How To Open A Coconut In 4 Simple Steps

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Recipes.net Team Modified: May 17, 2022

Coconuts may be a challenge to crack, but we all deserve to savor this tropical fruit without breaking a sweat or suffering an injured finger. Fortunately, we’ve got some useful kitchen hacks on how to open a coconut — making the feat a lot easier and safer for all!

Technically speaking, there are a number of tools that you can use to open a coconut. For instance, there are all-in-one coconut opener kits and scrapers available in the market. But the good news is, there’s no need to spend extra dollars on these fancy equipment. We’ll share with you the safest way of how to open a coconut at home using regular household tools, like a screwdriver and a hammer. We’re also excited about sharing with you tips to easily remove coconut flesh from its husk without hurting yourself!

Remove the Coconut Husk

Coconut without husk

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of how to open a coconut, the first thing you have to do is remove the husk. Ripping through this part of the fruit requires some elbow grease, though. For an easier time, the key is to weaken the coconut’s fiber so it would be easier to tear off its husk. To do this, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Make sure the pointy end of the coconut is on the top area. Place it horizontally where it can stand on its own. You can surround it with some rocks to hold itself. 
  2. Smash the top using a heavy stone or brick you could find. 
  3. Do the smashing twice until it shows strands of coconut fibers starting to get loose.
  4. Turn the coconut upside down, and hit it with the rock again to completely weaken its structure.
  5. When both ends are now crushed, peel the coconut husk apart until you’re left with the inner coconut fruit pictured above.

Puncture and Drain the Coconut

Coconut dots, also called coconut eyes or coconut face

Usually, a machete is needed to hack the top of the coconut shell. But since you want to know how to open a coconut safely, there’s no need for that. Instead, you can simply make punctures on the fruit’s “eyes” using a blunt tool to release the coconut water. This should be done before breaking open the shell for its flesh. Simply follow these instructions: 

  1. Locate the three dots on the coconut (usually at one bottom of the shell). Some call these dots the eyes of the coconut. 
  2. Position a blunt tool, such as a clean nail or screwdriver, on each of the eyes of the coconut. Then, use a hammer to gently puncture the eyes.
  3. Widen the holes and get a cup or a bowl to drain all the sweet water from the coconut. 

Tip

  • If you don't have a blunt tool, you can also use a butter knife and a hammer to puncture the coconut dots.

Crack Open the Coconut

Coconut cracked open

Fresh coconuts are so tasty and packed with nutrients. Enjoy them as a dessert by making some nata de coco from its thick flesh and coconut water, or incorporate its meat in a sweet and salty salad like what we did in this coconut chicken salad recipe. 

You can easily achieve these coco-licious dishes at home with the help of these simple steps on how you can crack a coconut open at home. 

  1. Get a bowl to be used for catching the remaining coconut water while opening the coconut
  2. Find a concrete surface, may it be on your front porch or in your kitchen.
  3. Then, locate the coconut’s ridge line and smash it repeatedly at the edge of a concrete step until it breaks itself in half. With some strength, this should only require a few knocks.

Easily Remove the Coconut Flesh

Scoop of coconut flesh

The most common coconuts for purchase are the mature brown coconuts that have a thick flesh with higher fat content. This is perfect for recipes that require sweet coconut water (or coconut juice), as well as meaty grated coconut for making coconut milk, coconut oil, and many more. As mentioned in Step 3, you should crack it to cut it in halves. Afterwards, there’s no need for coconut meat removal knives. For the last step in this tutorial on how to open a coconut, we’ll show you the best way of taking the thick white flesh from the fruit. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Preheat your oven at 400 degrees F.
  2. After cracking open a coconut in half, place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Put the halved coconuts in the oven for ten minutes. This process will make the meat separate nicely from its shell.
  4. Use a spoon to get the meat.

Now that you know all these amazing tips on how to open a coconut at home, don’t shy away from making yourself a good and yummy treat. Give this fruity and milky coconut mango ceviche a try for a delicious appetizer! You can even make some tropical coconut bowls out of the empty shells, too.

Everyone Should Know How to Open a Coconut Safely

Learning how to open a coconut this way may take some effort. However, this is generally a lot safer compared to using knives and machetes. There’s no need to spend an extra dime on tools, either. Nor would you have to risk cutting a finger and skin just to enjoy fresh coconut meat. We hope this guide will come in handy for the next time you want to indulge in this sweet and nutritious tropical fruit!

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Recipes.net Team

We are a team of writers and recipe testers--chefs, culinary school graduates, and passionate food bloggers--who aim to produce easy recipes that everyone can make. We also cover articles that keep you informed on the latest trending recipes as well as detailed guides that will aid you in your cooking. No matter what you're looking for, be it a recipe to recreate or an article on the latest buying or cooking tips, Recipes.net team will have something just for you.