How to Cut Open a Pomegranate

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No more paying for already separated pomegranate arils at the grocery store — we’re walking you through the process of cutting a pomegranate + separating the arils yourself!

a segmented pomegranate sitting on a wooden cutting board

How do you pick a good pomegranate?

Before you get started on cutting your pomegranate open and fishing out the arils (seeds), you’ll need to PICK a good pomegranate at either the grocery store or local farmer’s market! Here’s what to look for:

  • Color – the color of the pomegranate should be a deep, dark ruby red color.
  • Weight – when picking a pomegranate, pick up each contender and check its weight. No need to get an exact weight measurement — just get a good feel for the weight of each pomegranate. You’ll want to snag one that’s heavier and feels “full”.
  • Texture – lastly, look for a pomegranate that is smooth to the touch and feels firm.

Before cutting a pomegranate, should you wash the fruit?

That’s totally up to you! While you don’t actually eat the outside of a pomegranate, your knife does touch the outside AND THEN the inside (which you’ll eat), so giving the pomegranate a rinse is probably a good idea. Not totally necessary, but a good idea!

How to cut open a pomegranate?

Now let’s get to the good stuff: how to actually cut and deseed a pomegranate! The process may feel intimidating, but I promise it’s easier than it sounds. Follow these directions (and the step-by-step photos) and you’ll be good to go!

  1. Slice the top off of the pomegranate – lay the pomegranate on a cutting board on its side and using a sharp knife, slice the top off of the fruit.
  2. Open the pomegranate – set the pomegranate on the cutting board upright (cut-side-up) and using your hands, try to break apart the pomegranate sections. If needed, use a knife to score the outside of the pomegranate to make this process easier.
  3. Submerge the pomegranate – fill a large bowl with water and submerge the pomegranate in it completely.
  4. Remove the seeds – use your hands to gently agitate the submerged pomegranate, removing the arils. Once all of the arils are removed, discard the rest of the pomegranate and scoop out any of the membranes that are floating in the water.
  5. Strain the seeds – use a strainer to strain the water from the arils, and then transfer them to a bowl or jar.
  6. Enjoy! 
a person cutting the top off of a pomegranate on a large wooden cutting board
a segmented pomegranate sitting on a wooden cutting board
pomegranate seeds in the bottom of a bowl of water with the pith of the pomegranate floating to the top and being scooped out by a wooden spoon
a person cutting the top off of a pomegranate on a large wooden cutting board
a pomegranate that has been segmented in a large bowl of water
pomegranate seeds in a strainer after being rinsed off
a pomegranate with the top cut off on a wooden cutting board and a person using a knife to score the outside of the pomegranate
a person getting the seeds out of a pomegranate using their hands in a large bowl of water
a bowl of pomegranate seeds with a person spooning out some of them

How to peel a pomegranate before cutting (if preferred)?

You actually don’t need to peel the pomegranate before cutting it. If you’re following the steps above, peeling is completely unnecessary and it just makes the process longer/trickier!

Is this the best way to cut a pomegranate?

There are other ways to cut a pomegranate, but I’ve found this to be the easiest way. You’ll start by slicing the top off of the pomegranate, then scoring the sides (if needed), then submerging in water to separate the arils from the pomegranate itself.

What is the easiest way to cut a pomegranate?

This method is actually the easiest one I’ve ever come across. It totally demystifies the process!

What should the inside of a ripe pomegranate look like?

Good question! It’s actually best to judge the ripeness of the pomegranate arils based on taste rather than appearance. Ripe arils can be white, pink, or dark, deep red, so looking for a certain color isn’t necessarily helpful. Instead, pick a good pomegranate at the store using the above criteria, cut into it, separate out the arils, and give them a taste! 

a bowl of pomegranate seeds with a person spooning out some of them

What parts of a pomegranate are poisonous?

While you’d likely have to eat a LOT of the pomegranate peel, stem, or root to have any kind of negative reaction, it’s best to stick to the edible parts of the fruit — the seeds/arils. 

What can you do with a cut open pomegranate?

The best thing to do once you’ve opened up your pomegranate is to submerge it in water and separate the arils from the fruit, as they are the edible part of the fruit!

How do you store the pomegranate after it is cut open?

Store pomegranate arils in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If your pomegranate was LOADED with arils, you can also freeze them for longer storage. To do this, simply spread the arils out on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, stick the pan in the freezer, and then transfer the arils to a large Ziplock bag after 2-4 hours (this process will keep the arils from freezing together in clumps).

Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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