A Spicy Perspective

How to Cut a Pomegranate

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

Extracting Pomegranate Arils

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 cut 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

  1. 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.
  2. Repeat in the opposite direction to make 4 equal sections.
  3. Gently pull the sections apart.
  4. One at a time, submerge the pomegranate sections in a deep bowl of water. Rub your thumb over the arils to loosen them.
  5. Scoop off the floating white debris, drain the pomegranate seeds, and dry them on a paper towel.
  6. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, until ready to serve.

Pomegranate Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks that I have learned throughout the years to make cooking and baking with pomegranates a little bit easier.

  • Loosening the pomegranate seeds in a bowl of water will help the arils sink to the bottom and the white flesh will float up, making it easy to skim. Submerging the pomegranate sections in water also eliminates red juice splatter on your clothes. (Which is a major one because that juice stains!)
  • The way that you find the best pomegranate is by the color of its skin. The deeper and darker that the red coloring is on the outside, the sweeter the arils will be on the inside. If it is lighter in color, like a pink or salmon color, then the pomegranate is not ripe enough and will result in dry tart fruit. 
  • The seeds on the inside of the juice-filled arils are completely edible and they are actually a great source of antioxidants, punic acid, and insoluble fiber.
  • Eating pomegranates will have your body and skin thanking you because they have been known to carry anti-aging benefits by improving the skin’s texture with a production of collagen and elastin!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is so special about pomegranates?

Pomegranate seeds offer a bright juicy punch of flavor to all sorts of recipes. They make salads and fruit platters look opulent, and lift heavier flavors in rice dishes and creamy pasta recipes. This fruit is high in vitamin c and vitamin A. Pomegranates are also a great source of fiber as well. 

When are they in season?

Pomegranates are in season for a fairly short period of time. The peak of their season is in late fall and throughout the winter months. 

How do I store the seeds?

Pomegranates should be stored in the refrigerator and they can last for three to four weeks in the fridge before deseeding. After extracting the seeds, they can last in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. Or you can store them in the freezer in a tightly sealed bag for up to 3 months. 

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49 comments on “How to Cut a Pomegranate”

  1. Thank you so much for giving me the confidence to try this! I always paid a premium for the seeds sold by themselves so it’ll be nice to just get them myself now.

  2. Excellent lesson and the photos showed all of the steps so clearly. Thanks so much!

  3. One of the great mysteries of cooking finally solved!! Can I tell you how many pomegranates I’ve mangled trying to figure out the best way?! Love all this info.

  4. yes, I needed this, I’ve always tried to just kind of nudge them out with t a knife, not a good idea and that juice really stains, so I love this method, especially when I need a lot of seeds, great method, thank you!

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

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  12. Thanks!! I needed that! Great info!

  13. I only use this trick too, works wonders!

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

  15. This is what we do and it works great everytime!

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

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

  18. 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!

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

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

  21. Great new series! And good tips!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  33. I also like Pomegranate. :-)

  34. 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…

  35. I love the tip about putting the pomegranate in water!

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

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

  38. 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!

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

  40. 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.

  41. 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. :)

  42. 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!

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

  44. 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!

  45. 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.