How to Open a Coconut at Home

The article gives the best way to open a coconut at home easily without spilling the water, using a knife, a hammer or a rock without tools. Opening a whole coconut may seem like a challenge, but with the right technique, you can safely open it in your kitchen with ease and take out its water and meat.

In this guide, I will take you through the step-by-step process of opening a fresh coconut using an Oven, or a Microwave or a Fridge.

Choose a coconut that is heavy for its size and free of visible cracks. The sound of liquid sloshing inside indicates freshness. Whatever method you follow, the first step is to drain out its water. 

Opening a Coconut, whole coconut opened
Opening Whole Coconut

How To Drain the Coconut Water

Locate the three soft spots, known as "eyes" at the top of the coconut. Use a corkscrew or screwdriver to puncture two of these eyes to drain out the water into a bowl. Due to 2 holes, it would be easy to empty the coconut water. The water will flow out easier from one hole due to the pressure of air entering the coconut through the other hole.

This is how to open a coconut and drain water easily
Draining Water from Coconut

The Coconut Water : Advantages

Is it good to drink coconut water? Don't discard the coconut water! It may benefit your heart and kidneys.

You may drink this coconut water which is not only delicious but also a natural source of hydration and electrolytes, minerals and several important nutrients.  You can also use coconut water in smoothies and in cooking recipes.

Warning: As coconut water contains high levels of potassium, you should not drink it if you have high levels of potassium in the blood.

How To Preserve Coconut Water

  1. You can preserve coconut water in refrigerator for 5 days before it goes bad. 
  2. At room temperature, Fresh coconut water is clear in color and has an average shelf life of 2 to 4 hours at room temperature. After that it can change in flavor, aroma and taste.
  3. The water may turn pink as a result of oxidization of the sugars in the coconut.

How To Open the Coconut

The coconut can be opened whole or in two halves.

Opening Coconut in Two Halves

With the coconut water drained, it's time to crack open the shell. Hold the coconut in your one hand and using a hammer, gently tap around the equator of the coconut, rotating it as you go. Gradually, the coconut will start to crack along the equator line. Avoid using excessive force to prevent damaging the coconut flesh inside.

You can just hit the equator line of the coconut on a rock to open it in just 3 seconds.

The above methods will open the coconut, but the flesh will attached to its shell.

Separate the Flesh from the Coconut Shell

To separate the flesh from the shell, insert a blunt butter knife from your kitchen between the flesh and the shell. Gently pry the flesh away from the shell, working your way around the edges. The flesh might come off in chunks or pieces, depending on how mature the coconut is.

Put the  two halves of coconut into freezer for about an hour. Take them out and allow them to defrost. Using a knife, pry them with a knife, the meat will come out in full. You can eat coconut fresh and raw.

Opening a Whole Coconut

Opening the whole coconut is not an easy task, but with some practice you can open it. To open the whole coconut, it needs preheating or precooling the coconut to loosen the flesh inside, that will make cracking it easier.

Preheating the Coconut

You can preheat the coconut in an oven or a microwave as mentioned below:

Preheat Coconut in an Oven

You can preheat the drained coconut in the at around 200°C (392°F) for about 15 minutes. This helps to loosen the coconut flesh from the shell, making it less resistant to cracking.

Preheat Coconut in Microwave

Place the drained coconut in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the coconut for 4 minutes, in intervals of 1 minutes on medium power. The goal is not to overheat but to slightly warm the coconut, making it easier to crack and separate the flesh from the shell.

Keep a close eye on the coconut to avoid overcooking or causing it to explode due to pressure buildup.

Crack Open the Preheated Coconut

To crack open the coconut, hold the coconut firmly in one hand and using a hammer, gently tap around the circumference of the coconut. Gradually rotate the coconut as you tap. The goal is to create a line that goes all the way around the coconut's middle. Keep tapping until the shell cracks along this line.

Or you place a flat screwdriver on one of the eyes at an angle and hit lightly to insert it between the flesh and the shell and hit on the shell over the screwdriver to loosen and break  the shell. This way, continue to open the whole coconut.

This is a whole coconut opened by prehrating in microwave
Whole Coconut Opened

The above picture shows a whole coconut opened by preheating in a microwave and then using a flat screwdriver to crack the shell.

Opening a Whole Coconut Using the Refrigerator

Opening the whole coconut using your refrigerator's cooling power, the process becomes simpler and safer. Using the refrigerator method to crack open a coconut allows the coconut flesh to contract slightly, making it easier to separate from the shell.

Put your coconut in refrigerator overnight or in freezer for one hour. After the refrigeration period, remove the coconut from the refrigerator.

To crack open the coconut after cooling, hold the coconut firmly in one hand and using a hammer, lightly tap around the circumference of the coconut, rotating the coconut as you tap. Keep tapping until the shell cracks along this line.

The other way to crack open the precooled coconut is to place it on a stable surface and, using a flat-head screwdriver, gently insert it between the flesh and the shell in one of the eyes. Begin prying the flesh away from the shell, working your way around the coconut's circumference. The contracting effect of the cold temperature should facilitate the separation.

Clean the Coconut Flesh

Once you have cracked open the coconut whole or otherwise, rinse it under cold water to remove any remaining debris, and then pat it dry with a clean cloth.

I like to enjoy the coconut flesh as it is, or you can blend it into smoothies, or add it to your favorite dishes or use it in various recipes.

Video on Opening a Coconut at home

How to open a coconut at home video