Opening a coconut can be very simple and easy if you know exactly what to do. I used to just get a hammer and try to break it open, but this is certainly not the best method or easiest, particularly when you are wanting to extract the meat. Since you may encounter different types of coconuts from young to old and some without husks or with husks. And since you may have limited tools at your disposal, we will cover each option separately, but first we will look at a general answer to How To Open a Coconut? Please take a look also at our videos and pictures for each option.
The easiest way to open a coconut is to drain the liquid first then with a heavy knife or hammer tap around the entire perimeter of the coconut until it cracks in half.
Now, let’s take a look more deeply at how to do this with pictures and videos along with different situations and different types of coconuts. We will look at:
- How To Open a Young Coconut – Usually the Green Ones
- How To Open an Old Coconut – Usually the Brown Ones
- How To Open a Coconut With Husk
- How Do You Open a Coconut Without a Tool?
- Can You Open a Coconut with a Knife?
- Can You Open a Coconut With Your Bare Hands?
- What To Do With an Open Coconut
A young coconut is usually 7 months old or younger with a green shell and coconut meat that is soft and tender. Usually, if you buy a young coconut in the supermarket the white husk will still be attached. If you remove the husk or have a young coconut with the husk removed, you will open it the same way as you open an old coconut. However, if the husk is still on the young coconut you will want to follow the steps below.
To open a young coconut with the husk still on, use a sharp knife to remove the husk at the top of the coconut. Then using the edge of a heavy knife tap around the top of the shell that has the husk removed until it cracks. Remove the cap that has cracked open and drink or pour the liquid into a cup.
Please check the video below to see How To Open A Young Coconut.
If you want to crack a young coconut in half with the husk still on you will need to have a sharp heavy knife such as a machete or similar. You will need to tap around the perimeter from top to bottom going with the grain of the husk. This is the opposite way for a de-husked coconut, which is normally tapped around the coconut to crack it.
Since the flesh or meat of a young coconut is so soft, you can easily scoop it out using a spoon to eat or store in the refrigerator for a later time. Please check out our article: How Long Is Coconut Meat Good For? – With Storage Options.
An old or mature coconut is a little different to open than the younger green coconuts. The mature coconuts are usually what you see in a supermarket and the shell is brown in colour with the husk removed. You can either drain the liquid first or leave the liquid in the coconut. If you leave the liquid in the coconut you will need to make sure you open it over a bowl so that the liquid can be collected as it splits open. This is the preferred method as the liquid still in the coconut offers some damping effect. Whether you drain the liquid beforehand or not the method is the same.
To open an old mature coconut, tap the perimeter of the coconut with a hard object such as a heavy knife or hammer until it splits.
Please check the video below to see How To Open An Old Coconut
To extract the flesh, boil the two half-shells with the coconut meat in water for 5 to 10 minutes then using a butter knife or shape knife scoop the flesh out in one piece. To see how to do this step by step please check out our post: How To Remove Coconut Easy in 5 minutes – Step by Step Guide
Usually, if the husk is on a coconut it will be a young coconut. If you don’t remove the husk, and you want to open it with the husk still on you will follow the steps below.
To open a coconut with the husk still on, remove the top of the husk from the coconut to expose the shell. Using the edge of a knife tap around the exposed shell until it cracks. Remove the cracked cap and drink or pour into a cup and store in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can crack the coconut in half using a sharp heavy knife such as a machete and tapping from top to bottom around the coconut (following the grain of the husk) until it cracks in half.
If you open your coconut and find the meat or water is pink then check out our article: Why Coconut Water Is Pink? Is It Safe & How To Prevent It Happening?
Which brings us to our next question:
If you don’t have any tools to open a coconut then you can improvise. If your coconut is bought from the supermarket then it may already have had its husk removed and so you will only need to crack the hard shell. However, you can still open a coconut if it has the husk in the same way as you would if it doesn’t have the husk.
To open a coconut without a tool, make sure you have a bowl to collect the coconut water. Find a stone with an edge or anywhere there is a sharp edge such as a step. Whack the coconut from top to bottom against the sharp edge. Work down and around the coconut from top to bottom working back up the other side from bottom to top. When the coconut is cracked water will start coming out which you will need to pour into the bowl or a cup. With your bare hands, you should now be able to grab the crack in the husk at the top of the coconut and tear them apart revealing the coconut meat.
The coconut water is best consumed as soon as possible to get maximum nutrition. It is also advisable to eat the coconut meat as soon as possible as well.
If you have ever wondered if a coconut is a nut, a fruit or a seed please check out our article: Is a Coconut a Fruit or Vegetable or Nut or Seed?
You can open a coconut with a knife. Your knife should be sharp and heavy, it’s preferable to have a machete if the coconut still has the husk on, but not essential. If the coconut does not have the husk on, then tap around the perimeter of the coconut with the sharp knife until the shell cracks. If the husk is still on the coconut then tap from top to bottom around the coconut until the coconut cracks.
You tap from top to bottom if the husk is still on because you want to go with the grain of the husk. Its way too hard to go against the grain. The sharp knife will cut into the husk and as it reaches the shell, the weight of the knife will help crack it open.
If the coconut has no husk then tapping around the coconut is sufficient until it cracks open.
We have already answered this question above, but for completeness, we will briefly show you how to do this.
You can open a coconut with your bare hands provided you have a sharp edge such as a rock or even concrete step. Firmly and with force whack the coconut from top to bottom against the sharp edge to break into the husk and crack the shell. Drain the coconut water and then with your bare hands pull the crack apart until the coconut tears in two.
This is the easiest way to open a coconut with your bare hands if you have no tools such as a sharp knife.
But you may wonder what to do once your coconut is open? Lets take a look at this question now.
With an open coconut, you can drink the coconut water and eat the coconut meat. Both provide good nutrition and coconut meat provides a good supply of good fats and calories. You can also make coconut milk or try cooking the coconut meat for a tasty meal or dish.
If you would like to know what nutrition coconut meat contains please check out our article: How to Cook Coconut Meat & Benefits
To make homemade coconut milk or cream from the coconut meat in easy to follow steps please read our article: What Does Coconut Milk Taste Like? How To Make Coconut Milk.
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