Dance
Dance Top Picks

Food & Cooking Blog

Pomegranate Primer: Your Guide to Cutting, De-Seeding & Eating

Sweet, tangy pomegranate seeds (also called “arils”) are among the prettiest foods you can find: they glisten like little rubies. But that’s not the only way in which they resemble a hidden treasure: learning how to cut a pomegranate can be tricky, so it can seem like a massive effort to get to those little jewels!

How to cut a pomegranate

Photos via CakeSpy

Fear not: we’ve come to the rescue with your guide to all things pomegranate. From selecting to de-seeding to recipe suggestions for enjoying your pomegranate, this guide is well worth bookmarking for future reference. 

When to buy

Pomegranates are in season from late September through February. 

Choosing a pomegranate 

Which pomegranate should you pick? Choose a pomegranate that looks deep in color and feels heavy. While some discolorations along the rind are fine, do feel them: any soft or mushy spots might mean that part of the fruit is rotten.  

How to cut a pomegranate

Try both of these methods and see which one works better for you. Personally, I prefer the first method, as it is far cleaner.

Method 1: The hand method

Step 1: 

Assemble your mise en place. Grab a cutting board, a chef’s knife, and a large bowl. Fill the bowl a few inches deep with cold water.

Step 2:

Give the pomegranate a quick roll on the countertop, using your hands. This loosens the fruit from the walls just a little bit.

Step 3: 

Slice off the top and the bottom of the fruit; this will make each portion easier to cut and extract later.

Cut the top and bottom of the pomegranate

Step 4:

Feel around your pomegranate. Chances are, you’ll feel little ridges along the skin, as if there are various spines located at intervals of the fruit. Make slow, gentle cuts along these ridges, as they will be the easiest spots to pull the fruit apart.

Cut along fibrous spines

Step 5:

Working above your bowl of water, pull apart the sections that you’ve scored. Be careful; this can be the moment where juice sprays. 

Pomegranate section

Tip: To keep any spraying from occurring in an unwanted area, I actually put my bowl of water in the sink. 

Step 6:

Using your fingers, pull out the arils, dropping them into the water below. White bits clinging to the fruit will float to the surface. 

Underwater pomegranate

Tip: If you really want to keep things clean, you can actually submerge the fruit while you use your fingers to remove it from the walls. 

Step 7:

Strain the arils; pick out any white bits that you see. Place in a bowl; your arils are ready to eat or use in a recipe. If you aren’t going to be using them right away, store them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Strain the arils

Method 2: the spoon method

Step 1: 

Assemble your mise en place. Grab a cutting board, a chef’s knife, and a large bowl. Fill the bowl a few inches deep with cold water.

Step 2:

Give the pomegranate a quick roll on the countertop, using your hands. This loosens the fruit from the walls just a little bit.

Step 3: 

Slice the fruit in half, horizontally (so that the little “bud” is on the top). Pull away the edges, as if you’re easing the edges of the skin away from the fruit. 

Step 4:

Working with one half at a time, align the fruit so that it is facing the bowl of water. Hold in one hand, and bang on top of the fruit with a wooden spoon to shake out the fruit. 

Bang with a spoon

Step 5: 

Strain the arils; pick out any white bits that you see. Place in a bowl; your arils are ready to eat or use in a recipe. If you aren’t going to be using them right away, store them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

How to eat a pomegranate

Snack on the seeds

Now that you’ve cut a pomegranate, how exactly should you eat it? The options are endless.

Snack on the seeds

Pomegranate seeds are a treat all by themselves. Just grab a few and eat as you would eat berries. Pomegranates have a slightly chewy seed center; it’s totally fine to eat. 

Make it into juice 

Put your pomegranate arils in a blender, blend for a few seconds (that’s all it takes!) and then strain the mixture through a mesh strainer. 

Tip: If putting pomegranate in a smoothie, I’d probably just put the entire arils and not worry about juicing them first; the seeds won’t be too much of a distraction. 

Fresh Winter Salad

Use them as a garnish 

Add an instant gourmet touch to fresh winter salads with pomegranate arils. Even savory dishes like orange chicken will taste great with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds on top. We even put them in our game-changing cheese taco shells.

Pie with pomegranate

Put ’em in baked goods

Pomegranate seeds taste great in baked goods. For an easy addition, fold a few into muffin, pancake, or quick bread batter. Or, make your next autumn pie look like a bejeweled treasure by putting pomegranate seeds on top. 

Need help cutting other tricky fruit? Check out our illustrated guide to how to cut a mango.

Learn to slice & dice produce like a pro — absolutely FREE!

complete knife skills

Become faster and more accurate with your knife work with these FREE HD video lessons. Join now and get lifetime access to tips you can rewatch anytime, anywhere.Enroll FREE Now »

One Comment

Wendie Alexander

I love pomegranates, buying them every week. But! After eating I look like an axe murderer and the walls look like that of an abattoir. So thank thank you for your great blog. Now I can stay clean and white and my kitchen won’t need hosing down after!!

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply