Cracking the Shell: How to Get Coconut Out of Its Shell

Unlock the Secret: Discover the Best Techniques for Extracting Coconut Meat from Its Shell

This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to crack open a coconut and get the meat out. It includes information on necessary tools, preparing the coconut, cracking it open, separating the meat from the shell, removing the brown skin, shredding or grating the meat, storing it, and using both coconut water and milk.


Coconut is a tropical fruit that is widely used in various cuisines worldwide. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. However, getting the coconut out of its hard shell can be a daunting task for many people. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to crack the shell and get the coconut out.

Tools You Will Need

To crack open a coconut, you will need a few tools. A hammer, screwdriver, and a pair of pliers are the most commonly used tools. You can also use a meat cleaver or a machete if you have them available.

Preparing the Coconut

Before cracking the coconut, you need to prepare it. Start by removing any excess fiber from the outside of the coconut using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. Then, locate the three “eyes” on one end of the coconut. Use a screwdriver or sharp knife to poke two of the eyes until they crack open. Drain the liquid into a bowl and save it for later use.

Cracking the Coconut

To crack the coconut open, hold it firmly with one hand and use the other hand to hit it with a hammer or meat cleaver. Start by tapping around the middle of the coconut to create a groove. Once you have a groove, hit it harder until the coconut cracks open. Be careful not to hit too hard or too close to your hand.

Separating the Meat from the Shell

Once you have cracked the coconut open, you can remove the meat from the shell. Use a butter knife or spoon to pry the meat away from the shell. If the meat is still attached to the shell, use a screwdriver or pliers to gently separate them.

Removing the Brown Skin

After you have separated the meat from the shell, you will need to remove the brown skin. The skin is tough and bitter and can ruin the taste of your dish. Use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to remove the skin. Be careful not to remove too much of the meat.

Shredding or Grating the Coconut Meat

Once you have removed the brown skin, you can shred or grate the coconut meat. You can use a food processor, box grater, or a dedicated coconut grater to do this. Shredded coconut is perfect for making desserts such as coconut macaroons, while grated coconut is ideal for making coconut milk or cream.

Storing Coconut Meat

If you don’t plan on using the coconut meat right away, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. To freeze coconut meat, place it in an airtight container or plastic bag and store it in the freezer for up to six months.

Using Coconut Water

The liquid inside the coconut is called coconut water. It is a refreshing drink that is packed with electrolytes and nutrients. You can drink it as is or use it as a base for smoothies, cocktails, and other beverages.

Using Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is made by blending grated coconut meat with water and straining it. It is a rich and creamy ingredient that is used in many dishes such as curries, soups, and desserts. You can make your own coconut milk or buy it canned from most grocery stores.


Cracking open a coconut may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done easily. Once you have mastered the art of cracking coconuts, you will be able to enjoy the delicious meat and water that it provides. So next time you come across a coconut, don’t be intimidated, grab your tools and get cracking!

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