Before your monkey brain goes all Rambo and you conclude that the only means to open a husked coconut is with a machete or gun, try something a little safer. There are two methods that won't endanger you from losing a thumb nor will have your neighbors up on arms for blasting rounds in your backyard.

Drain The Coconut

These methods require you to drain the coconut first. The water from this hard-cased fruit is full of electrolytes and perfect for rehydration after strenuous physical activity.

Materials:

  • Screwdriver or metal skewer
  • Glass

There are three "eyes" or soft spots at the end of a coconut. Find the softest one and puncture it using the screwdriver or metal skewer. Once you have created a sufficient hole, turn the coconut upside down and set it atop of the glass so the water can drain. This will take several minutes and you may want to give it a good couple of shakes to get the last drop. In the end, you will garner ½ - ¾ cup of juice.

coconut in glass

Bake the Coconut

This method uses modern amenities to help ease the oomph needed to open a coconut.

Materials:

  • Oven Preheated to 375
  • Baking Sheet
  • Garbage Bag
  • Paring Knife
  • Vegetable Peeler

Place the coconut onto the baking sheet and bake until the shell begins to crack - about 10 minutes.

  • You don't want the coconut to be halved - that would be cooking it. You want to bake it just long enough to see a split. More effort will have to be made in order to fully split the coconut.

Remove from heat, place in a garbage bag and twist tightly.

  • This allows you to get a good grip on the fruit and ensures you'll keep the mess contained.

Bang it against a hard surface until it breaks into pieces.

  • You may need to give it a good couple of whacks on the kitchen counter, floor, or even sidewalk.
  • Bang it all over - don't just repeatedly hit it in one spot. Making several pressure points will help loosen the flesh from the shell.
coconut pieces

Using the paring knife, carefully remove the hard shell from the meat.

  • This will take a bit of wiggling but shouldn't be difficult because both the heat and the banging has done the hard work for you.
removing husk

With the vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the sweet white flesh.

  • Peel the coconut just like you would a potato or carrot until it is complete. You are now ready to eat, shred or bake it!
coconut peeler
A coconut peeler. PublicDomainPictures

Hit The Coconut

Even though you are working with a coconut that hasn't been split in the oven beforehand, it is still a straightforward and simple process.

Materials:

  • Kitchen Towel
  • Mallet or Hammer
  • Paring Knife
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Wrap the coconut into a towel (this ensures that the coconut will be stable and the mess will be contained.)

*Using the mallet or hammer, firmly tap it all over until it cracks. *

  • You don't need to use the type of force you would need to drive in a nail. Several firm taps are more effective than a single blow to the fruit because where you tap it starts to free the meat from the shell. It is okay if you have several smaller pieces than just two halves because will make the next step easier.
hammer and coconut

*Remove the shell from the flesh using a paring knife. *

  • This is the same step as described in the aforementioned method. You will want to wiggle the knife in between the flesh and shell until it is removed. It should be difficult because you've created enough soft points with the hammer.
  • Peel the coconut.

*Underneath the shell is a skin like a potato or carrot would have. Using the peeler, simply remove it. *

peeled coconut pieces

Don't let your friends know how easy it is to open a coconut; Let them believe you've really earned that pina colada!

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