How to Open a Pomegranate

What’s the best method of dealing with a pomegranate? Those tricky little pomegranate seeds can be hard to get out! Let me help…

How to open a pomegranate

Today is the start of a new “How To” series, that is a long time coming.

There are many little kitchen tricks I use on a daily basis, that shorten my cooking time and improve my kitchen experience over all. I’ve been meaning to share these with you in separate posts (to make them easy to find) for two… ahem, maybe three years now.

Sorry. Better late than never, I always say.

I realize many of you are kitchen savants and need no additional instruction from me. You just pop by for weekly dinner ideas.

Yet many of you are new to cooking, and when I tell you the preparation time for a recipe is 10 minutes, it takes you 25. Don’t be frustrated with yourself; we all started that way. Hopefully these weekly tips will help speed up your preparation time and relieve little cooking stresses.

I’ll be discussing everything from chopping to dealing with hard-to-handle produce.

Like today!

Let’s talk about how to open a pomegranate and extract the pomegranate seeds. The actual term for pomegranate seeds is pomegranate arils. So if you want to sound fancy, call them arils.

I’ve seen (and tried) all sorts of methods for opening a pomegranate, from rolling the pomegranate, to beating it with a wooden spoon.

The method of how to cut a pomegranate, that I find to be the best (meaning it yields the most unsquashed/uncut pomegranate seeds, with the fewest splatter stains) is this…

How to Cut a Pomegranate

Cut the pomegranate just through the skin around the entire pomegranate, not all the way to the center. You’ll feel the give when you get through the skin. Cutting all the way to the center just ruins a line of arils.

How to Cut a Pomegranate

Repeat in the opposite direction to make 4 equal sections.

Gently pull the sections apart.

How to cut a pomegranate and remove the seeds

One at a time, submerge the pomegranate sections in a deep bowl of water. Rub your thumb over the arils to loosen them.

The arils will sink to the bottom and the white flesh will float, making it easy to skim. Submerging the pomegranate sections in water also eliminates red juice splatter on your clothes.

How to extract pomegranate arils

Scoop off the white debris, drain the pomegranate seeds, and dry on a paper towel.

Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container until ready to serve.

How Tos for Pomegranate Seeds (Arils)

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42 Responses to “How to Open a Pomegranate”

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    1
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — January 16, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    I was so happy to learn this technique a few years ago. It’s the only way to get the seeds out without making a mess.

    Reply

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    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — January 16, 2013 @ 8:13 am

    This totally works. It’s how I do it too, after Mom shared this technique with me a couple years ago. I’m looking forward to your new series, Sommer, yay!

    Reply

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    Kristi Rimkus — January 16, 2013 @ 8:27 am

    I always make a mess when I cut open a pomegranate. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply

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    Julia @ A Cedar Spoon — January 16, 2013 @ 8:34 am

    I love this tutorial. I am a big fan of POM seeds and they are a pain to get out and I always get red juice everywhere. I am going to save this for the next time I buy one- thanks so much!

    Reply

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    Jenny Flake — January 16, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    Love this Sommer!

    Reply

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    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — January 16, 2013 @ 9:11 am

    I love how-to posts! I look forward to pomegranates every fall, but then I buy them and they sit in the fridge for weeks because I’m too lazy to get the seeds out. :)

    Reply

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    erno — January 16, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    Oh, I love this and I can’t wait to see what you do next! I’m not a big fan of pomegranates. I tried them once this year and found them very sour for too much work. I don’t think it was ripe enough. It’s always good to try something new.

    Reply

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    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — January 16, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    I hate cutting them, b/c their juices always coat me when I do it. so thank you for this heads up!! :)

    Reply

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    Heidi @foodiecrush — January 16, 2013 @ 9:41 am

    I’ve used this method before and sometimes I’ll turn the pomegranate upside down (after slicing) and whack the peel gently with a heavy wooden spoon and the little nuggets of joy jump right out. Great new blog redesign as well, congrats!

    Reply

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    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — January 16, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    I just recently tried this and it really works! We love pomegranates.

    Reply

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    a farmer in the dell — January 16, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    I have never been able to properly cut open a pomegranate. Thanks for the tutorial!

    Reply

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    Jeanette — January 16, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    I love the tip about putting the pomegranate in water!

    Reply

  13. #
    13
    Robyn | Add a Pinch — January 16, 2013 @ 11:13 am

    Love this post, Sommer.

    Reply

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    Christine (Cook the Story) — January 16, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

    I bet you’re right that this results in less spatter and fewer bruised seeds. BUT I kinda like the release of whopping pomegranates with a wooden spoon. In fact, I look forward to it! I wonder what that says about me…

    Reply

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    15
    iGurman — January 16, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    I also like Pomegranate. :-)

    Reply

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    Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife — January 16, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

    Pomegranates are so great from savory dishes to sweet and this is such a great tip!

    Reply

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    Amanda — January 16, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

    Seriously genius!!

    Reply

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    Loretta — January 16, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

    Great post Sommer! No more excuses, right? Can’t wait to see your other tips and tricks.

    Reply

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    Patsy — January 16, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    if you immerse the entire scored pomegranite in the water and break it apart while submerged there is NO splatter whatsoever.

    Reply

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    Cassie — January 16, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

    I love pomegranates! And I love how-to posts. I love how bright your photos are!

    Reply

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    Aggie — January 16, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

    Learning this trick was a game changer for me – love pomegranates!

    Reply

  22. #
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    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — January 16, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

    this looks amazing!

    Reply

  23. #
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    Kimby | a little lunch — January 16, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

    Glad to hear you’re doing a “how to” series, Sommer — it’s never too late!

    Reply

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    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — January 16, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

    Such excellent tips, Sommer! My method is very similar, but I’ve never used the nifty bowl of water trick. Thank you. …Pinning!

    Reply

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    Sandy @ RE — January 16, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

    How’d you know I always wondered? HA. Great post, my friend!

    Reply

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    Amy — January 16, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    I am looking forward to your “how to” series posts!

    Reply

  27. #
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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — January 17, 2013 @ 12:02 am

    I tried this method last year and it worked like a charm!

    Reply

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    vianney — January 17, 2013 @ 12:25 am

    Great new series! And good tips!

    Reply

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    29
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — January 17, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

    Awesome tutorial! I’ve never actually cut a pomegranate myself so this will come in very handy!

    Reply

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    Carolyn — January 17, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

    I know I’ve seen this technique before, but I always forget it. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply

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    Julia {The Roasted Root} — January 17, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

    Certainly wish I had seen this post ages ago..Can’t even tell you how much time I’ve invested in picking individual pomegranate seeds out! Great trick!

    Reply

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    Tara @ Unsophisticook — January 18, 2013 @ 8:44 am

    I totally needed this right now — have two pomegranates sitting in my refrigerator!

    Reply

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    Leslie — January 18, 2013 @ 9:12 am

    Yep. Thats the best way. Before I knew about the water trick, I would use my fingers. My cuticles would turn green….weird!

    Reply

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    Chrissy — January 18, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

    This is what we do and it works great everytime!

    Reply

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    Paula - bell'alimento — January 18, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

    This is the only way to do it without having to re-paint your kitchen ; )

    Reply

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    Angie — January 19, 2013 @ 6:30 am

    I only use this trick too, works wonders!

    Reply

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    Susan 30A EATS — January 21, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

    Thanks!! I needed that! Great info!

    Reply

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    Shaina — January 25, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

    I open these and hand the wedges to the kids. It is a great way to keep their hands busy. Those arils looks so plump and perfect!

    Reply

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    SweetSugarbelle — January 26, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

    My son is sooooooooooooooo intrigued with this. HE makes me pull it up every time we cut a pomegranate. We’d picked up a brochure in the store, and it got tossed. This post saved the sat!

    Reply

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    John — August 22, 2013 @ 12:13 am

    Now to start cooking with Pomegranate. Something I’ve not tried before, must find some good recipes!

    Reply

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