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How To Tell If A Pineapple Is Ripe

Pineapples can be intimidating to buy. Lots of people don’t know how to tell if it is ripe or how to cut it so they avoid them and walk right by.

Pineapples are so delicious all by themselves or in so many dishes both sweet and savory.

Knowing how to tell if a pineapple is ripe is crucial to know when buying them so that you get the full experience of juicy sweet pineapple.

In three easy steps, you will know by simply looking at them, smelling them, and feeling them.

Ripe pineapples on a rustic wooden table.

How to tell if a pineapple is ripe is simple. You can tell by smelling the bottoms. If you get a sweet fruity smell then it is ripe. Also, the more yellow a pineapple is the riper it is.

How to Tell if pineapples are ripe in 3 Steps

If you have never bought a pineapple before because you were not sure how to tell if it was ripe then stay with me here. I will go over three simple ways to tell if a pineapple is ripe or not.

Technically when a pineapple is picked it will not continue to ripen. However, it can soften and as it starts to go it will soften and get sweeter which people often mistake as ripening. Either way, it is delicious.

All you need is your senses! We are going to look at it, smell it, and feel it.

If we do those three things we will know if we can cut into the pineapple and enjoy it or if we should wait.

Also, check out how to tell if a banana is ripe.


How the pineapple looks is a great tell-tale sign. The more yellow you see the riper the pineapple is. When you are at the store you probably see a lot of pineapples that are dark green in color with some yellow. These are not ripe yet.

Pineapples will ripen from the bottom up and get more yellow as they ripen.

You don’t need the whole pineapple to be yellow but when the bottom is a nice bright yellow, that is a good sign of ripe pineapple.

You want healthy-looking green leaves, if they are yellow and brown there is a good chance the pineapple is old and could be rotten.


If the colors look good, go ahead and pick it up and give it a little squeeze, don’t worry those spikes won’t hurt you.

A ripe pineapple will be slightly soft. If it is rock hard then it is not ready. You don’t want the pineapple to be as soft as a ripe mango or avocado but you want to feel a little give.

If you pluck a leaf does it come out easily? If it has some resistance then it could be perfectly ripe, if it comes out real easy then it could also be rotten.

This goes for a lot of fruit, learn how to tell if honeydew is ripe.


If it looks good and feels good then hold the pineapple upside down and give the bottom a good sniff. You are looking for a fruity sweet smell at the base.

If you smell a sour or fermented moldy smell then the pineapple has gone too far and you won’t like the taste of it.

The weight of the Pineapple

If you hold two pineapples one in each hand and they are the same size you may notice that one is heavier than the other. I ripe pineapple will be heavier than it looks in size.

This is because it is full of that delicious ripe sweet juice, this is the one you want to choose.

How to tell if a Pineapple is ripe Summary

  • The more yellow it is the riper it is.
  • Squeeze it. You want a little give to it, not hard as a rock
  • Smell it at the bottom. If it smells sweet it is ripe.
  • Pick it up. If it feels heavy for its size it’s a good sign of ripe pineapple.

How to ripen a pineapple

Paper bag Method

If you bought a pineapple and it wasn’t quite ripe enough you can speed up the process by placing the pineapple into a paper bag.

Fruit naturally gives off a gas called Ethylene which helps to ripen itself. This should be done at room temperature.

When you place a pineapple into a paper bag it traps the ethylene and helps to speed up the process. If you want to ripen it even faster, throw a banana into the bag as well.

Having another fruit in there with the pineapple will create more ethylene trapped in the bag and therefore speed up the process.

Upside Down Method

Place the pineapple upside down and the sugars should travel throughout the pineapple to give it a balanced sweet taste.

This method doesn’t always work but give it a try.

Now that you know how to tell if a pineapple is ripe, check out my post to learn how to cut a pineapple and how to store pineapple to keep it fresh.

What does an unripe pineapple look like?

An unripe pineapple has a green color to it. The leaves are still attached to the top of the pineapple and are not brown or wilted.

Unripe pineapple is also very firm and will not give when you press on it.


With these simple steps, you’ll never bring home an underripe pineapple again. For more insights on selecting the freshest fruits, check out our ultimate guide to fruit ripeness, where we cover everything from apples to figs.


Will a pineapple ripen on the counter?

No, a pineapple will not ripen on the counter. After they are picked the ripening process stops and they will not become sweeter. This is why you want to make sure it is ripe when you purchase it.

Does pineapple ripen after being picked?

No, after the pineapple has been picked it has started the decay process, and no longer is it going to ripen. the color will start to change but it is as ripe as it’s going to be.

How long does it take for a store-bought pineapple to ripen?

It is as ripe as it’s going to get as soon as it is picked. So absolutely want to make sure that it is ripe when you purchase it!

Crate full of pineapples at a store

How to tell if a pineapple is ripe

In this post, I'm going to tell you how to know if a pineapple is ripe or not by using your senses.
5 from 1 vote
Course Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 57 kcal


  • 1 pineapple



  • How it looks is a good way to know if a pineapple is ripe. If its color is more golden yellow than green it is ripe.


  • To tell if a pineapple is ripe by how it feels pick it up and squeeze it. If it's firm with a little softness then that means it is ripe. You can try to pluck a leaf from the top and if it comes out easily then it could be rotten.


  • You can smell a pineapple to determine if it is ripe by flipping the pineapple upside down and giving it a sniff. A ripe pineapple should smell fruity at the base.


Serving: 8gCalories: 57kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 123mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 66IUVitamin C: 54mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword How to tell if a pineapple is ripe
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