There aren’t many fruits that are as tasty and fun to eat as the pomegranate. Shaped like popcorn kernels, full of juice, and crunchy in the middle, pomegranate seeds add a burst of flavor to everything from salads to cocktails. They seem so decadent, too — perhaps because of the extensive effort required to crack open the shell and harvest the seeds. For those in the “I don’t cut my pomegranates into quarters” camp (because the knife slices and ruins so many of the seeds), the task becomes even more difficult. So how in the world do you open a pomegranate without breaking the seeds and spilling juice everywhere? The answer is the star method. Below are easy instructions and a viral video showing how to execute this clever hack for opening a pomegranate and keeping its seeds in tact.
How To Cut a Pomegranate With the Star Method
To try this hack, you’ll need a sharp knife. First, wash the outside of the pomegranate with water, vegetable spray, or both. Dry it off when you’re done; you don’t want the husk to be slippery while you handle it. Next, cut a shallow hexagon (the shape of a stop sign) into the top of the pomegranate, on the stem side. To do this safely, push the front half of the knife into the flesh and rock it back until you make one slice. Repeat this motion for each of the six sides of the hexagon.
When you’ve finished cutting the hexagon, remove the “lid” you’ve created. Inside, you’ll see six wedges of seeds. Slice through the husk at each of these separations (where the white inner flesh, called the pith, separates each wedge). Each slice should be roughly one to two inches long, and you should have six slices around the husk when you’re done. Finally, pull down on each wedge of seeds. The wedges should easily separate from the middle, giving you access to the delicious seeds inside.
Extra Tips: FAQ
Want to get the most out of your pomegranate? Check out these tips.
Are there any extra tricks for removing the seeds?
If you want to serve your pomegranate seeds on a salad or in a recipe, you’ll need another trick for removing them in bulk. We recommend submerging each wedge in a bowl of cold water — this helps separate the pith from the seeds. After the wedges have been submerged for at least five minutes, use your hands to fully separate all the seeds. Rinse the seeds in a strainer to remove any leftover pith.
Can you eat the pomegranate husk?
Yes! It contains antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation. However, you should not eat it raw — it’s too difficult to digest. Instead, dry out the peels for a day or two, then toss them in a blender to make a fine powder. Use the powder to steep pomegranate peel tea. You can also mix the powder with water to make a paste, that you can apply to acne and rashes. Be sure, however, to perform a skin patch test before trying this method, and visit a doctor first if you have a rash. (To perform a skin patch test, apply a small amount of paste to the inside of your wrist and let it sit for 15 minutes. If your skin does not react, it is safe to use.)
Can you eat the white flesh inside a pomegranate?
Yes. The white flesh, or pith, is safe to eat and nutritious — it contains fiber and antioxidants. Just bear in mind that the pith is bitter, so it may take some getting used to.
Do you need to wash the outside of the pomegranate?
As with any produce from a farm stand or grocery store, pomegranates need a cleaning before you harvest them. The FDA recommends rinsing the fruit under water — no additional cleaner needed — to remove bacteria and pesticide residues. Then, dry it before cutting into it.
How long do pomegranate seeds last?
Unfortunately, the harvested seeds last only about five days in the fridge, and the same is true for fresh pomegranate juice. Whole pomegranates last about one to two weeks on the countertop, and up to two months in the fridge. You can also freeze pomegranate seeds for up to one year.