How To Crack Open A Coconut

Coconuts are incredible. Not only are they delicious to eat, they’re great for your heart, and they improve digestion, give you energy, and lower sweet cravings. Drinking coconut water is a great way to hydrate yourself, too! Plus, coconut oil and coconut milk are used in countless beauty homemade products, like shampoo, conditioner, and sea salt spray, to name a few!

The only issue I have with coconuts is that, until now, I’ve always been too scared to buy a whole one. I had no idea how to crack one open – and I figured it would just be too difficult. I was wrong. Cracking a coconut does take a bit of effort, but I certainly wouldn’t call it “difficult.” It’s actually fun, and really gratifying. It’s a nice feeling knowing that you had to work a little bit for your food. If you’re in the same boat I was, this post is for you. Here’s how to crack open a coconut!

All you need is a coconut, a hammer, a large (clean) nail, and a bowl or cup to catch the water.

How to crack a coconut

*When buying a coconut, first feel how much water is present inside, as well as how heavy it is, in comparison to others. A ripe coconut will have more water present, and it will be heavier than an older one.

Step 1: Locate the eyes of the coconut. All coconuts have three “eyes,” which are small, circular indentations. The shell is here is thinner than throughout the rest of the coconut.

Coconut eyes

Step 2: Hammer a clean nail into one of the eyes. Wiggle the nail around a bit to make the eye larger. Repeat on the other two eyes.

Hammering nail into coconut

Coconut with nail holes

Step 3: Flip the coconut upside down and drain the water into a container. As I mentioned earlier, coconut water is very hydrating, so drink up!

Fresh coconut water

Step 4: Place the coconut on a hard surface (we used a concrete step), hold it with one hand, and hit the coconut forcefully with a hammer. Rotate the coconut away from you and hit it again. You should see a crack form within about 5 hits. Keep rotating and hitting until your coconut is open!

Cracking a coconut gif

You can then use a knife to remove the meat from the shell, and then shred it, eat it, or use it as you wish!

Fresh coconut water

Look at all of that fresh coconut water! If you have any tips for cracking coconuts, let us know!

Photos by Brigette

More food ideas from the BLDG 25 Blog.


    I have been obsessed with coconuts since going to Thailand and bought one at the grocery store.
    I tried using a knife (not a smart idea) when I realized this was NEVER going to work.
    I ended up throwing the coconut away.
    Can’t wait to get another one that I can actually eat! :)

  2. An easier way is to just put the coconut in the oven (after you drained it). If you put it in a preheated oven for around 5 minutes the heat will crack it open and you won’t have to smash it or anything.

  3. after opening the coconut ,to seperate shell from meat —heat that broken part on low heat ;shell part directly touching heat : for arond 5 minutes. leave it to cool. after 5 minutes you will find meat and shell seperate very easily.however big the broken part of a coconut it is.

  4. If you’re camping, you can use a sturdy camping knife to open it. After opening the eyes and draining the milk (you can open them with the tip of your knife and a small twig), just place the blade against the middle of the coconut and hit the blade with a heavy stick. A little bit of the coconut shell will come off, exposing the darker part of the shell. Rotate the coconut and keep hitting until you have a dark circle around it, then choose one spot on the circle and hit your knife into it repeatedly. The coconut will split in half perfectly. It’s a bit more time-intensive but you get a really cool coconut bowl after you eat the meat!

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