Do You Know How to Open a Coconut?

Have you ever tried to crack open a coconut? It’s not an easy task. Take one good look at this fruit and you’re probably scratching your head wondering how other people do it. To be fair, you’re not the only one confused. Demonstrating how to, and how not to, open a coconut, Epicurious asked a test panel to decipher the code to busting into the brown skin.

The first challenge, what tool to use? One look at the tools laid out before the panel and you would think you were trying to build a cabinet or something. Should they use a hammer? Possibly the meat mallet? And why on earth are there two types of screwdrivers? If you’re just as confused as the next person, take a look at how the panel tried to cut open coconut shells.

Watching some of these folks use a hammer and knife is like watching a train wreck. At least they have safety goggles on, right? Please, put down the tools and let the pros show you how it’s done step-by-step.

Step 1: Remove Coconut Water

Place the coconut on a hard surface. Make two holes in the dark spots and drain the coconut water into a bowl.

Step 2: Look for the ridges

Take the drained coconut and identify the three ridges. Find the center of one and whack the hard shell with a hammer. Once it cracks, find the next ridge and whack that. Find the third and whack that. Tada! It’s open.

Now that you have two coconut halves you can scoop out the white flesh and prepare a tasty coconut recipe. Thai coconut curry, coconut ice cream, or maybe even some yummy homemade coconut yogurt. Add it to any meal for a tropical taste. You can even grate the coconut flesh into flakes and spread them out on a baking sheet to bake your own shredded coconut flakes for a cake. Or, you can skip all the fuss and snack on some fresh coconut meat. The real reward here is nobody lost a finger learning how to crack open a coconut.

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