Punching a coconut is not difficult, whether you want to extract the water, use the flesh for a delicious recipe, or use the shell as a craft material. Pour the coconut water into the bowl before you gently beat around the coconut to split it. Next, you have to take the coconut meat attached to the shell. With a few simple tools (such as a knife and hammer), you can make holes in a coconut quickly.
Part 1 of 3: Removing Coconut Water
Step 1. Look for coconut eyes that are soft in texture
Like a bowling ball, coconuts have 3 "eyes" at the ends. Test each eye with a knife. Try to punch a hole in each eye by sticking the tip of the knife. Two of the eyes have a hard surface, while the other is soft and can be pierced by the tip of a knife with ease.
This eye is where the shoots come out
Step 2. Puncture the soft eye with a sharp object
You can use a knife, drill, or other pointed kitchen object. Make a hole the size of your pinky, by prying up the shell until you reach the white flesh of the coconut.
- You can also use a meat thermometer.
- If necessary, you can tap a screwdriver or drill gently with a hammer.
- This hole is useful for removing coconut water.
Step 3. Pour coconut water into a bowl, jar, or cup
Turn the coconut over over the bowl and gently shake it up and down. Remove all the water before you split the coconut.
If you want, you can save the coconut water. You can use it for smoothies, marinades, cocktails, or lettuce dips
Part 2 of 3: Splitting a Coconut in Two
Step 1. Find a line around the coconut shell
This thin line around the center of the coconut is also known as the natural center of the coconut or the "equator" line. This line is the easiest place to split the coconut in half. Find this line before you tap the coconut shell.
Step 2. Gently tap the coconut along the equator until it splits in half
Use a wooden or metal mallet to gently strike around the coconut shell. Rotate the coconut when you tap, and make sure you hit the equator. Keep doing this until the coconut starts to crack. If the coconut has started to crack, reduce the force of the blow so the coconut can split in half.
- Be careful, don't hit the coconut too hard as it can crush it, not split it in half.
- Do not use a sharp knife to hit the coconut shell. This is very dangerous.
- Don't worry if it takes a long time for the coconut to crack. Some coconuts crack more easily than others.
Step 3. Pry the coconut in half if the shell doesn't open naturally
If the coconut is cracked but not split, gently pry the coconut by inserting a blunt knife into the slit and prying it open. Insert the knife into the largest slit to allow the coconut to split properly.
Guide the crack around the coconut before you pry it open to make the process easier
Part 3 of 3: Removing the Coconut Flesh
Step 1. Hold the coconut in one hand and the knife in the other
It's a good idea to hold the coconut with your non-dominant hand and use your dominant hand to scoop out the flesh. To make the process easier, use a knife with a curved tip, not a pointed one.
A paring knife or steak knife are perfect for this purpose
Step 2. Slice the coconut flesh by pressing the knife until it touches the shell
Use a knife to make a perpendicular line from the edge of the split coconut. Slice a knife into the meat until it touches the inside of the tough shell.
The length of the slice is up to you and the length of the knife. However, the longer the slices, the more coconut flesh you can gouge at one time
Step 3. Make the second slice at an angle until it meets the end of the first slice and forms an upside-down V
After making the first slice, make a second slice at an angle towards the end of the first cut. This will form a triangle or an inverted V.
Use enough pressure until the knife hits the shell, just like when you made the first slice
Step 4. Pry out the coconut flesh contained in these slices with a blunt knife
Insert the knife under the meat in the middle of the two slices. Gently pry the meat in the middle of the slice, turning the knife if necessary.
Step 5. Make another slice like the previous step to remove all the coconut flesh
Repeat making an inverted V-shape into the coconut flesh, applying enough pressure until the knife touches the inside of the shell before you pry the flesh out.
- This could take some time. So you have to be careful and patient.
- Repeat this process to remove the flesh on the other half of the coconut.
- You can also use a spoon to scrape the coconut flesh.
- Put the coconut in a plastic bag before you hit it with a hammer so it doesn't get on the floor when it breaks.
- Put the coconut in the freezer overnight before you break it. This makes it easy for the meat to come off.
- Put the coconut in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 °C so that the meat attached to the shell shrinks. If this is done on a whole coconut, it may break loosely. You should also remove the water first so that the coconut doesn't explode.
- If desired, you can remove the brown portion of the coconut flesh with a vegetable peeler.