Kitchen Hacks

A Hack for Sweeter, Juicier Pineapple

August 25, 2015

Get the pineapple you were hoping for with this dead-simple trick.

Once a pineapple is off the plant, it doesn't ripen any further. So what if you have a pineapple that's not that sweet and a little more stiff than you want from your easy, breezy tropical fruit? There's a great solution in the pages of the new book Dessert and Booze Hacks, and it goes a little like this:

  • Cut the top crown of the pineapple off.
  • Place the pineapple, cut side down, on a plate.
  • Cover the pineapple with foil or plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for 2 days—3 if you're patient.

Cut into your pineapple; taste it. What you'll encounter is fruit that's sweeter and juicier, the thinking being that the sugary juices from the riper part of the pineapple (the bottom, where it was connected to the plant) trickle down and spread about the fruit.

Above: slice from pineapple that sat upside down in fridge for 3 days; below: less juicy piece cut before fruit went into the fridge.

When we tried out the trick, we could see a difference between the piece we cut from the overturned pineapple (top slice above) and the shrively, whiter piece we cut before the pineapple went upside down (bottom slice shown above)—especially on and near the core.

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Once you've marveled at your supremely good pineapple, all that's left to do: Make a piña colada.

Tell us: How have you been eating (or drinking) pineapple this summer?

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  • Peter Joseph
    Peter Joseph
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  • Jason
  • DrGaellon
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Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.


Peter J. October 22, 2017
Another hack almost no one in this country that I know of uses is to save the skin after you cut it off and simmer it in a couple of quarts of water for 15-20 minutes (with a cinnamon stick if you want to get really exotic), strain it to a pitcher and chill the pineapple water for a refreshing drink.
Karen O. June 29, 2016
Another way of making the pineapple sweeter is cut the pineapple lengthwise in four pieces leaving the skin on. Then cut the pineaple off the skin and then cut into pieces. Leave the pineapple on the skins and place on a plate. Pour a little grand marnier ( a little) over the fruit. Cover in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for a couple of hours. The fruit will macerate a little bit and turn into a succulent, sweet heady piece of fruit.
Jason June 25, 2016
Except that, as a few other commenters have pointed out, there is a distinct difference between a pineapple eaten when 'green' or unripe, and one that's been left to 'ripen'. If I put an unready pineapple in a paper bag, surround it with other fruit, or otherwise provide a shield from excess draft on my counter - I notice that the pineapple becomes softer, juicier, more golden in color, less acidic, and sweeter. Indeed, the parts of the fruit that have had the opportunity to hang out with the ethylene gas known to play a role in fruit ripening do turn more golden and more delicious than the parts of the fruit that get a draft. Sure seems to fit the bill. Who knows what's really going on? But there's no denying that complex sugars in the pineapple break down into simpler ones and the spikey fruit becomes tastier, whether that happens uncut on one's counter, or cut and packed up in the fridge.
DrGaellon June 22, 2016
If you're going to puree it to make pina coladas, redistributing the juices won't matter much...
Djay June 22, 2016
I've had no problem with finding sweet juicy pineapples, but always wondered what to do with all that fruit all at once. I was delighted to discover that fresh pineapple chunks freeze beautifully and are there to be enjoyed for so much longer!
Marianne B. June 22, 2016
Plant the cut-off top in a sandy soil with plenty of sun and grow another pineapple!
Lisa M. August 31, 2015
My co-worker told me to stand the pineapple upside down for a day or two at room temp. I then cut it and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Best pineapples I have ever eaten, every time!
Icravephilly January 18, 2018
I wondered if this would work, before cutting the pineapple! I’ve turned my pineapple upside down and will wait a few days and see!
Sydney C. August 31, 2015
Old advice from Frank Comella, Comella's Produce Portland, Oregon (long gone like Frank, RIP old friend). ANY pineapple will be so much better if you scrub the fruit, pare off the "rind" and RESERVE! Cut into desired shape then squeeze all those rinds over the fruit and let set uncovered on the counter for at least one hour. Works every time! I personally don't care for the juice logged, slightly slimy, texture of refrigerated pineapple.
FairyKat August 30, 2015
I find that putting the pineapple on my kitchen windowsill for a few days actually does seem to make it ripen more than when I first purchased it. I turn it every day so each side gets some sun, and after a few days when I smell it, it smells so sweet & pineappley (ok, not a real word but it explains it). And it Tastes Amazing! That's just my trick and it seems to really work well! Yummm...
manderjoy August 30, 2015
If you don't have room in the fridge, you can even just try and prop the pineapple upside down on the counter without cutting off the top! It'll probably fall over a few times, but whatever.
Icravephilly January 18, 2018
I put mine in the blender canister to hold it upside down!
Xocolatl August 30, 2015
Great tip! I figured out years ago that cutting a pineapple into chunks and letting it sit in the fridge overnight or two days makes the fruit much sweeter. Will try this method too to see if it works. Was obsessed with pineapple when I was pregnant but now I rarely eat it raw or fresh because lately it makes my mouth feel fuzzy and I lose a sense of taste. So sad.
Krista S. August 26, 2015
I will certainly try your tip. My favorite way of eating fresh pineapple is in a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. i made one for my birthday last week and everyone at my party raved! If you've never used a fresh pineapple, try it! You'll never use canned pineapple again!
boulangere August 26, 2015
Lovely idea, and I would welcome the opportunity to try this at home at some point. However, we go through at least a case (6 fruits) a day at work, and we have to go with what we have
boulangere August 26, 2015
The conditions aren't always ideal, but I've learned from a Hawaiian friend to snuff the cut end for freshness, which is generally successful at home.
boulangere August 26, 2015
Make that sniff
webpossum August 25, 2015
My fave way of enjoying fresh pineapple is to blitz it in the blender with ice (and, ahem, maybe a shot of rum). Hello pineapple slushie...
sexyLAMBCHOPx August 25, 2015
Colleen S. August 25, 2015
I find if I ripen pineapples on their sides, turning every day or two, the whole thing ripens like a boss.
Puja D. August 25, 2015
Such a great tips.......
Reva August 25, 2015
I have cut up fresh summer pineapple into chunks, put about 10 chunks each into plastic bags, put the bags in the freezer & when I want something delicious, refreshing & something that will cool me off on a hot summer night like we have had this summer, I enjoy a bag or two of my healthy, fresh, frozen summer pineapple. It can take the place of fattening ice cream...for a while. After all, sometimes you just have to have ice cream! But my fresh, frozen summer pineapple chunks are cooling & refreshing & really quite satisfying. I do love them. And, they are good for me! A Totally no-guilt treat! However, I will always love well-made (no junk preservatives) ice cream.