There are eleventy billion tutorials out there about how to seed a pomegranate (or is it de-seed?). I probably should have googled that before I made this tutorial. But then, I thought of you. What if, just maybe, you haven’t already seen the eleventy billion other tutorials and might actually appreciate this one? So, now there are eleventy billion and one. Also, I just made up the number eleventy billion. It’s new math.
I am of the well-researched opinion that pomegranate arils (the fancy name for the seeds) are the most beautiful seeds in all the world. They look like jewels. And they have this mystique about them, like they are hidden treasures, nestled into their red globe beds. Whoa, not sure where that imagery came from, but I’m going with it. I mean, really – this is almost too beautiful to eat.
Like most things worth having in life, you have to put in some effort to get it. And if you were to consult Google, you would find So-and-So Pomegranate Expert telling you that their method is the only one and true right way to seed/de-seed a pomegranate. I’ve tried most of them in the years since I first discovered this magical fruit (not THAT kind), and this method, the one that I’m about to show you, is my favorite. I call it the Score and Smack method.
Step 1 – Find yourself in possession of a pomegranate.
Step 2 – Using a sharp knife, score the flesh of the pomegranate around the equator, if you will. You don’t want to cut all the way through, just enough to get through the rind so that you can pry it open with your fingers. At the end of this post I made a video to show you just what I mean. You will undoubtedly find some tutorials out there that tell you to cut all the way through the pomegranate. DO NOT DO THIS. You would be needlessly sacrificing precious pomegranate arils, not to mention making a huge juicy mess. I speak from personal experience. Also, you’d miss getting to see this glorious sight once the pomegranate is opened.
You’re glad you listened to me, aren’t you? Ok, we covered Score, now it’s time for Smack. This is the part where you get to release any tension that you may have stored up.
Step 3 – Smack the pomegranate with wild abandon, until all the seeds fall out. This is a very therapeutic experience. But you should put a couple of paper towels underneath the pomegranate while you smack it, to catch the arils and to absorb any juice that tries to escape. You can also use a kitchen towel, provided it’s one that you don’t mind being stained red.
After you’ve done the bulk of the smacking (that sounds hilarious), there may be some seeds that were reluctant to leave their cozy home. No problem. You can invert the shell of the pomegranate and pick out any stragglers. There will sometimes be a few seeds that are mushy or discolored, and those can stay right where they are, thank you very much.
Why is the Score and Smack method my favorite? Three reasons:
1. It’s quick. I can seed a whole pomegranate in under a minute. And I’m slow.
2. It’s strangely fun to hit the pomegranate and watch the seeds just fall right out. I like when food is fun, don’t you?
3. There is very little clean-up involved. Most of the pith stays put, and any pieces that do fall out are easy to pick out. With other methods I’ve tried, there has been a lot of time involved in separating the pith from the seeds. Not so with this technique.
It just so happens that this is prime time pomegranate season, and the specimens I’ve spotted while shopping look simply stupendous. Oh, how I love alliteration.
So you should definitely watch this video to see the Score and Smack method in action, and then go score yourself a few pomegranates to try it out for yourself. I’m patting myself on the back for that joke right now, because you’re not here to do it for me.
I’m so excited about this video! I recorded it with my phone, believe it or not, and now I’ve got the itch to make everything into a moving picture. I’d love to hear what you think of this one! What do you like? What could be better? My inquiring mind wants to know.
Ok, Beth, now I have this big bowl of pomegranate arils and have no idea what to do with them.
Calm down. We can solve this problem. If you were my daughter Vida you would already have a pink-stained face and a pile of tiny white seeds next to you. She LOVES pomegranates, but she doesn’t like “the crunchy part”, so she literally sucks all the juice out of each tiny seed and discards the rest. To each their own. 🙂
Me? I love eating them out of hand (crunch and all), but I also love them in salad, or on top of stuffed delicata squash, or in pomegranate chocolate chip pancakes with pomegranate syrup. Oh yes. I went there.
Did you try this method? Tell me about it! Leave a comment below, or tag #eatwithinyourmeans on Instagram. I can’t wait to hear all about your scoring and smacking! (she snickers)
How to Seed a Pomegranate (Video)
- 1 pomegranate
- Score the flesh of the pomegranate around the width of the fruit, being careful not to cut into the seeds.
- Use your fingers to pull apart the pomegranate into two halves. Place one half in a kitchen towel or double thickness of paper towels.
- Using a heavy spoon, smack the sides of the pomegranate half all the way around. The seeds will fall out into the towel.
- Repeat until most of the seeds have been released. To extract any remaining seeds, invert the pomegranate shell to easily pick out the remaining arils. Repeat with the remaining pomegranate half.
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I’m with you, bowl full of pomegranate = me with spoon, crunching away. I want to go out and buy a Costco pack of pomegranates RIGHT NOW this method looks really easy. My barrier for eating pomegranates is that it always feels like too big a task to undertake with seeds flying everywhere, staining the kitchen ceiling and being tracked through the house. I love this video, it’s just fun to watch and listen to. P.S. That first close up pic of the open pomegranate is beautiful enough to eat, it would also be beautiful on a canvas! P.P..S. I’m thankful that google is helping me spell pomegranate.
Holy crow! I can’t thank you enough for this! I never buy pomegranates because I couldn’t imagine how to get all that beautiful goodness out of the shell without destroying it in the process. That made my day and it’s a (gasp) MONDAY even! Haha. I am forever indebted to you. Tina
Viki Carrick says
Boy, am I GLAD I watched the video. I interpreted the “smack” part as in “smack each half on the counter top” –!! THAt would have been a mess! I haven’t eaten a pomegranate since about 2nd grade — approximately 66 years ago! Last week I bought four beautiful cups of those ruby arils already out of their pithy home — maybe I’ll try the “Score and Smack” this week!
So helpful! I’m going to have to grab a pomegranate at the store tomorrow!
Megan @ MegUnprocessed says
This is very helpful!
Love this video and the photos, wow!
Thanks on both counts, Christina! 🙂
Kay in WA says
I have tried this, and it does work….but the first time I wasn’t successful because I was too afraid to smack it very hard. You DO have to smack it hard! I placed it over a bowl to catch flying arils. Great video, thanks!
Great tip! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks Natalie! It was my pleasure. 🙂
Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons says
This is awesome! Thanks so much, I’ve been super intimidated by pomegranates-not anymore!
Such an easy and non-messy way to seed a pomegranate. My very first time and it was a huge success.
That makes me so happy, Cheryl!!! Thank you for trying this out and letting me know how it went. 🙂
My pleasure! I’m so glad it was helpful. 🙂
apurva sethi says
it’s worth a try! thanks for sharing
Ricky in Philly says
I bought 4 pomegranates 2 weeks ago, and after a huge fail on the first one I was ready to give up. I remembered loving them as a kid and wanted my own kids to try them. The other 3 have been sitting on the counter looking sad. My 5 year old daughter Natalie asked me today if they were ripe yet (I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I was just intimidated lol). After everyone went to sleep i gave Google one more try with my fingers crossed and this link popped up! Now I have a bowl of Arils waiting for the family and 2 more pomegranates that we can “Smack” together. Thank you soooo much!
I used to do it the way you taught above. I have since found this way to be a much easier, less juice inducing way to get it done: Thought I would share.