In this post I’ll teach you how to cut a grapefruit 5 different ways, plus how to eat it! This is one of the largest citrus fruits, and it can be daunting to figure out how to cut a grapefruit to eat it!
Grapefruit is one of my favorites of the winter fruits. In fact, I’d say it’s one of my favorite fruits in general! That blend of sweet, sour, and bitter has me going back for slice after slice.
But figuring out the best way to eat a grapefruit can be confusing.
Do you need to learn some fancy new skill to get at that delicious flesh, or do you just peel and section it like an orange?
How to Cut a Grapefruit
Today I’m going to go over five different ways to cut and eat a grapefruit.
Plus I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each method, and which one is my personal favorite.
Alright, let’s dive in!
Here’s what we’ll cover in this post:
- Method 1: The Classic
- Method 2: Eat it Like an Orange
- Method 3: The Rising Sun
- Method 4: Undressing
- Method 5: The BEST Method
Method 1: The Classic
The first method is the one I grew up with, and I’ll call it the Classic Method. This is probably the most popular way to cut and eat a grapefruit.
You simply cut the grapefruit in half, and then scoop out the flesh and eat it with a spoon!
My dad loved grapefruit, and this is the way he prepared it.
Place your grapefruit on a flat surface and cut it in half.
As you can see, when you cut it in half, there are small sections divided by a membrane.
You can just dig in there with a spoon to scoop out the flesh, but it’s a lot easier if you run a small knife around each section first.
I personally don’t find the need for a special knife. But you can even purchase a special grapefruit knife to make the job even easier. A grapefruit knife is designed especially for cutting a grapefruit.
It typically has a doubled edged serrated blade that’s curved. This helps the knife to fit to the curved outer edge of the grapefruit. Some knifes even have a blade on each end.
Here’s a grapefruit knife you can find on Amazon that’s made in Germany.
Then it will pop out cleanly!
This can also be done with a grapefruit spoon instead of a knife if you own one.
I used to own some, but I seem to have misplaced them during the move…
My dad would always sprinkle a little sugar on top of the grapefruit half before eating, but I personally don’t find that necessary.
The natural sugars in grapefruit make it taste sweet enough on its own to me! But if you find the bitter taste too much for you, feel free to sweeten it a bit with sugar or maple syrup!
Pros: This method is great if you’re just fixing a grapefruit for yourself. Another advantage is it’s pretty clean, doesn’t create a big mess, doesn’t require a cutting board, and there isn’t a lot of waste.
Cons: But it’s a bit time consuming if you want to mass prepare grapefruit. Running the knife around each section can get old if you have to do it for 4 grapefruit.
Method 2: Eat it Like an Orange
I’ll call the second method the Eat it Like an Orange method.
Run your knife all the way around the peel of the grapefruit, but don’t cut into the flesh of the grapefruit.
Rotate the grapefruit and make another slice all the way around.
Remove the peel.
Make sure to remove most of the white pithy stuff from around the outside.
Break the flesh into segments, and eat!
Pros: The advantage to this method is that it’s really easy, and results in zero waste of the flesh. I think it’s the easiest way to eat a grapefruit.
Cons: I personally find that the membrane around grapefruit is tougher than an orange, but it is still edible this way.
Method 3: The Rising Sun
I like to call this method the Rising Sun because it kind of looks like…a rising sun? 🌅
Turn the grapefruit on its side and cut it into slices using a sawing motion.
A serrated knife works best here. I find that a chef’s knife doesn’t but into the outer skin of the grapefruit very well.
Cut eat of those circular slices in half.
Now run your knife along the peel, making sure to remove all of that white pith around the edges.
And there you have a little rising sun!
Pros: The advantage to this method is it’s fairly quick to cut, and it’s really pretty for presentation purposes.
Cons: You aren’t removing any of the membrane, so you’re still having to eat that part. But I find that it’s easier to chew than the Eat it Like an Orange method for some reason.
I suppose because you aren’t having to tear into the membrane with your teeth. And somehow it seems juicier than method number two.
Method 4: Undressing
I call this the undressing method, because it’s kind of like taking the flesh out of it’s little membrane coat.
That sounds kind of weird, I know. But that’s how I think of it!
Go through the first steps of the Eat it Like an Orange method.
Now, poke your paring knife into the membrane of one of the grapefruit sections, making a little slit.
Stick your finger in there, and start tearing the membrane away from the flesh.
See? It’s a bit like undressing it.
Make sure to remove the membrane from the back of the grapefruit segments as well. This can be kind of frustrating, but you don’t want to eat that, trust me.
Pros: The advantage to this method is you get rid of that tough membrane, so you don’t have to chew it. Also, there is very little waste since you’re getting in there with your hands and picking everything out.
Cons: But it is time consuming, and the sections don’t end up being very pretty. They can turn out more like grapefruit chunks instead of segments.
Method 5: The Pro Method
I like to think of this as the fancy or pro method. It’s my personal favorite, and I think it’s the best way to cut a grapefruit.
Cut off the bottom of the grapefruit. Flip it over and repeat on the other side. Make sure you can see the grapefruit flesh clearly on both ends of the grapefruit.
Take a sharp knife and run it between the peel and the flesh of the fruit, going from top to bottom and following the curve of the grapefruit as best you can.
Here’s a close up photo so you can really see what’s going on when you’re removing the outer peel.
If you still have some of the white part on the outside after the first pass, make sure to remove it.
Now here’s where it gets technical.
Run your knife along one side of a membrane…
Then along the other…
And pop out the section of flesh. Repeat that step for the second section of the grapefruit. Now you have enough room to get a rhythm going.
Slide your knife along one side of the section, and instead of lifting your knife and going along the other edge, you can just turn your knife and go back up the membrane instead of down. This is faster than lifting your knife out each time.
You can see this demonstrated in the video below if you’re having a hard time picturing it.
Once you have the proper technique down, it gets a lot faster.
Pros: I like this method because it’s pretty quick, and you remove all of the membrane so it’s a dream to eat. So juicy! A bowlful of this juicy fruit is amazing.
Cons: But this method does leave some of the flesh on the peels and in the membranes. The previous methods produce less waste.
However, you can just squeeze out the peels and membranes by hand and either drink the juice, or put it into salad dressings!
I have to say that I’m partial to a glass of grapefruit juice. That hint of bitterness is lovely in my book. But again, if you don’t prefer an acidic flavor, you can add extra sweetener to taste.
And if you can’t stand to throw out the grapefruit peels, you could always make candied grapefruit peel or grapefruit peel tea.
Here’s a video demonstration in case you learn better that way.
You can store your grapefruit at room temperature if you’re planning on eating it in the near future. But I like to keep mine in the fridge if I have the space. I just prefer the way a cold grapefruit tastes, and storing at a cooler temperature preserves the fruit longer.
How Long Does Peeled Grapefruit Last?
You can store peeled grapefruit in the fridge for about 5-7 days. Make sure you keep it in an airtight container. You may lose some of the juiciness after a few days, so eat it up as soon as you can.
While a grapefruit doesn’t contain quite as much vitamin C as an orange, it’s still a great source of it! 1 cup of orange segments contains about 95.8 mg of vitamin C, whereas 1 cup of grapefruit contains about 71.8 mg.
Because of the vitamin C content, eating grapefruit could help support your immune system.
It also contains lower amounts of Vitamin A, Potassium, Magnesium, Folate, etc. (source) But you would have to eat a LOT of grapefruit to get your RDA of those vitamins and minerals.
Pink or red grapefruit contains lycopene, the same antioxidant found in tomatoes. Lycopene is a carotenoid, and it’s what gives these fruits their red color. Tomatoes, guava, and watermelon are better sources of lycopene than grapefruit, but it’s pretty cool that it contains this powerful antioxidant! (source)
You can eat grapefruit as part of your balanced breakfast, and it’s a great snack as well.
I personally like to eat grapefruit plain. But here are some recipes to inspire you:
- Winter Grapefruit Salad Inspiration
- Homemade Sugar Scrub with Grapefruit and Mint from Perry’s Plate
- Grapefruit Greek Yogurt Loaf from Sally’s Baking Addiction
- Pink Grapefruit Dessert Bars from Garlic and Zest
- Broiled Grapefruit with Honey and Granola via Cookie + Kate
More How-To and Kitchen Tip Posts:
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- How to Roast Garlic Without Aluminum Foil
- Best Way to Bake Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- How to Brown Butter
- How to Prep Your Greens for the Week
- What Oil is Best for Cooking?
- How to Make Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs
- How to Saute Garlic Scapes
Have you ever tried out any of these methods? What’s YOUR favorite way to eat a grapefruit?
Updated October 11, 2022