It can be frustrating to not understand how much of an ingredient you need for a new recipe. Sometimes they give you a quantity of fresh pineapple in volume (2 cups) and sometimes as a weight (4 ounces). But how does that translate to purchasing fresh pineapple from the store. What are they really talking about? How many pineapples are in a pound? In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many pineapples you need to buy.
To answer How many cups in a fresh pineapple we went to the local market to check out the fruit section. We selected a 3 pound fresh pineapple for our how many cups are in a pineapple testing sample.
The Smooth Cayenne variety of pineapple is primarily grown in Hawaii and the one most commonly found in North American stores. It is the largest of the 5 varieties and normally weighs between 4 to 6 pounds when fully mature. The other 4 varieties fall into the 2 to 5 pound range.
In order to eat them, pineapples are usually skinned, cored and cut into chunks. After removing that much waste from in a 3 pound medium pineapple you are only left with about 4.5 cups (1065 mls) of cubes. One cup of fresh, peeled and cored pineapple that was cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces will weigh about 6 ounces (170g). By the way, the pineapple canning industry uses every bit of the "waste" for making alcohol, vinegar and animal feed; they throw out nothing.
When making pineapple juice in a juicer, I get about 1.5 cups (355 mls) or 11 ounces (312 grams) from 1 pound of prepared pineapple. It takes about 1/3 of a pineapple to make 1 cup (237 mls) of fresh juice.
Did you know that pineapples don't actually grow on trees? They come from an herb plant that grows to about 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall. Once picked, pineapples stop ripening. According to the Guinness World Records the heaviest pineapple was recorded in 2013 at 18.25 pounds (8.28 kg) which was grown in Australia by Christine McCallum.
So now whether you need fresh pineapple chunks or juice you'll be able to easily figure out how much is in a fresh pineapple. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many cups in a... measurements you need. If you use a lot of pineapple you should consider getting a good stainless steel corer. They are inexpensive and make quick work of peeling, slicing and de-coring a pineapple all at once. There are several models that will do the trick, but I use a CyberlandUSA brand at home. If you enjoy drinking and cooking with fresh squeezed juice as much as I do, consider purchasing a juicer. I suggest the Breville compact Juice Fountain; it's a solid middle of the road priced model that has worked well for me. It's easy to clean and assemble, and its smaller size makes it easy to store.
This food grows on a short spiny bush from a cluster of flowers that merge together and become a single piece of tropical fruit - a pineapple. It takes a good 2 years for a plant to make 1 fruit. Pineapple plants can be grown from seeds but most often they use a cloning technique to speed up the process.
When most people think pineapple, they think of Hawaii. However, pineapples are tropical plants that originally came from Central American and the Caribbean. Today, pineapples are easily found in most big-box grocery stores.
Pineapple juice is a common ingredient in cooking. It is included in marinades, many Asian and tropical dishes and enjoyed as a cold beverage. Due to its chemical makeup, it also effectively tenderizes meats.
Most foods that come from the ovary of a flower are classified as fruit and all other edible parts of the plant are considered vegetables. Since pineapples come from flowers, they are fruits.
In fact, they develop from many flowers joined together to make just 1 pineapple. Two other fruits that expand this way are raspberries and mulberries.
Most folks recognize 4 main groups of pineapples: Smooth Cayenne, Red Spanish, Queen, and Abacaxi.
• Smooth Cayenne:
It is one of the largest pineapples and normally weighs between 4 to 10 pounds. It is sweet to taste and very juicy. The flesh of the Smooth Cayenne is a medium yellow color.
This is the type of pineapple that grows in Hawaii and is found in all grocery stores in the United States. Smooth Cayenne is the most popular one to grow for canning pineapples.
• Red Spanish:
This medium sized but distinct pineapple is easy to identify with its bright red skin. Besides enjoying its external decorative appearance, it also tastes sweet even though it produces less juice. Compared to the other groups, it has a milder flavor in general.
It readily grows in Mexico and the Caribbean, but you will rarely find a Red Spanish pineapple in a United States grocery store.
This group of smaller pineapples is known for its very sweet taste and enhancing aroma. The texture of a Queen pineapple is refreshingly crisp. The skin is usually a dark yellow and the flesh is golden yellow in appearance. These are most often eaten fresh.
Queen pineapples grow in Australia, South Africa and India. This pineapple doesn't like the cold weather, so don't store them in your refrigerator.
The Abacaxi pineapples have very pale, sweet flesh. This group grows to between 2 and 11 pounds. Since they bruise easily, Abacaxi pineapple is not used in commercial applications.
The outside of a fresh pineapple is a tough waxy feeling skin made up of hexagonal sections with small pointy tips. The inside contains juicy fibrous flesh that depending on the variety, can range from whitish to a deep golden yellow to reddish orange in appearance.
Pineapple, with its sweet but slightly tart flavored juicy flesh, is a versatile tropical fruit. It can be eaten raw, mixed into cocktails and drinks, made in desserts, included in salads, and incorporated into savory dishes. It always adds a burst of freshness
Besides fresh whole pineapples, you can purchase ones diced or in cans, or bags of frozen pineapple pieces. In addition, you can purchase jars of pineapple juice.
Once picked, pineapples do not continue to ripen, so when buying, look for one that is already ripe.
For a sweet and tart flavored dish, you can replace pineapples with chopped green apples. When making a citrusy, sweet treat, oranges or orange juice can be substituted for pineapple in a recipe.
In a pinch you can use nectarines, mangos, or papaya to replace pineapple in a fruit or green salad. For a beverage, you can use grapefruit or orange juice as an alternative selection.
Whole fresh pineapples are actually quite easy to cut, all you need is a sharp chef's knife.
Place the whole pineapple on its side on a cutting board. Remove the crown of leaves by cutting across the body of the pineapple about 1 inch down from the connection point. Now cut a thin slice off the bottom end.
• For cutting cubes, wedges or spears, cut lengthwise down the remaining pineapple and cut it in half. Cut each half lengthwise so you end up with 2 quarters of pineapple. Repeat for the other half.
With the chef's knife, remove the skin from the outside of the quarters and the core from the center. Now you are only left with the inside flesh of the pineapple that is edible. Continue cutting the flesh into either cubes or spears as your recipe calls for.
• For cutting round slices, next stand the pineapple on the cutting board and begin removing the outside skin with a chef's knife. Make your cuts from the top down toward the cutting board. Continue making these cuts as you rotate the pineapple until all the skin is removed.
Next carefully remove the center by cutting around the core until the only edible pineapple is left.
Place the pineapple on its side and slice across the flesh making a ring or circular shape. Continue cutting the pineapple into rings the width you prefer for the recipe you are making.
Cut both edges to remove the leafy and the bottom end of the pineapple. Remove the waxy skin from the outside of the pineapple by cutting in a downward motion. Cut the edible portion of the pineapple into the size of pieces that will easily fit into your electric juicer. Toss in the raw pieces and puree. Pineapple juice can either be enjoyed by itself or combined with other fruits for a beverage with a more complex flavor profile.
Whole fresh pineapples can be stored on the kitchen counter for 2 or 3 days before it starts to deteriorate. The acidic content of the pineapple will increase, causing the sweetness to decrease.
Most whole pineapples you can store in the refrigerator for about 7 days. However, for optimal sweetness, it is best to let the pineapple return to room temperature before eating.
Once the pineapple has been cut, it can be stored in an airtight container submerged under some of its juices for about 1 week. For longer storage up to 6 or 7 months, freeze the pineapple in an airtight container.
When choosing a pineapple, select one that is plump with a bright green crown and a strong sweet aroma at the stem end.
Pineapples do not continue to ripen or become sweeter after harvested.
If the aroma of the pineapple is not strong, allow it to stand at room temperature for 2 or 3 days until it softens slightly and its aroma increases.
Refrigerate ripe pineapple for 3 to 5 days.
Cut pineapple can be stored in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Cut pineapple may be frozen for future use in blender drinks.
There are 3 major varieties of pineapples: cayenne, red Spanish, and sugar loaf.
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
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