The Secret of Cracking a Coconut

It was a hot, humid Florida Friday afternoon.  That means the temperature was 82F BUT the humidity made it feel like 144F.  If you dare crack open the door from the comforts of your air-conditioned home to just even walk to the mailbox, you might as well bring along an well-seasoned chicken. By the time you’ve returned from your mailbox, the damn bird is perfectly steamed.

I decided it was a good idea to top the Co-Co Fro-Yo by a Fo-Blo with freshly shaved coconut for dessert. So off I went to the market:


Someone at the coconut company was even thoughtful enough to jump-start the coconut cracking process – it was already conveniently grooved.  It even came with a bright orange sticker that had an arrow pointed at the coconut’s butt-crack proclaiming, “<– Crack me open here!”


Held coconut in left hand, cleaver in right hand.  Started gently at first…not having ever cracked a real coconut before in my entire life, I just didn’t know what to expect….other than when I’m at a cheesy tropical restaurant and they serve me a coconut, it usually is full of rum inside.  I was hopeful that this baby would grant me the same.





::me – off to the garage to find something more useful than a Chinese cleaver::

AHA!  A hammer and screwdriver!  So I brought the cutting board and coconut outside to my front driveway. No messy messy in my kitchen!

::me – sitting on ground, legs in front, knees bent, two feet grasping the coconut steady (very gorilla style) while left hand holds screwdriver, right hand holds hammer::


Just a few dents but NOTHING. By the way, do you know how hard it is to steady a ROUND object between your feet while KATHUNKING really hard with a hammer?  I was fully aware that 6 inches is all that separated my big toe from the middle of the coconut. By now, I’m already dripping with sweat from the heat and incredible exertion from KATHUNKING a coconut.

::off to raid my husband’s stuff in the garage. I came back to the driveway with an arsenal of assorted tools::

Tools for opening a coconut

I really don’t know the names of anything other than what I would describe as a pincher thingy, heavy wench, prier-majigger, hammer, big-butt orange drill and who know what the hell that thing is at the bottom of the photo.  All I know is that the useless thing cracked when I whacked the coconut with it.



Goshnabbit. If Tom Hanks could do this with gum disease, a volleyball pretend-friend and 4 years of bad B.O….I was sure not to let this hairy twat get the best of me.

“Open up you mother #!$!@$ or else I’ll staple-gun your head….”

You can even see some of the battle scars near the equator – but even under extreme, inhumane torture and duress, the coconut did not crack.  Damn thing still wouldn’t talk.

Its cowlick even grew higher and seemed to say to me, “ha! neeener neeener neeener!”

Delta Shop Master

I even threatened him with decapitation by the evil warlord, Delta ShopMaster.
(note to husband……see that nick in the power cord?  I didn’t do that. It was like that when I found it.  I swear.   Also– all those tools in your garage that were birthday presents, Christmas presents, Father’s Day presents…..USELESS!!!  Useless I say!  Next holiday…you’re getting a juicer.

In the end, I was SO FRUSTRATED, SWEATY, PISSED AND PARTIALLY EMBARRASSED that I couldn’t crack open a coconut that had been “pre-cracked” already.  Disgusted, I took the stupid thing to the backyard, threw it on the grass and in my best Bruce Lee impression…..

both hands holding cleaver….

swing up and over head….



Cracked Coconut

The secret was that you had to do a primal kung-fu-esque yell while bending it like Beckham chopping it like Jackie Chan to open the dang coconut. That’s all it took!


In the end….I was so excited about how wonderful the evening was progressing that ….

I forgot entirely about the coconut and it never ever appeared on the dessert.

I am such a dork.

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Comments 72

  1. wokandspoon

    I’m a bit late and still catching up but glad to see that you made all those dishes! Yum! Heheh – glad to see that you got the coconut open in the end! Reminds me of the time that I tried to get a can of tuna open and the little metal catch thing broke and I had to use a hammer and screwdriver to get into the can!

  2. Pingback: Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen » Blog Archive » Steamed Mussels in Lemongrass Coconut Curry

  3. Ingrid

    Oh joy! I just discovered your blog and I am in heaven! My goal in life is making people happy by feeding them delicious just like you! (My friends all love being “guinea pigs.”)

    Your blog is a treasure trove of recipes and I can’t wait to dive in and try them! I am fond of all sorts of cuisines, but asian food is especially dear to my heart. My parents lived in the far east for much of their lives – and I learned to cook a 40 course Indonesian Riijsttafel before I could make macaroni and cheese!

    Oh dear, now I am going to have to cook even more to make up to my dear husband all the time I will be on the computer exploring your blog! 😉

  4. Jesvin


    I live in Kerala, India. The name means “land of coconut palms” and of course they come 8 for a dollar (~40 rupees) 😉

    You better try a baseball bat for the purpose.Just hit ALONG the equator. Handling a knife in a sword-attack motion on a coconut is very dangerous. If done wrongly,the knife would try to bounce back(imagine daffy duck axing a tyre). Bullets have been known to richchet off water back to the shooter.

  5. EVADE

    take the hammer and the screwdriver [get a shorter screw driver] drive the screwdriver into 2 of the eyes drain the juice into a bowl save for later
    then take the meat cleaver and give the coconut a whack enjoy

  6. Jesvin

    We crack open coconuts by holding it in the left hand and the blunt edge of an arivaal (a cross between a sickle and a machete) and whacking it 3-4 times along the equator, rotating it each time. The last whack cracks open the coconut, so we better need a wide vessel to collect the water 😉

    The Coconut can be pried open at this stage easily.

    While we have devices to finely grate the meat off the shelf, we can also get narrow wedges. The wedges look great in salads and taste good with honey. Just hold the half firmly down, drive a thick-bladed knife with a sharp point at a point close to the edge all the way down and twist it outside. And yes, a complete coconut is going to be a bit of a pain!

  7. SteamyKitchen

    Jesvin – My friend, if I got my hands on a machete like tool the entire neighborhood would immediately evacuate.

    But I love the drizzling of honey idea.

  8. Jonny

    ROTFLOL! Holy Cow , how funny are you! An amazing she-devil of a coconut-cracking. And the words “hairy twat” make the story that much sweeter. 10+!

  9. Christima

    If you don’t care what it *looks* like afterwards, a hammer works wonders.

    My freshman year of college I bought a coconut, brought it back to my dorm and then realized that, silly me, I did not happen to have brought my father’s hacksaw (my normal tool of choice) from home to cut open coconuts with. So, I took our small hammer to it. It worked, although not as elegantly as I might have liked.

    I might add that using a hacksaw may result in a set of Monty Python-style horse tack…

  10. River Styx

    I know i’m late, but I tend to do that.

    Things that will break open a coconut (Not necessarily still edible, but if you’re on a rampage to open a coconut, this will do it)
    1. M80 Fireworks (Gotta go south of the border for ’em).
    2. Jackhammer (Helps if you live in the city so you can find someone working with one)
    3. Liquid Nitrogen (Idea From Terminator 2), then just tap it with a hammer.
    4. Make it sit down to watch Family Guy episodes. The coconut will do whatever it can to be sure that it’s not in one piece after sitting through that miserable, unfunny show.
    5. If you have a wood-chopping stump out back, use a sledgehammer (Better wear some clothes you dont mind getting messy).
    6. If all else fails: Call Gallagher. He spent most of his life smashing innocent fruits and vegetables, he’ll point you in the right direction.

  11. Grifola frondosa


    You’re thinking high tech when you should be thinking low tech.
    Forget the power tools, electricity, and all that stuff.

    I’m sure you’ve got palm trees down there in Fla.

    Go out and get your self a monkey.
    They open those suckers up first time every time.

    PS: Your kids will love you for it !

  12. Mary Zapalova

    I. Just. Died. Laughing.


    I have whipped out the powerdrill at the crack (no pun intended) of dawn for coconut pancakes for the inlaws.

    Damn near killed myself.

  13. Andrea

    That is a story I can really relate to!

    Now can you tell me how to open a hubbard (or other large) squash? I use a giant cleaver and it is a major production!

  14. Karl

    I grew up in Hawaii and learned how to open a coconut from someone who spent time in Tahiti. You can do it in 3 seconds with your bare hands, if you don’t mind spilling the milk.

    While I was living in Belfast, Northern Ireland I bought a coconut in the grocery store for ten pence. Next day, I brought it to the lab for tea time. My colleagues asked me, how are you going to open it? Easy, I said, just hit it once in the middle of each of the three lines that go between the eyes. I drained the milk into a cup after punching a couple of the eyes out with a screw driver. I opened the window of the red brick building on the third floor. With the coconut in one hand, I smashed it into the stone window sill three times, bam, bam, bam. Turning the coconut 1/3 each time to strike the center of each line. The coconut cracked and split in half by the third strike.

    At that moment, I looked like I knew what I was doing.

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