How To Open A Pomegranate

Both lucky and unlucky to have friends with gorgeous pomegranate trees, I’ve spent a lot of time testing the best methods on how to open a pomegranate. Not to be dramatic, but embarking on the journey of eating a pomegranate has always required a fair amount of fortitude on my part.

How to open a pomegranate

If you are anything like me and can’t stand rupturing a single aril (juice part of the seed), the idea of spending a full half an hour teasing out the delicate juice-filled arils can be daunting. Not only must you have the time to dedicate to eating this crimson fruit, but you must also muster enough patience and perseverance to peel the fruit without creating what looks like a juicy murder scene. I mean, let’s be honest. This fruit is more sport than sustenance.

Luckily for us all, I have scoured the deep recesses of the world wide web to deliver the ancient secrets of pomegranate peeling. Ok, these methods may not be a secret, but they are effective!

Read on to discover the quickest and least-messy ways to peel a pomegranate.

The Flower Method

This self-dubbed flower de-seeding method is quick and, if done right, only a small amount of juice will be spilled.

Open pomegranate, how to open a pomegranate

What you’ll need

  • A bowl
  • A heavy spoon for tapping the seeds out
  • A small sharp knife

Pro: Least messy method.

Con: Can take longer because of more scoring.

Method

  1. Wash your pomegranate.
  2. Make a superficial cut (score) around the the crown (officially known as the calyx), careful not to cut through the arils (seeds).
  3. Remove the top portion you scored.
  4. Score the pomegranate vertically along the 5 or 6 subtle ridges on the sides. Remember not to cut too deep, only slicing through the outler layer of skin.
  5. Gently open the pomegranate with your hands over the bowl. The fruit should now resemble an opened flower with most of the arils still inside.
  6. Over a bowl, hold the pomegranate in your palm face down. Gently tap the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon. There are a variety of kitchen utlensils that should work in lieu of a spoon.
  7. Once most of the seeds have come out, fill the bowl with water to allow any pieces of the skin to float to the top. This will allow you to skim the excess off the top easily.
  8. Drain the water and enjoy your pomegranate seeds!

Side Note: Some suggest soaking the cut pomegranate in a bowl of water for 10 minutes will help the seeds fall out easier when you go to tap them out. For the record, I didn’t notice any difference when I tried this for myself.

Video demonstrating the flower method:

The Cut-In-Half Method (A.K.A. Martha Stewart Method)

What I have dubbed the cut-in-half method is Martha Stewart and Jamie Oliver’s pomegranate peeling method of choice. It only requires a single score in the center of the fruit. Personally, I do not like this method as much because it can be significantly messier if you have a “difficult” pomegranate.

Pomegranate cut in half, how to open a pomegranate

What you’ll need

  • A bowl
  • A heavy spoon for tapping the seeds out
  • A small sharp knife

Pro: Potentially quicker than the flower method.

Con: Can be significantly messier when hitting the arils out.

Method

  1. Wash your pomegranate.
  2. Score the pomegranate around the center of the fruit.
  3. Gently pull the two halves apart over a bowl.
  4. Over a bowl, hold the pomegranate half in your palm face down.
  5. Gently tap the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon, or any similar kitchen utensil. Rotate the fruit in your hand as you tap the arils out.
  6. Pepeat the process with the second half.
  7. Once most of the seeds have come out, fill the bowl with water to allow any pieces of the skin to float to the top. This will allow you to skim the excess off the top easily.
  8. Drain the water and enjoy your pomegranate seeds!

Video demonstrating the cut-in-half method:

Jamie Oliver’s quick and dirty method

Jamie Oliver shows us his incredibly efficient, yet somewhat graceless, method of extracting pomegranate seeds and juice. This is by far the quickest and dirtiest pomegranate de-seeding method I’ve seen.

Pomegranate Health Benefits

Pomegranates are full of potent antioxidants. Loaded with B vitamins, potassium, flavonoids, and folic acid, this wonder-fruit is great for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as fighting cancer and preventing heart disease. They also have antiatherogenic, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking pomegranate juice is a great way to take in antioxidants during the winter months and prevent falling ill.

According to Healthline.com, one cup of arils (174 grams) contains:

  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 30% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
  • Folate: 16% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 12% of the RDI
  • Sugar: 24 grams
  • Calories: 144

Choosing a Ripe Pomegranate

Chances are if you are purchasing a pomegranate from the grocery store, they are already ripe enough to eat that day. The fruit should be a deep red to purple color, with few blemishes on the skin. A heavy fruit that sounds with a hollow thunk after lightly tapping it is ready to eat. The heavier the fruit, the more juice there is stored inside.

Choosing a ripe pomegranate

Storing Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate seeds will stay fresh in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator for about a week. If you want to save them for longer, your best bet is to freeze them. Simply spread the seeds on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and put them in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once frozen, you can transfer them to an airtight container or a freezer bag for more compact storage.

Pin this!

Weekly Updates and Email List Exclusives for Subscribers Only!
Invalid email address

Leave a Comment

Share to...