How to Open a Coconut + Video


Have you ever purchased a fresh coconut? They are so fun, but they can be very challenging to open. When we were writing the Muy Bueno cookbook I cracked open a couple to use for photoshoots, but it was not easy. I placed it on our driveway and tried to hammer it open. It was bouncing all over the place and wouldn’t crack. Finally after a few whacks it finally busted opened, but all the precious liquid ran down the driveway.

Melissa’s Produce sent us a box of coconuts for some of our fresh coconut water cocktails in the new Latin Twist cocktail book. Luckily for me, Jeanine had a clever idea and suggested we YouTube an easier way to open a coconut. Duh, why didn’t I think of that? We searched, and we found a few videos of how to open a coconut with it’s hard as a rock shell without needing a machete or cleaver.

After a few attempts experimenting with different tools, I discovered that a hammer is still my tool of choice. Check out my video to see how I open a coconut.

First, you pierce the top of the coconut using a clean screwdriver and drain the liquid in a cup. Over a large bowl, hold the coconut in your hand (firmly) to support the weight. Then you want to give it a good whack making a crack around the parameter of the fruit. It might take more than one whack to bust open, so don’t give up.

If you are not going to use all the coconut the same day, place it (either in chunks or grated) in a plastic bag and refrigerate up to 2 days. To keep fresh longer, wrap the prepared coconut in plastic and then in aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 2 months.

Enjoy fresh coconut water to drink straight, mix in a cocktail, or grate the meat to garnish a dessert.

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Written by Yvette / Photo by Jeanine / Video by Pure Cinematography

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  1. Great video. I loved the background music! I can’t believe how easy it was for you to open the coconut. Definitely the hammer is the perfect tool for that. In Venezuela they do it with a machete.

  2. Great video! I’ve never actually seen anyone open a coconut before. Either you’ve got some guns or it really is pretty easy! 🙂

  3. That was a good whack there. I’ve had fresh coconut water, it is delicious.
    Though I have never opened one myself. It’s good to see how its done. Maybe now I’ll buy one and try it. Great video mija.

  4. Yes! I have hacked at a coconut with little success. When we lived in Bermuda, a coconut fell out of a tree in our yard and we felt like little monkeys wondering what to do with it. I am going to watch your video to learn the right way to open one. We surely didn’t do it correctly but oh it was fun!

    • You lived in Bermuda Holly? So interesting! And how fun that you had a coconut fall in your yard. I can just imagine you little monkeys 😉

  5. there is a little secret that not many people know to easily opening coconuts. looks like i’ll have to get a video up with my husband showing the technique. he can even do it with the back of a butter knife – no severed hands to worry about!

  6. If I ever find my wife mis-using my screwdrivers as punches, let alone striking them with a hammer, there will be hell to play.

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