Learn how to open a pomegranate and remove all the juicy seeds simply with step-by-step photos! There's no need to pay big bucks to buy a container of pomegranate seeds when all it takes is a bit of patience to be rewarded a bounty of juice arils!
When it comes to late fall or winter fruits, pomegranates have to be one of my favorites. I'm always drawn to the big piles of them in the grocery stores at this time of year, their vibrant color pulling me towards them like a magnet!
If you're new to pomegranates, one of the first thoughts you might have is, "How do I open this thing??"
Well, I'm here to show you how!
There are a number of methods out there, but the first instinct is to cut right through it.
That, however, is a mistake. Big mistake. Huge.
Cutting right through the pomegranate means that you're slicing right through those juicy arils and that, my friends, makes a big juicy mess. It gets all over your hands, the cutting board, the counter, and anywhere within a 2 foot radius where those juices can splash.
Then there is the idea of submerging the cut sections of the pomegranate into a bowl of water and removing the seeds that way. This method supposedly eliminates juice splatters, and the white pithy bits all float to the top so they're easy to separate out.
That would be wrong.
While it might help reduce the splashing juices, all the white bits do not automatically float to the top. You still end up having to rummage through all the seeds to clear them all out. If anything, trying to remove the arils underwater makes it more difficult because they are now swimming with all the bits and debris you don't want.
So how DO you open a pomegranate?
Firstly, you want to slice off the stubby end of the pomegranate, just enough to expose the inside.
Then you want to SCORE the pomegranate skin, all the way around. The knife shouldn't go in any more than ¼ of an inch into the fruit. Repeat this once or twice more at different angles to the first.
Then along one of those scored lines, using your fingers to pry the pomegranate open.
Continue to do that along the other scored cuts to get smaller sections that are easy to handle.
Take a section and bend the skin back. Arils will start popping out all by themselves!
For the ones that are still attached to the skin, gently push against them with your thumb or forefinger to pry them out. Gently peel away the papery white layers to expose the seeds underneath.
Continue with all the sections until all the seeds have been removed!
And that's it!
The arils are not soaking wet, and there is no red stain all over your hands or the cutting board or the counter or your clothes. They are ready for eating, just like that!
And just look at how many you get from one single pomegranate!!
So put away the bowl of water. And don't even think about eating them with needles (who ever thought that was a good idea???).
I love sprinkling a bunch of them on yogurt, but we also love eating them as is. The best is when they're nice and chilled from being in the fridge...they're refreshing and juicy with every spoonful! They are also a great topping to desserts like Creamy Cheesecake Squares with Nut Crust, or try them on top of a bowl of Simple Nutty Granola!
So there you go! Take advantage of the availability of these wonderful fruits this season and go open one yourself!
How To Open and Seed A Pomegranate
- 1 large pomegranate, that has firm skin that has a slight give and is heavy for its size
- Slice off the stubby end of the pomegranate, about ¼-1/2", just enough to expose the inside.
- Score the skin of the pomegranate all the way around, going no deeper than about ¼" into the skin. Repeat the scoring once or twice more around the pomegranate at different angles.
- Use your fingers to gently pry open the pomegranate along the scored cuts so that you have smaller sections that are easy to handle.
- Take one section of pomegranate and bend the skin back. Arils will start popping out by themselves.
- For arils that are still attached to the skin, gently push against them with your thumb or forefinger to pry them out. Gently peel away the papery white layers to expose more arils underneath.
- Continue with all pomegranate sections until all the arils have been removed.
- Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week.
- I usually choose the biggest pomegranate I can find in the bunch so I can get the most arils for the buck!
- Choose pomegranates with a firm skin that has a bit of yield when gently pushed.
- When opening the pomegranate, work over a large cutting board or large bowl so you don't lose arils onto the floor or counter.
- Work slowly and gently so as not to pop the arils and get a juicy mess.
- I love eating as they are, cold from the fridge, or using them to top some plain Greek yogurt or salads!
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**Post updated October 3rd, 2019 with the addition of a recipe card and additional text.