How to open a coconut


Without killing yourself or others?

Best Answer

The best way to open a brown hairy coconut, not a fresh green one (assuming you are right handed, I imagine that sinister people can reverse the instructions, but I've not tried it).

First image the coconut is a head, everything is related to this, so the visualization is important. The three holes are the eyes and mouth of the face. They naturally form an eyes/mouth thing. you'll see that it only really looks like a eyes/mouth one way up. stare into its eyes (this bit is not so important, but I like to do it).

Now hold it in your left palm, under its chin/where the neck would be, with the 3 holes in the coconut arranged like the eyes and mouth of a face looking out to the right, mouth below the eyes, with the hair pointing up. There will be a slight 'seam' running between the eyes and back over the top of the head.

Then take a large, heavy knife and using the FLAT side of the knife (not the sharp edge), a meat cleaver works best, strike the coconut hard across the coconut's 'forehead', where its hair line would be, aiming to impact exactly on the 'seam'. You might need a few goes to get the crack right open, but sometimes it can be done in a single strike.

Get this right and it will crack in a straight line from ear to ear along the hair line. Works a treat. And usually you can use the shell for something as you get a clean break.

Once you have the first crack you can either prise apart or rotate the coconut in your hand and hit it a couple more times on the uncracked parts, following the same line as the first crack, to completely separate the two pieces.

Alternatively you can stick it into the oven for 15 mins, @400F, after which the shell should have started to crack. Then you can use the tool of choice to finish the cracking, rolling pin, hammer, wrench, flat of knife another coconut, whatever. But where is the fun in that?