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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.

Crate full of pineapples at a store

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 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.

1. A ripe pinapple is yellow

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.

2. Slight give when squeezed

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 in. 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.

3. Smell for sweetness

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.

4. Heavy for its size

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.

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 a ripe pinapple.

How to ripen a pineapple

Paper bag

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.

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 speeding up the process.

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!

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