【How to】 Break A Coconut In Half

How to Puncture and Crack a Coconut

  • Step #1: Safely Puncturing a Coconut
  • Step #2: Safely Cracking the Hard Outer Shell
  • Step #3: Safely Removing the Coconut Meat
  • Step #4: Dried & Sweetened

Coconuts may have a hard shell but the eyes are the entry poi

Chris Liverani

Video

A Word About the Video

Now that we've discussed how to crack a coconut safely, you are better-equipped to do this injury-free. The video below reinforces the tips learned in this article and provides a visual for those who want to see how this is done, but, as mentioned here, it is far safer to place your coconut in a bag before striking it.

1. Shake the coconut

When you shake the various coconuts available, you want to choose a coconut that has a lot of coconut water inside. If you find a coconut that doesn’t make a sloshing noise when shaken, do not choose it! Lots of coconut water is a good indication that the coconut is fresher. Those with less coconut water are more likely to have leaks or cracks where the coconut water has escaped, and mold may have gotten inside.

Plus, who doesn’t love having a lot of coconut water to drink?

Loosening and Removing the Coconut Meat

Now you have coconut halves meat-side down on the counter. Here is how to get the meat out.

  1. Strike the coconut halves repeatedly with the hammer to help loosen the meat from the shell. Tap over the entire shell area to loosen all the meat. Don't worry if the shell breaks into smaller pieces.
  2. Slide a butter knife between the shell and the meat and pry the meat away from the shell. Repeat with each piece. 

Caution: Use a dull butter knife and push away from your hand and body to prevent injury.

Step 1: BREAK or CRACK a COCONUT

  • Quickly rinse the coconut under running water..
  • Hold the coconut on your left hand with the eyes of the coconut near the thumb and the pointed end of the coconut along the pinky finger.
  • Using a coconut breaker (or blunt side of cleaver or hammer or a strong pessle), crack/break the coconut along the hard lines of the coconut ( you will see 3 lines along the body ).
  • note : sometime you will crack open the coconut in 2 or 3 hits and sometimes it can take upto 4 or more hits ..so don’t worry ..keep hitting until it cracks .. 🙂

  • As you crack, you will notice the coconut water starts to drip, immediately, collect the coconut water in a bowl by gently pulling and releasing the shells.

  • Now crack again to let the shells split open and there you gooo.. COCONUT CRACKS OPEN !!

  • note: if this is your first time, please be careful while hitting them. Use a GLOVE to hold the coconut, so that you wouldn’t hit on your hands during any slips..

Step 3: GRATE the Coconut Pieces With a PROCESSOR / BLENDER

  • To grate using a processor, use the small grating blade while grating ..
  • Fill the top of processor feed with coconut pieces, turn on the switch and start grating ..
  • Once you have finished grating all the coconut pieces, remove the lid and you will notice small coconut bits on top of grater blade, take those pieces into a separate bowl. ( chop these into tiny pieces and add to the grated coconut or simply just eat them as I always do 🙂
  • Remove the grated coconut into another bowl..
  • note: to grate using a blender, fill half of the blender with coconut pieces and pulse 10 – 12 times until grated..

3. Search for cracks, mold, and wet areas

Apart from the eyes of the coconut, you can also sometimes find other moldy areas. You won’t usually see a full crack on a coconut that is full of water, but you may see small damp areas where a tiny hairline crack has begun to form.

Needless to say, don’t choose any coconuts with visible cracks, mold, or wet areas!

Which of these would you choose? I chose the one o
Which of these would you choose? I chose the one on the left!

How To Break A Coconut Details

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To Crack the Coconut

1. If you did not already remove the juice, have a bowl handy to pour it into at the first sign of a crack.2. Place the coconut on a towel, or hold it in your hand. A towel is safer but if you left in the juice it is a bit easier to have the coconut in your hand, as this will allow you to save the juice faster.3. Using the non-sharp edge of a heavy meat cleaver or heavy knife, bang the coconut about 1/3 of the way down from the end with the eyes. Don’t try to obliterate the thing, just give it a healthy bang.4. Rotate the coconut while continuing to bang it with the edge of the cleaver or knife as if you are trying to inscribe a line around the shell.5. Keep doing this until a crack opens up.6. Immediately pour the coconut juice into the bowl through the open crack, hopefully without losing too much in the process.7. Pull the two halves of the coconut apart. Sometimes you can make a “clean break” and basically separate the coconut into two halves. Other times a section of the shell will come off.

Once you have broken open your coconut and saved the water, scrape or cut the flesh off the brown skin beneath.

Image by Drmarathe via wikimedia
Image by Drmarathe via wikimedia

Alternate Heating Method

Another method, as mentioned above, of breaking open a coconut is to place it on a baking sheet and heat it in the oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes. The heating will make the shell develop fault lines and allow it to be broken open more easily. However, this method makes it difficult to save the coconut water, which, even if you aren’t using it, is a refreshing drink. As well, the resulting steam could scald you as you break open the coconut.

   Coconut Palms
   Coconut Palms

Finding a Good Coconut

Look for a coconut with no cracks that makes a nice swishing sound when you shake it, indicating that no cracks have developed (from handling) so that no water has leaked out. Avoid coconuts with white spots, especially around the eyes, as this is mold and it tends to develop around places where the water is leaking.

Once you’ve opened a coconut, the flesh should be white, not yellow or brown. It should smell like a coconut, and not have any foul odor whatsoever.

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