How to Peel Fresh Coconut


Before you can enjoy the fresh sweetness of a coconut, break the shell and peel away the meat surrounding the brown skin. The coconut tree is found in the tropical regions of southeast Asia, although it can now be found in most places with a suitable climate. Grated coconut and coconut milk are key ingredients in many desserts, including coconut cream pie, rice dishes and tropical beverages. Healthful cooking oils are also made from both the meat and milk in coconuts.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Sealable container
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Oyster knife
  • Peeler tool
  • Locate the three holes, also called eyes, on the outside of the coconut's brown shell. Poke each of the holes with the tip of a scissor blade until you find the softest eye. Push the blade forcefully into the eye until you feel it break through to the inside of the coconut.

  • Hold the coconut over a sealable container, such as a mason jar, and drain it of its liquid. Seal the container, and refrigerate it until you are ready to drink it or use it in a recipe.

  • Place the coconut in a double-lined plastic grocery bag. Locate a concrete area, such as your back porch or the sidewalk in front of your house, then swing the plastic bag down onto the concrete with force until the coconut cracks into several pieces.

  • Remove the coconut fragments from the plastic bag. Scrape away the white coconut meat from the hard outer shell using a knife with a short, flexible blade, such as an oyster knife.

  • Scrape away the brown skin on the back of the coconut meat using a peeler tool. Hold the meat firmly with one hand while scraping the peeler downward with the other hand. Repeat for each piece of coconut meat until it's completely peeled.

Tips & Warnings

  • A machete or large butcher knife can also be used to break open the hard outer shell. Brace the coconut on a stump or other firm surface, and bring down the blade forcefully onto the shell. For best results, orient the blade so it falls with the curvature of the shell.
  • Wield your oyster knife and peeler tool with caution. If mishandled, both of these tools can cause personal injury.

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