Learn the old fashioned secret of how to open a coconut and remove its meat, and you can enjoy the fresh coconut taste for all your baking needs.
Everyone should have the old fashioned fun of cracking open a coconut and preparing the meat from scratch. Fresh coconut direct from its shell tastes so good, and you get to drink the ambrosial coconut water too. It's an unforgettable experience. Crack open a coconut today!
First, make sure you choose a fresh coconut, one that has a bit of weight to it. You should be able to hear the coconut water sloshing around inside the coconut when you shake it. If you can't hear it, don't bring it home from the store.
Forget trying to poke or drill holes in a coconut's eyes, smashing it with a hammer, or sawing it in half; that can be risky, and it takes too much effort. Here's the easiest method for cracking open a coconut and saving its sweet, refreshing liquid:
All you need is a sturdy meat cleaver. Hold the coconut in one hand with its center (or equator) resting firmly in your palm, with the "eyes" on one side and the stem on the other. With your other hand, simply give the coconut three or more firm whacks around its center with the blunt "back" of the meat cleaver and watch the hard shell crack open into two halves.
Be sure to do this over a large bowl to catch the sweet coconut water as it drains from the open coconut.
With the coconut open, you can then break the hard outer shell into smaller pieces to get at the meat. Pry the white coconut meat from the shell by using a small flexible knife. The meat will come out in pieces, but try to keep the pieces as large as possible.
After rinsing in clean water, the pieces of coconut can then be shredded using a coconut grater, or even a simple cheese grater. This process will take a few minutes, so don't try to rush it.
The coconut meat can also be scraped from the shell in long thin strips by using a "coconut scraper" with its row of sharp teeth. This unique tool can sometimes be found in specialty kitchen shops and Indian grocery stores.
Fresh coconut meat can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six days and kept in the freezer for one to two months, though it's always best to use it right away when it's at its freshest.
Once you taste freshly grated coconut, you will never want to buy commercially packaged coconut again! The difference in flavor is more than worth the tiny bit of effort involved. By knowing how to open coconut shells the easy way, you'll be able to enjoy fresh coconut anytime.
The short YouTube video below demonstrates practical, easy instructions on opening a coconut and de-shelling the fresh coconut meat.
I was very young, but I can remember my Dad bringing home a coconut which he carefully cracked open; it was such a unique experience that I have never forgotten it. If you have young children, I am sure they would enjoy the novelty of watching you open a coconut too.
Mom took the white meat from the open coconut and made a pie using one of Grandma's coconut pie recipes on this website. I can still remember its taste. It was so good!
There's a fine variety of old fashioned coconut recipes on this website for you to try. Simply choose any of the coconut cake recipes, coconut cookie recipes, or coconut pudding recipes, and prepare a special treat for your family. Learn how to open a coconut today.