coconut shelling

Joined Jun 4, 2003
I watched the Gale Gand Show on food tv yesterday and she was demonstrating how to seperate the shell from the meatof a coconut. It was really amazing. I had never heard of this method. Here goes: Char the out side of the whole coconut on top of the flame of a gas stove until its totally black. Wrap in a terry towel and hit it on top of the counter. It will crack open and the shell will seperate from the meat easily. I love it as this makes me want to make all kinds of coconut desserts. What do you all have to say about this method. Does anyone have another method? Look forward to your comments W :bounce:


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
It's just easier to use a grater:


Are you talking fresh coconut or old coconut? With fresh coconut you don't want to just crack it open. Wastes all the good coconut juice! Plus you can just scrape out the meat in a fresh coconut.
Joined Aug 15, 2004
Punch a hole through the "eye" of the fresh coconut and drain out the coconut water.

Place remaining coconut into a 350 F oven for 10-15 minutes.

It will crack and can then be easily opened.

Let cool, the coconut meat not only comes out very cleanly, but grates really well.

Joined Oct 5, 2001
Hey oh

Living as far from the tropics that I am, coconut is a real hit or miss type of thing. I have had dry coconuts, rotten coconuts, old cocnuts..... Not at all nice! Especially for the price that is charged for them.

So, because of those dificulties I will usually use pre-processed coconut. However, I will on occasion use an "in the in the shell" coconut. I have learned through trial and error to know these things:

1. The fresher the coconut, the easyer it is to remove from the shell. To the point a good coconut can be simply pulled off the shell (suprised me, used a rock to open it, and only my fingers to remove the meat!!).

2. Coconut water is a terrible thing to waste.

3. Although fresh coconut will last longer when left attached to the shell after opening, it will also rapidly become harder to remove from the shell.

4. ^^^I have never seen that grater before!! That is just awsome. Whats it called and where in south ontario would I go to get one?

Your firetop technique would probably be better for older coconuts. I don't know how hot that will leave the flesh, or if it would also cook the coconut meat as well. I wonder, if you were to crack one in half, and roast it over some smoky coals (coconut on the half shel lol) , if that would not be interesting. Add a bit of a roasted smokeyness to the meat.

Ok, so let me make that a question here as well. Is there a "smoked" coconut use or recipe?
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Reads like an interesting Green curry....with smoked coconut milk.
or a caramel with smoky coconut.....
the web is a wonderful place to buy shtuff that is not readily available in your part of the world.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Keeper, I think Toronto is your best bet. You can get it at the Indian grocery stores there. Friend of mine used to do a twice a year run to Toronto for Indian stuff. I don't have names of stores.

To keep the terminology straight here, I want to explain. Fresh coconut is the green type. This is commonly found with the husks removed. This is done so you can just take the top off and drink the juice right out of the shell while scraping the tender meat off the insides with a spoon. Use the heel end of a cleaver to crack a ring around the top, then pry the top off with a screwdriver or a "utility" knife. :)

By old coconut I mean the brown kind where the insides are hard. This is used only for the insides which are generally rasped out of the shell. Common uses include using the coconut fresh or extracting the "milk" by using the hot water and cheesecloth method.
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