Monday, December 26, 2011

How To De-Seed A Pomegranate

Did you know that it's pomegranate season?  Why yes, it is.

I've always loved pomegranates, but this year I really got a hankering to nosh on those tart little addictive seeds (a.k.a. arils).

Did you know that you can purchase these tiny arils in convenient packages in select grocery stores?

Did you also know that they will cost you an arm and a leg?

Yeah.  About that...

I was unwilling to give up wads of dollar bills just to support my pomegranate obsession, so when I passed a display in my local grocery store of whole pomegranates, I took it upon myself to snag 4 of them and bring them home for a proper de-seeding.  Thirty to sixty minutes later I had several cups of arils by my side.

Since I had so many pomegranate seeds at the ready, I took one of the containers to work.  I had coworkers approach me and ask if I had de-seeded a pomegranate myself and if I had, how did I do it? I got to thinking that a process which I considered to be common knowledge was apparently not common knowledge.  So here is my mini-tutorial on how to de-seed a pomegranate in minutes.

How To De-Seed A Pomegranate

You will need:
  • Whole Pomegranates (however many you would like to de-seed)
  • Wooden spoon (or an equally large and sturdy utensil)
  • Large bowl, filled halfway with water

1) Score the outside of the pomegranate fruit on both sides of the stem.

2) Pull the two halves of the pomegranate apart.

3) Turn one of the halves upside down over the large bowl of water and hit the back of the half repeatedly with the wooden spoon.  Depending on the fruit, you may need to smack the pomegranate very hard.  The seeds and any loose membrane or pith will fall in the water.  The seeds will sink in the water and the membrane and pith will float on top of the water, where you can skim it off.

Tip #1: Wear dark clothing.

Tip #2: It may be best to complete this in the sink.

4) If no seeds are falling out of the pomegranate, turn the fruit back over and check to see if the membrane is preventing the seeds from coming out.  If so, remove the membrane, then continue hitting the pomegranate to dislodge the arils.  If not, hit the pomegranate harder.

Tip #3: You may need to quarter the pomegranate if it is still too difficult to de-seed.

5) Continue until the pomegranate is empty of arils.

6) Repeat Steps 1 - 5 until all arils are out of the pomegranate fruit(s).

7) Skim the membrane and pith off the top of the water.

8) Drain the arils out of the water.

9) Enjoy!

Let's just say that my kitchen may have looked like a murder scene once the de-seeding process was done.  But oh, let me tell you that it was most definitely worth the mess.  

I purchased the 4 whole pomegranates from my neighborhood store for $10 and they yielded 6-8 cups of pomegranate arils.  Considering that a container of arils that I purchased a few weeks ago was $4.50 and only contained about a cup and a half of seeds, I'm thinking that I scored a pretty decent deal.  And all it took was a little bit of my own time and energy.


  1. Deseeding pomegranate is something I've only tried once...and failed at ha ha This was very helpful!

  2. Thanks Staci. I didn't realize that most people have no idea how to do this, so that was definitely the goal of this post :)