How to Tell if a Pineapple is Ripe

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How to Tell if a Pineapple Is Ripe

Three Methods:

Before you cut into a pineapple, you want to make sure it's ripe! Fortunately, it's easy to tell if a pineapple is ripe just by looking at it, as long as you know what too look for.


Using Scent and Touch

  1. Smell the pineapple.Flip the pineapple over and sniff the stem end. A sweet scent is generally considered the most important aspect of choosing a ripe pineapple. If it has no scent, it's probably not ripe.
    • You can try smelling the pineapple from other sides; a sweet enough scent may be distinguishable from any side of the fruit. You should still be able to smell the scent from the stem end, however, where it will likely be strongest.
    • Avoid pineapples that smell fermented. Although you want the pineapple to smell sweet, you do not want it to be so ripe that the sweet smell has an alcoholic or vinegar-like taint to it.
  2. Squeeze the pineapple.Lightly squeeze the pineapple using the fingers of one hand. You want the pineapple to be pretty firm, but soft enough that it gives very slightly when you press down on it.
  3. Determine whether or not the pineapple is heavy.A heavier pineapple means a juicier pineapple, because the extra juice gives the pineapple extra weight. More juice also means a riper, sweeter pineapple.
    • Note that "heavier" doesn't mean "larger." The pineapple should feel heavy when compared to others of equal size. If a larger pineapple feels just as heavy as a slightly smaller one, the smaller one is probably a better pick.
  4. Pluck a leaf from the top of the pineapple.While public opinion is conflicted over the efficacy of this method, some people believe that a pineapple is ripe when a leaf can be plucked from the top of the pineapple without too much resistance. If a leaf comes out too easily, however, the pineapple may be rotten.

Using Sight

  1. Be alert for the two key elements of a ripe pineapple:freshness and deterioration.You are looking for a fresh pineapple, not a rotting one. The stem is the area of the pineapple that feeds sugar to the fruit. It is from here that the pineapple changes color.
  2. Look at the pineapple's color.It will often reflect a golden-yellow color, but a green-tinted pineapple is not necessarily unripe.
    • Be aware that some pineapples are considered to be ripe when still partially green, but the pineapple should not be all green or all brown. You should also place more emphasis on the pineapple's healthy appearance.
    • As a general rule, the yellow coloration should be visible on the eyes at the base of the fruit. Color that rises further up the pineapple usually indicates a sweeter fruit.
  3. Focus on the color of the leaves.Because the color of the fruit itself can be either golden-yellow or green, looking at the leaf color might be a better option. Choose pineapples with healthy, green leaves.
  4. Check out the shape of the pineapple.Pineapples should be well developed with rounded edges and developed eyes. The eyes are the spiked centers of the rough circles created by the geometric pattern on the pineapple. Make sure that the eyes have filled out and are relatively flat.
    • Avoid pineapples with wrinkled skin, reddish-brown skin, cracks or leaks, mold, or brown withering leaves, as these are all signs of a rotten fruit.
  5. Choose pineapples from the growing location closest to you.For instance, if you live in California, Hawaiian or Mexican pineapples will probably be the freshest because they traveled the shortest distance from the plantation to your supermarket.

Keeping It Fresh

  1. Eat a whole pineapple stored at room temperature within a few days.As long as you do not cut the pineapple, it should stay fresh for several days. Do not leave cut pineapple out in a room temperature setting, however, since it will spoil after a few hours.
  2. Refrigerate your pineapple to keep it fresh longer.A whole refrigerated pineapple, when left uncut, can last about two weeks. Once you cut the pineapple or remove its skin, it will only last for about one week in your refrigerator.
  3. Cut the pineapple up and refrigerate it for up to one week.To properly cut your pineapple, cut off the crown and the base of the fruit. Place the pineapple upright on a cutting board and carefully slice on the inside of the rind from top to bottom. Make sure to cut deep enough to remove all of the prickly rind.
    • The pineapple will still have its "eyes" at this point. You can cut them away individually, but it might be easier to cut along the sides of the pineapple in a diagonal, v-shaped trench since the eyes should be patterned along the sides in a diagonal.
    • Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise and then in half again so that you have four triangle-shaped quarters.
    • Cut the tough core out of the center and discard, then slice the four pieces into chunks or slices.
  4. Freeze freshly cut pineapple for up to six months.Slice the pineapples in large chunks to retain as much flavor as possible, as freezing can cause pineapples to lose flavor. Place the pineapple chunks in freezer-safe plastic containers or freezer-safe plastic bags before storing.
    • When you're ready to use the pineapple, simply remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in your refrigerator or at room temperature before use.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Do pineapples continue to ripen after picking?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    No, for pineapples the ripening process halts after being picked. So if you get one that is too green there is not much you can do.
  • Question
    Can I plant the top of the pineapple?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
  • Question
    Is pineapple used to tenderize meat?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. Pineapple has a natural enzyme that breaks down protein, and it only takes a short time to tenderize meat this way.
  • Question
    Is it time to harvest if my pot grown pineapple is a golden yellow color?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, but if it is already golden yellow you should use it within the next few days or it will rot.
  • Question
    How does pineapple ripen?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It ripens the same way other crops do. However, pineapples do not ripen any further after harvest, despite some color changes that make people think they are ripening.
  • Question
    I cut my pineapple open but it's not quite ripe. What do I do?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The pineapple won't ripen, so your best bet is to use it in something sweet, such as a smoothie/milkshake, a baked dessert with sugar or as part of a sweet and sour dish. It will also compost well.
  • Question
    If I grill an unripe pineapple, will it make it sweeter?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, if you cook it right, it will soften and caramelize, making it sweeter and better to eat.
  • Question
    Is it true that the enzymes in pineapples burn fat?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. Pineapple can flatten your tummy, prevent stomach distention and help your body burn a few extra calories. It contains one very important enzyme: bromelain, which is found in the stem and within the juice of a pineapple.
  • Question
    Is there a method to ripen a pineapple once it is cut?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Once the pineapple is picked from the plant, it cannot ripen any further but you can see if you can make a smoothie or something out of it that will compensate for the unripe flavor, such as a cake.
  • Question
    Can I tell if it's ripe by shaking it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes you can! Shake it vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds and then bring it up to your ear to listen. If you hear a faint rattling, it is not yet ripe. Pick up another and try again.
Unanswered Questions
  • Can I cut it if it is green?
  • Is juicing the skin of a pineapple beneficial to health?
  • How do I know when to pick my growing pineapple?(when it's ripe?)
  • Is a green skinned pineapple toxic?
  • Something took about 10 of my almost ripe pineapples, was it human or would it have been some kind of varmint?
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  • Buy the pineapple in ripe condition the same day that you intend to use it; that way, it will be fresh and will not deteriorate further.
  • Always wrap peeled pineapple stored in the fridge, to prevent fridge odors from being absorbed.

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Quick Summary

To tell if a pineapple is ripe, smell the stem-end of the fruit to see ifit smells sweet. If it does, the pineapple is ripe! You can also squeeze the pineapple to feel how firm it is. Ripe pineapples will give slightly under your fingers when you press down. If you're still not sure, look at the color of the pineapple. A yellow coloration at the stem-end of the pineapple is a sign that it's ripe.

Success Stories

Connie Hinesley

May 11

"All the information was great!"

Kathryn Spencer

Jun 14, 2019

"I just cut my first pineapple without the use of the slicer you can buy. It not only was super sweet, but alsocame out like the picture of the spiral-peeled pineapple. Just a side note, my metal pineapple slicer fell apart recently. The disc separated from the rest of it. I saved it in hopes of repair or repurposing it, and it ended up being the latter. I used the cylinder to core the whole peeled pineapple, and the slices looked like flowers. "

Jack Lane

Jun 9, 2019

"This story really helped me. Every time I want to know something, wikiHow shows me step by step how to do it, whichI love. "

Wendy Brown

May 28, 2019

"I learned more and it was very helpful. Very good. Now I will pass along the knowledge to others who like freshpineapples."

Martha M.

Nov 23, 2019

"It told me that pineapples do not ripen after being cut and it told me how to pick a ripe pineapple."
Rated this article:

Joey Nelson

May 28, 2019

"Great info. Liked that you defined things some people, like me, might not know."

Bill Klann

Apr 11, 2019

"Very useful. My wife was looking for how to choose, slice, and store pineapple."


Aug 1, 2019

"First timer for fresh pineapple. Great advice. Sweeter is certainly better!"

F. Deweese

May 30, 2019

"Great information on pineapple. Never knew how to tell if it was ripe. "

Kathryn Baker

Sep 2, 2019

"The instructions on cutting and checking for ripeness were very helpful."

Christy Ann Blair

Jun 9, 2019

"I always wanted to eat ripe pineapple fresh. Now I know how to do it"

Wendy Farr

Apr 13, 2019

"I now know how to pick a ripe pineapple and that I can freeze it."


Jan 27, 2019

"Great info on picking and freezing pineapples."

Robert Broas

May 17, 2019

"All good info. Thanks for the tips. All good."


Aug 28, 2019

"How to avoid overripe pineapple was helpful!"

Zoe Gawlik

Jun 24, 2019

"I did not know you could freeze pineapple."

Tatiana B.

Oct 14, 2019

"It was the perfect info I was looking for."
Rated this article:

Cathy King

Jun 1, 2019

"Great info. Learned some new things.

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Date: 05.12.2018, 12:40 / Views: 84495