How to Cut and Open a Pomegranate

  • 01 of 06

    A Fresh Pomegranate

    Fruit
    Henrik Sorensen/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    When shopping, choose a pomegranate that is heavy for its size. The fruit ranges in size from baseball to softball. Pomegranates range in color from a pale, reddish yellow to a deep, crimson red. Color and external blemishes are no indication of quality (The skin is very thick, protecting the fruit). Pomegranates will last six to seven days without refrigeration or up to three months in the fridge.

    To cut open the pomegranate you will need a sharp knife and a large bowl of cold water.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Cut Off the Top

    how to cut open a pomegranate
    Photo copyright (c) 2005 by Brett Moore.

    Cut off about a 1/2 inch of the top (crown) of the pomegranate, taking care not to cut off too far below the crown. A word of advice for those not wearing an apron: the ruby red juice of the pomegranate has been used for many years to stain artwork and housewares by ancient cultures and it will stain your clothes.

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Score the Pomegranate

    Cutting a pomegranate
    Photo copyright (c) 2005 by Brett Moore.

    Make a shallow cut (score) in the pomegranate skin from the top to the base. Do not cut too deep into the pomegranate. Just below the outer skin is best. Repeat this process so that you have five evenly spaced cuts.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Breaking Apart the Pomegranate

    how to cut a pomegranate
    Photo copyright (c) 2005 by Brett Moore.

    While holding the pomegranate underwater, pull the fruit apart. The pomegranate should divide where you made the cuts in the skin. Holding the fruit underwater will minimize the amount of juice that may squirt onto you. Gently push out the seeds with your fingers carefully.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Seeds and Membrane Separate

    seeding a pomegranate
    Photo copyright (c) 2005 by Brett Moore.

    The pomegranate seeds (arils) will sink to the bottom and any membrane or pith will float to the top of the water. Skim off the pith with a spoon or your fingers. If you don't have a bowl of water, opening the sections as though you're opening an orange wedge will expose more arils to be removed.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    The Finished Product

    how to seed a pomegranate
    Photo copyright (c) 2005 by Brett Moore.

    After skimming off the pith, drain the water from the bowl or pour into a sieve. Rinse the pomegranate seeds briefly under cold water. The seeds are now ready for use.

    You may eat the seeds whole or use them in a recipe. To obtain the juice, push the seeds through a sieve. A medium-sized pomegranate should yield 1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh pomegranate juice. Another way to juice a pomegranate is by using a rolling pin over a sealed plastic bag. Be sure all of the air is out of the bag before sealing...MORE it. Run the rolling pin over the bag back and forth. Cut a small slit in one corner of the bag and pour the juice out into a glass. If you want to drink the juice immediately, chill the bag beforehand for 20 to 30 minutes.

    Here are some recipes that use pomegranates:

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