How Do You Peel a Coconut?

peel-coconut Credit: Glowimages/Getty Images

Coconuts sold in stores have a hard, brown exterior that remains once the outer husk has been hacked off. Removing the brown shell and reaching the white meat of a coconut requires some practice and skill with a heavy knife. Alternatively, you can peel the coconut by baking it for a short time until the shell is cracked.

  1. Gather your supplies

    Gather a screwdriver or a strong metal skewer, a large plastic bag, a heavy knife or hammer, and a smaller paring knife.

  2. Drain the coconut juice

    The top of the coconut shell has small holes. Poke the holes with the metal skewer or screwdriver, and turn the coconut over onto a large glass to drain. If the coconut juice tastes rancid, then the coconut is not fresh and may be unsuitable for cooking.

  3. Bake the coconut

    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the coconut on a baking sheet and keep an eye on it for 10 minutes, at which point a crack forms on the surface of the shell. Once this happens, pull the sheet out .

  4. Break the shell

    After the coconut has cooled down, put it in a large plastic bag. Place a large knife flat against the surface of the bag. Using your fist or a hammer, hit the coconut several times until it breaks. Finally, use a smaller knife to separate the shell from the coconut meat.