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How to Cut a Pomegranate in 4 Easy Steps

There are many reasons to love pomegranates: their sweet, tart flavor, their juicy seeds that pop in your mouth, their versatility in salads, sides and smoothies and high antioxidant content, to name a few. One thing we don’t love, however, is trying to get those seeds out of their mysterious packaging. Wondering how to cut a pomegranate without all the frustration? You’re in the right place: We’ve found the easiest way to do it.

But First, a Primer on Pomegranates:

Pomegranates are a type of fruit—technically a berry—that’s in season from October to May, depending on where you live. They’re pinkish-red in color and are roughly the size and shape of a baseball, and their insides reveal juicy, jewel-like seeds. (The word pomegranate comes from the Latin words for “seeded apple.”) Pomegranates taste a little sour and a little sweet, and they’re used in everything from juice to savory mains. Eaten whole, pomegranate seeds are low in calories and high in fiber, and pomegranate juice is rich in polyphenol, an antioxidant that’s been shown to be anti-inflammatory.

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Here’s How to Cut a Pomegranate in Four Easy Steps:

Digital Art by McKenzie Cordell

Step 1: Use A Sharp Knife To Cut Off The Top Of The Pomegranate

First, use a sharp chef’s knife or paring knife to remove the top of the ripe pomegranate. (To pick a ripe fruit, make sure it’s heavy for its size and uniformly ruby red in color.) Use your hand to stabilize the fruit at the stem and slice off the blossom end, trimming away a quarter to half an inch.

Digital Art by McKenzie Cordell

Step 2: Divide The Pomegranate Into Segments

Next, score the sides of the pomegranate into five or six segments, making sure your cuts are deep enough to slice through the pomegranate skin and white pith, but not so deep that you slice through and damage the juicy seeds. Sometimes you can see slight ridges on the surface of the fruit; use those as guides for where to cut your segments.

Digital Art by McKenzie Cordell

Step 3: Separate The Pomegranate Segments

Once your pomegranate is scored, use your hands to gently peel the fruit open. Divide it into smaller pieces, taking care not to damage too many seeds in the process and leave the stem end intact. This makes it less messy to remove the seeds in the next step.

Digital Art by McKenzie Cordell

Step 4: Remove The Arils In A Bowl Of Water

Fill a medium or large bowl with cold tap water, and submerge the pomegranate completely. Working as gently as possible, use your hands to remove the pomegranate seeds from the pith. The seeds should sink to the bottom of the bowl, while the white membrane floats to the top. (Some people like to smack the pomegranate skin with a wooden spoon to release the seeds, but we don’t find this method as efficient or effective.)

Finally, skim off any pieces of pith and drain the water from the seeds, using a fine mesh strainer. Voilà, now you have plenty of pomegranate fruit to add to salads, steaks and cocktails, and plenty of seeds to enjoy as a juicy snack.

Plus, 11 Pomegranate Recipes to Try: