How to Remove the Shell From a Coconut

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Heat the coconut before trying to remove the shell.
Heat the coconut before trying to remove the shell. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Removing the shell from a coconut can result in a big mess if you don't know how to do it. Many people will take a hammer and smash the coconut, but they will end up with smashed coconut pieces that still have the shell attached. That makes eating the meat of the coconut very difficult. Use the right technique to get the task done as efficiently as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Oven-safe dish
  • Hot pads
  • Ice pick
  • Hammer
  • Bowl

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use an ice pick to poke a hole into one or more of the eyes of the coconut. Tap the ice pick through the eye with a hammer or mallet.

Turn the coconut over a bowl to drain the milk.

Place your fresh, whole coconut in an oven-safe pan or on an oven-safe dish.

Put your whole coconut in the oven and bake it for approximately 20 minutes.

Remove the coconut from the oven. Handle with care because it will be hot.

Firmly tap the coconut with your hammer. Keep tapping to crack the shell in multiple places. The heat from the oven should make it easy to separate the shell from the meat of the coconut. This process does not change the flavor, texture or color of the coconut.

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