Kitchen Hacks: How to Open a Coconut

Published Categorized as Kitchen Hacks, Guide

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Coconuts are a delicious nut that most people love, but very few people actually purchase them. The number one reason for this is just the inconvenience of having to open them, or simply not knowing how.

Opening coconuts isn’t something that most of us were taught how to do throughout life, but it’s never too late to learn. Thankfully, it’s easier than you might think.

In this article, we will outline all the different methods of opening a coconut. You’ll become a pro in no time!


Importance of Draining the Coconut

No matter what method you end up choosing to open the coconut, draining it will always be the very first step. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

  1. Poke holes in the coconut – these holes are for the coconut water to come out of. If you take a look at the coconut, you’ll notice that there will be three small circular indents at the top. Usually, at least one out of the three indents will be easy to puncture. You can use a knife or a screwdriver to open this hole. Basically, poke the hole with your tool of choice until it opens. You don’t need the hole to be large, just something for the liquid to go through!
  2. Pour the coconut water into a glass. Make sure that the hole you punctured is directly over the glass to prevent wasting any of this sweet water. Depending on how many coconuts you are opening at once, you can also use a bowl to collect the water. A glass is usually easier though, because you can just set the coconut on top of it without having to hold the coconut while it drains. You can then just drink this coconut water or use it in smoothies.
  3. Take note of the coconut water. You can tell if a coconut is good or not based on the liquid that comes out of it. On average, each coconut will yield anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3 cup of coconut water. The coconut water should be sweet and clear. If it even looks slightly oily, thick, or chunky, that means the coconut is likely bad.

Using the Oven to Open a Coconut

Using an oven to open a coconut isn’t something that many people would immediately think of. However, it almost always works. For those who want their coconut meat raw and not heated up, this likely isn’t the best option for them. Here are step-by-step instructions for this easy method.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or 200 degrees celsius. Don’t place the coconut in the oven until it’s fully pre-heated.
  2. Place the coconut on any pan or dish and let it bake for around 10 minutes. Sometimes it takes less time, sometimes more. You’ll know it’s ready to be removed from the oven when you see a crack in the shell. Try to check on the coconut throughout these 10 minutes, sometimes it can crack sooner than you might think!
  3. Remove the coconut from the oven, and let it cool down for a few minutes. Once it’s cool enough to touch, wrap the coconut in a clean dish towel.
  4. Next, take the wrapped coconut and place it in any garbage bag or reusable bag if you’d like. Make sure the bag is closed well. Then, find any hard surface and bang the bag against it. The harder the surface, the quicker and easier the coconut is going to break. Concrete works great for this! Kids love this part too.
  5. Once your coconut is broken into pieces, you can easily separate the shell from the meat with a knife. Simply wedge the knife in-between these two things and the coconut meat should pop off. You can even use a butter knife to do this.
  6. Peel off any remaining fiber. You’ll be able to clearly see if there’s any left or not based on whether the meat is white, or white with some brown spots. This can be done with any vegetable peeler or a knife.

Using the Microwave to Open a Coconut

To open a coconut using the microwave, you’ll follow many of the same steps as you would if you were using an oven. Basically, all of the steps will be the same except for the cooking method.

Instead of placing the coconut in the oven, place it on a plate. Next, cook the coconut on medium to high heat for three minutes, or until you see it cracks. Sometimes it can take 2 minutes, sometimes it can take 5 minutes. This entirely depends on the coconut since they’re all different.

After this, follow the steps of letting the coconut cool, wrapping it in a towel, and banging it against a hard surface to crack it into smaller pieces.

Cracking Open a Coconut With a Hammer

Using a hammer to open a coconut can be a faster way to do so. For many people, it’s more practical too. To do this, you must be comfortable with using a hammer. It’s not the best method for young children. Here are the instructions!

  1. Place the coconut in your non-dominant hand, and the hammer in your dominant hand.
  2. Figure out what part of the coconut you’re going to aim the hammer at. An easy method is to hammer in a circular motion around the top of the coconut. You don’t need to hammer with strong blows. Another option is to find the equator line and hammer that part. Watch out for your fingers!
  3. Continue to hammer the coconut until it starts to break apart. Once you get it broken up into a couple of larger pieces, you can continue to hammer the outer shell of those until they are small enough for you to work with.
  4. You’ll be able to separate the coconut meat from the shell easily with a butter knife.

Guidance Videos

Here are a couple of guidance videos to give you a visual representation of what we described in this article.

  1. How to Crack Open a Coconut
  2. How To Crack a Coconut