammer or mallet to loosen the flesh from the shell.
Using a butter knife or a spoon, pry away the coconut meat from the coconut shell. If you’d like, you can use a vegetable peeler to remove the brown skin from the meat. Now the coconut meat is ready to use.
How To Open A Coconut (using only a knife)
Working over a small bowl, use the back of a chef’s knife to firmly hit the coconut around its perimeter until it cracks in half. Let the coconut water drain into the bowl. Once you have collected all of the water from the coconut, set your bowl aside.
Begin working over a medium bowl. Hold one of the coconut halves in your non-dominant hand. With your dominant hand, hold your chef’s knife. With the back of your chef’s knife, firmly hit the coconut shell repeatedly until it cracks into smaller pieces. Repeat until the entire coconut is broken down into small pieces (about 2 or 3 inches each).
Use a butter knife to pry away the coconut meat from the coconut shell. If you’d like, you can use a vegetable peeler to remove the brown skin from the meat. Now the coconut meat is ready to use.
We like this method because you do not need a screwdriver or any other special tools. Either method is effective, however, so simply use whichever one works best for you.
What’s your preferred method for opening a coconut? Let us know in the comments below.