Whole vs. pre-cut pineapple
Perusing a local Wegmans online shows that a whole pineapple, which weighs approximately 2lbs, costs $3.49. Pre-cut pineapple rings up at $4.09 for just 10 oz.
That’s $3.49 for 32 oz of pineapple, or $4.09 for 10 oz.
Sure, whole pineapples have some extra weight. The fronds and skin are inedible, and should be discarded. Even if we generously estimate that the inedible portions weigh in at 10 oz, the whole pineapple is still a much better value. At this store, a whole pineapple costs about 15¢ cents per edible ounce, while the pre-cut pineapple costs 41¢ per ounce.
It’s not that the cut pineapple is overpriced. The extra cost pays for the employees who do the work of cutting and packaging the pineapple. Customers pay a premium for the convenience. For cooks with limited mobility, or for those hoping to eat on the go, pre-cut pineapple is a good option.
However, if you’re looking to save money or reduce packaging waste, buying a whole pineapple is an easy way to save on both.
How to cut a whole pineapple
Don’t be intimidated by the various spikes: it’s easy to cut a pineapple at home.
To get started, you’ll need a cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife.
To remove the green fronds, lay the pineapple on its side and cut a clean slice about ½ inch from the base of the fronds. Next, cut off the rounded end of the pineapple. Just slice cleanly through the pineapple starting about a ½ inch from the base. Your pineapple should now have two flat ends.
Stand the pineapple on one of its newly created flat ends. It should be stable. To remove the skin, simply slice it away with long vertical cuts. Follow the shape of the pineapple, and cut all the way around.
Next, cut the pineapple into three slabs and remove the core. Looking down at the pineapple, imagine a triangle surrounding the core. With your knife, slice along one side of the imaginary triangle. Repeat along a second side. You should now have one remaining plank of pineapple with the core attached. Use your knife to cut the core away, as shown below.
You should now have three slabs of pineapple. Working one at a time, lay each slab on its flat end. Slice vertically into three long spears. Keeping the spears together, slice crosswise about 1 inch intervals to create pineapple wedges.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.