The easiest way to cut a pomegranate with no mess! This simple hack makes it easy to remove the seeds in a few simple steps.
It seems that everyone has their own way to cut a pomegranate. So I set out to try them all and find out what is the best way to cut a pomegranate. This is especially important for me these days since my sister in law has a pomegranate tree and we are swimming in them. Going into this, I had some requirements for my pomegranate cutting experiment.
First I needed a method that didn't leave my clothes, counters, and kitchen towels stained dark red with pomegranate juice. I can't tell you how many items I have lost trying to successfully seed a pomegranate. The juice is almost impossible to get out.
Secondly, it couldn't require any special tools. I wanted a method that worked with regular items most people have in their kitchen.
Finally I wanted a method for removing the seeds, or arils of the pomegranate, completely so that they could be used for salads, recipes, etc. In other words, I wasn't looking for a method to help me eat the pomegranate by hand. So with all that, I set out to try as many ways to cut a pomegranate as I could.
After vertical cuts, horizontal cuts, cones, quarters, wooden spoons, and bowls of water - the method I find worked the best was actually a combination of a couple of methods. It works great and leaves you with a bowl for of pomegranate seeds with minimal mess.
How to Cut a Pomegranate
- Fill a bowl with water: Since cutting a pomegranate can be extremely messy, a bowl of water is your best friend when opening a pomegranate. Not only does it catch all the juice, it also helps to separate the seeds from the white pith. The pith will float to the top of the water, leaving the pomegranate seeds behind.
- Score the pomegranate and separate the halves: Carefully cut around the circumference of the pomegranate being careful not to cut all the way through. Then use your hands to twist the pomegranate halves and open it up. Scoring the pomegranate, instead of cutting all the way through, preserves all the seeds inside, giving you more seeds and less mess.
- Use your hand to loosen the seeds: With most pomegranates, you will find you can remove a lot of the seeds by just giving the pomegranate a few good squeezes while holding it just above or in the bowl of water. The seeds will drop into the bowl of water and any pith will float to the surface. Do this a few times, turning the pomegranate each time so you squeeze each half. Don't be worried if the shell cracks a bit, it will actually help more of the seeds to fall out.
- Use a wooden spoon to remove remaining seeds: Since there will still be some stubborn seeds stuck inside, use a wooden spoon to bang on the pomegranate skin. This loosens the remaining seeds. Do this right above the water to minimize the mess. Continue hitting the pomegranate with the spoon and squeezing it until all the seeds are out. Repeat with each half.
- Scoop seeds out of water: Lastly use a slotted spoon to scoop the seeds out of the water, leaving the white pith behind.
That's it! An easy, mess-free way to cut a pomegranate.
Other Popular Methods for How to Open a Pomegranate
While the water bath is the most effective option, in my opinion, there are also some other popular options out there.
- Wooden Spoon: Many people swear by this option, but I find it still results in lots of pomegranate juice (which stains) and damaged seeds. T so proceed with caution. Start by scoring the pomegranate around the middle. Try not to let the knife go deeper than the skin or it will damage the seeds. Then carefully pull apart the two halves. Use a wooden spoon to bang on the skin of the pomegranate, letting the seeds fall into a bowl. Pull off any large pieces of the white membrane.
- Vertical cuts: Another option is to slice the pomegranate vertically, sort of like you would with an apple. Start by removing a small part of the bottom of the pomegranate so you have a flat surface. Then carefully score it from top to bottom, cutting just deep enough to pierce the skin. Most people recommend between 6-8 wedges. Then carefully pull those apart and use your hands to gently remove the membrane and let the seeds fall out.
Recipe Ideas for Pomegranates
Now that you have worked so hard to get the arils out, you need something to do with them. Although they make a great snack on their own, I love using them in recipes.
- Arugula, Cucumber, and Pomegranate Salad
- Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate
- Skinny Sangria
- Other favorites including using it to top my yogurt and oatmeal in the morning. Tossing it into chicken or tuna salad for lunches. Use it as a topping for chicken or pork at dinner.
How to Make Pomegranate Juice
Once you have all the seeds, you may want to make juice. Start by adding the seeds to a blender and pulse or blend on the lowest setting for just a few seconds. You don't want to crush the seeds. Then run the liquid through a fine mesh sieve to remove the hard seeds. Store in the fridge or freeze.