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Opening a Coconut the Safe and Easy Way!!

Patricia Reitz

Fresh Coconut - I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love the flavor and texture, but I hate what I have to endure going through to get into that shell! I'd do it every once in a while, just for the fun of it (not), but after sustaining an incredibly painful injury to the palm of my hand while attempting to open a fresh coconut with a hammer several years ago (a supposedly fool proof way - wrong), I decided it would be best to avoid the wicked beasts for the rest of my life! That was, until recently when I watched Martha Stewart demonstrate what looked like an incredibly easy and SAFE technique, so I thought I'd give it a try.

YES! Martha's technique worked like a charm and I'll never again be afraid to crack open a coconut. Thank you Martha!!

Okay, here we go:

When you're at the grocery store, be prepared to Shake-Shake-Shake. Select a coconut with plenty of juice in it - they start off completely filled with juice and slowly, over time, the juice evaporates. Pass on coconuts with little or no juice.

The hardest part about this technique is making the holes to drain the juice. I like to use a drill. Power tools in the kitchen are fun.

Hello Handsome.

Next drain the yummy coconut juice. Drink it up - it's naturally high in electrolytes.

Now we pop that baby into a preheated oven and wait for this to happen. Can you hear the angels sing??


Peel and Enjoy!

Look at that glorious mound of coconut love.

Items used:

Opening a Coconut the Safe and Easy Way

  • 1 fresh coconut

  • 1 oven, preheated

  • 1 oven proof container


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F with the oven rack placed in the center.

  2. Drain the liquid out of the coconut (see note below).

  3. Place the drained coconut in a shallow pan and place it in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the hard outer shell is visibly cracked.

  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

  5. Peel the dark skin from the coconut meat using a vegetable peeler. Your coconut is now ready to slice or shred.

Note: The easiest way I find to puncture the eyes of the coconut is to use an electric drill, but some people report good results using an ice pick, screwdriver, or hammer and nail.

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