With the right technique and a few simple steps, unlocking the sweet and tangy delights within a pomegranate can be a breeze. In this article, we’ll guide you through the art of cutting a pomegranate, from choosing the ripest one at the store to effortlessly extracting those vibrant, juicy arils.
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For many, the thought of cutting into a pomegranate fruit can be intimidating, leading to missed opportunities to savor its sweet-tart goodness. In this guide, we’ll demystify the art of cutting open a pomegranate, offering step-by-step instructions and expert tips to help you extract those succulent arils with ease.
Whether you’re a seasoned pomegranate enthusiast or a curious newcomer, our article will cover everything you need to know. From selecting the ripest pomegranate at the store to mastering the perfect technique for separating arils from the tough outer skin, we’ll empower you to enjoy this jewel of the fruit world to the fullest.
How to Pick a Ripe 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.
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.
Step 1: Lay the pomegranate on a cutting board on its side and using a sharp knife, slice the top off of the fruit.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: Fill a large bowl with water and submerge the pomegranate in it completely.
Step 4: 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.
Step 5: Use a strainer to strain the water from the arils, and then transfer them to a bowl or jar.
Frequently Asked Questions
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!
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!
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!
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.
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).
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