How to Crack a Coconut
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So, you got your hands on some fresh coconut, but you aren't really sure where to begin. You've heard of people using cleavers and cracking open the coconut against sharp edges; you've even seen them use machetes in some areas, but these aren't really practical options for you in your kitchen. That's why we're showing you a couple of the easiest ways we know how to crack open a coconut. Opening a coconut with our methods is less risky and much more kitchen-friendly. After just a few tries, you're going to become a pro at cracking a coconut!
How to Crack a Coconut
- First, you'll want to drain the coconut water that's in the coconut. To do this, place a kitchen towel underneath a heavy cutting board, and then place another towel on top of the cutting board. This'll help prevent the coconut from slipping. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to puncture the coconut's "eyes" (these are circular shaped indentations at one end of the coconut). You may need the help of a hammer to puncture the eyes, as only one of them will be soft enough to puncture. (Watch your hands!) Once you've made the holes, you can empty the water into a bowl and save it to use in soups, sauces, or drinks.
- Option 1: This is the fastest way to open a coconut. Hold the coconut firmly with one hand and whack the coconut firmly with a hammer (Watch your hands again!). Do this several times, sort of rotating it as you go along, until it cracks open. Remove the meat by using a spoon to pry it apart.
- Option 2: Place a coconut on a baking sheet (after removing the water) and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. After it cracks in the oven, let it cool for a bit before tapping it to separate the meat from the shell.
- To remove any of the brown skin before shredding or grating the coconut meat, you can simply use a vegetable peeler. Of course, you can always eat it as-is, too!
Usually, if a recipe calls for coconut we simply go to the pantry and pull out a bag of shredded coconut. Pretty easy, huh? But if you've got fresh coconut on hand, and you know how to open a coconut (you should now!) you can always substitute with freshly shredded or grated coconut.
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