How to open a coconut

Reader's Digest Editors

There is only one problem with the coconut: getting into it. Here's how to open this tasty tropical treat. 

What you need…

Getting into a coconut will take a bit more muscle than, say, peeling an apple, but it is not as hard as you might think.

You will need a hammer, a screwdriver (that you need to clean before using), a knife, and a container for the milk. Safety goggles and gloves are not a bad idea either, as your tools could slip.

Read more: 10 Household uses for coconut oil

 

The best way to make a coconut mess

If you want a coconut mishap, try to chisel it open without first draining the liquid. Go ahead, have fun.

But if you want things to actually go well, start by looking for the three dark “eyes” on the coconut’s smaller end. (A coconut is not entirely round—it is shaped more like an egg.)

Take your screwdriver and place it on one of the eyes. Use your hammer to tap the screwdriver into the eyes. When you can move the screwdriver in and out oft he coconut easily, it means you’ve broken through the shell. Do this into a second eye to allow air pressure to get in and push the milk out—sort of like opening a can of juice.

Now you can tip the nut to drain the milk into your waiting container.

 

how to crack a coconut

 

Find the weak spot

Now you need to find the natural stress point where the coconut’s outer shell will easily split open. To do this, pick a spot about two to three inches from the place where you drained the liquid.

Take the screwdriver by the shaft, and tap the spot with the handle, using some force, a few times. Next turn the coconut and tap the same distance down from the other end.

Keep tapping and turning, and a small crack should eventually appear in the outer shell.

Once it does, insert the point of the screwdriver into the break and tap it with the hammer to pry it open.

Congratulations, you’re in! Now you can use your knife to cut out the yummy white coconut meat.

 

When all else fails

smash coconut

If this seems like too much work—and you don’t mind making a big mess and losing all the coconut milk—a less elegant way to get into a coconut is to bash it with a hammer or mallet until it breaks.

This method is preferable after a bad day.