How To Open and De-Seed A Pomegranate

A delicious step-by-step tutorial and video detailing two methods for how to open and de-seed a pomegranate.

Check out these 2 easy methods for how to open and de-seed a pomegranate! | gimmesomeoven.com

Hey guys!  I have a new How-To Tuesday tutorial for you today.  And actually, this one includes a bonus — not just one, but two fool-proof methods for how to open and de-seed a pomegranate.

Because I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore these little gems (that literally look like cute little gems, right?!).  And during the short time of year that they’re in season, I always keep at least a few pomegranates stocked in my fridge so that I can sprinkle them on salads, mix them into one of my favorite salsas, brighten up some tacos, garnish some sangria or cocktails or ice cream, or — my favorite — just pop them as a snack like candy.  So good!!

That said, though, pomegranates definitely make you work for it, and can be notoriously tricky (and messy) to open.  So today, I thought I want to share with you my favorite two methods for safely opening a pomegranate and getting all of those delicious little gems (did you know they’re technically called “arils”) out of the shell and into your recipe…without splattering bright red pomegranate juice all over you in the process.

Do you know both methods?

Well, if you regularly eat pomegranates, you probably know that the trick to successfully de-seeding them is to do most (or all) of the process underwater.  Because pomegranate juice loves to splatter and stain, so keeping the arils submerged most of the time is the best way to avoid having a red polka-dotted sweater.  ;)

So fill a big mixing bowl with some water, grab a sharp knife and a cutting board, and give one of these two methods a try!

How To Open and De-Seed A Pomegranate

Learn these two easy (and safe!) methods for how to open and de-seed a pomegranate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pomegranate

Directions:

  1. Fill a large bowl with water.  Set aside.
  2. Wash the outside of the pomegranate thoroughly. (This is important since the outer skin may eventually be underwater with the pomegranate seeds.)
  3. Hold the pomegranate firmly on a cutting board and use a large sharp kitchen knife to carefully make a vertical cut down the middle to split it in two.  Then look for the ridges (see video) where the pomegranate arils reach the outer edges of the pomegranate, and use your knife to carefully score the outside skin along those ridges.
  4. Then (option 1) completely submerge one pomegranate half in the bowl of water, and spread the pomegranate open into a flour.  Use your fingers to carefully separate the arils from the rind, gently prying the rind apart more and more to reveal all of the arils.  Or (option 2) firmly hold the pomegranate arils-side-down right above the water, and use a strong wooden spoon to hit the outside pomegranate skin on all sides until the arils drop down into the water.
  5. You'll notice that the arils will sink, and the rind will float. Once all of the arils have been separated, remove and discard the floating pieces of rind. And then use your fingers to once more pick through all of the arils that are sitting on the bottom to remove any tiny pieces of rind that are still stuck to individual arils. Remove and discard this rind.
  6. Then strain out the water, and your pomegranate arils are ready to go! Use immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

My favorite 2 methods for how to open and de-seed a pomegranate! | gimmesomeoven.com

Leave a Comment:





Comments

  1. aLi. — November 5, 2009 @ 3:25 am (#)

    hi there ali! i just discovered your blog and i’m just wondering what kind of camera you use? your photos are great, and have a bright and cheery quality to them that some other food photographers don’t employ. great site! btw, chow has a video using the cut and whack method for de-seeding pomegranates. http://www.chow.com/stories/10876

    • ali — November 5th, 2009 @ 8:00 am

      hey ali!

      thanks for the kind comment! i recently purchased a canon rebel on craigslist, and am still in the process of learning how in the world to work it! the camera’s definitely great, but i think the brightness is probably mostly due to natural lighting, and the “saturation” button on the editing software. :) i may be a little obsessed with it.

      the video’s great too! mmmm…makes me hungry for another pomegranate. :)

  2. Amy J in SC — November 5, 2009 @ 10:44 am (#)

    So glad to know another option that the whacking method.

  3. Karen — November 5, 2009 @ 1:29 pm (#)

    Thanks! This is a great idea. No more pomegranate stained shirts, rugs or walls for me :)

  4. aLi. — November 5, 2009 @ 4:06 pm (#)

    oh that’s great! i’m looking into purchasing a canon rebel too! :D awesome. and yes, a pomegranate or some pom juice would be great right about now.

  5. Memoria — November 5, 2009 @ 5:12 pm (#)

    I just bought a pomegranate two days ago, so I will be referring to your page very soon. Thanks for the lovely photos!

  6. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — November 5, 2009 @ 8:55 pm (#)

    If only I had read this about a week ago! I bought a pomegranate at the store and had red juice all over my countertop. Great tips!

  7. Jackie at PhamFatale.com — November 5, 2009 @ 11:26 pm (#)

    Great tips! I watch my mother-in-law every day lovingly peeling, seeding and juicing pomegranates for an hour for her husband. She de-seeds the fruits exactly the way you describe it and extract all the juice. Did you know that 5 pomegranates yield only a mere 2-1/2 cups? Check out my post on how to get as much as juice as possible from this fruit at http://www.phamfatale.com/id_767/title_How-to-Make-Pomegranate-Juice/

  8. TasteHongKong — November 6, 2009 @ 6:18 am (#)

    Thanks Ali,
    Nice idea, and it is worth sharing to more people.

  9. Lekker Tafelen — November 6, 2009 @ 1:53 pm (#)
  10. Peggy — November 10, 2009 @ 5:01 am (#)

    great tutorial!

  11. SaraC — December 23, 2009 @ 4:28 pm (#)

    Hello! This is great. I just bought a pom to use for the holiday but I really had no idea how to go about getting them out, so thanks for this!

    You mentioned freezing, but I was wondering if you knew how long these would keep in a fridge (if at all). Like if I do the seeding tonight will keep until Christmas?

  12. ButterYum — April 26, 2010 @ 4:16 pm (#)

    I adore pomegranates. Have you ever tried whacking the back side of the pomegranate half with a wooden spoon? You wouldn’t believe the number of seeds that fall right out (in perfect condition).

    Fabulous photos!

    :)
    ButterYum

    • ali — April 26th, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

      Ha! No, I’ve never heard of the wooden spoon trick, ButterYum! Will have to give that a try when pomegranate season rolls around again. :) Fun!

      ~A

  13. Dave — November 10, 2010 @ 11:33 pm (#)

    I’m obsessed too, and as a young bachelor I have the time to actually open and de-seed one of these crazy things hahah. I’d like to just suggest another tested method. Over a table, have a bowl, a plate, a butter knife and some patience ready =)

    I) Holding the pomegranate upright, gently press the butter knife blade down in to the peel starting at the flower-shaped opening is. Saw with the butter knife if need be.

    II) DON’T cut through, only cut until you can just see the yellow layer underneath.

    III) Continue gently cutting down the side of the fruit, around the bottom, through the back and up to meet the first cut (completing a full circle)

    IV) Place the knife down and hold the pomegranate with each hand on either side of the circular cut, gently pull in to halves. This way, the seeds inside aren’t damaged. Then, gently remove seeds.

  14. Astrid — November 12, 2010 @ 10:03 am (#)

    I never thought of freezing pomegranate seeds! Will have to do so. Thanks for the tips! I tried the Seen-on-food-network method of whacking the pomegranate with a spoon, and that was the biggest mess ever…

  15. Cindy — November 14, 2010 @ 12:20 am (#)

    I also have just gotten a Canon rebel and still trying to figure this wonderful camera out. Those are great pictures. Did you use the macro?

  16. Best Robot Vacuum — April 5, 2011 @ 9:50 am (#)

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  18. Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground — September 14, 2012 @ 8:01 pm (#)

    Thanks so much for the fabulous tutorial! I just linked out to it in my post about Couscous Salad with Pomegranate Seeds & Mint. (Delicious!) After a ‘bad’ experience, I cheat and buy my pomegranate seeds already ‘loose’ … but wanted to share your wonderful post as a resource for my readers!
    Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground

  19. Penny — December 4, 2014 @ 1:48 pm (#)

    Thank you so much for this info.  Up until now I’ve been going nuts trying to get the seeds out with a teaspoon.

  20. Rachael — December 6, 2016 @ 9:17 am (#)

    Love this post, I always struggle with pomegranates!

    Rachael xx.

  21. Amanda — December 6, 2016 @ 9:26 am (#)

    This is my preferred method for pomegranates as well but I never cut the whole way through because you cut the seeds and make a big red mess. I sear the outside of the skin and then gently break it apart. Then follow your steps on the submersion method!

  22. Sabrina — December 6, 2016 @ 1:43 pm (#)

    Nice technique! Never thought of this before, so thank you for saving some of my clothes! I’d always used the peel-and-pull technique, my issue has always been a seed falling somewhere undetected until, like a land mine, it’s stepped on and, boom, instant stain!

  23. Bita — December 6, 2016 @ 3:40 pm (#)

    Hi Ali! We discovered the under water method last year and it has been a huge time saver! Hubby is a pom-aholic. Our girls have grown to love them too. Love the pop of color in holiday salads and drinks. Thanks for the video, it was awesome 🌟

  24. Maria — December 7, 2016 @ 8:37 pm (#)

    Ok, my sister and I LOVE pomegranates.  We always joke that if our job was deseeding pomegranates, we would be very poor – especially if we got paid per pomegranate!!  Its silly, I know;)  But the de-seeding a pomegranate struggle is a real thing!!  Glad to know that we are not alone!  This tutorial is great!  Excited to try your methods!

  25. Susan — December 13, 2016 @ 8:38 pm (#)

    I did a vertical cut – stem to stern – and discovered when looking at the insides that I had cut it the wrong way!  (Of course I just read the directions instead of watching the video before diving in…)  I found the amount of debris left to be quite annoying, though I’m sure it would be better if I cut the pomegranate in the right direction.  Despite the issues I encountered, I’m feeling a lot more confident about using pomegranates now.  Your video, which I watched after the fact, was very helpful.

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