How To Remove the Husk from a Coconut (And Respect Your Elders)

I’ve covered getting the water out of a green coconut, and how to open the nut itself, but recently realized I never showed how I get the nut out of the husk in order to get to the meat of an older, more mature coconut.

A friend that works with my wife recently sent some fresh coconuts home for me, as she knows how much I LOVE the silly things. She wanted to know what was inside one misshapen one, so I thought it was a great opportunity to show how I get them out.

Before I show the vid, thanks go out to Tammy and Juan for the coconuts. Ironically, Juan, who works for a tree company, has no idea how to do this. Not only does he work around trees daily (such as Coconut Palms), he is also from Cuba, land of a zillion coconut trees…. I’m just guessing, but I’d like to believe that his father (or grandfather) knew how to do this.  I hope he learns a lost skill here…its a pretty ironic when a West Virginia Hillbilly shows a Cuban how to open coconuts :)

Tangent time- I’ve mentioned the loss of skills with each generation. Just to name a few, canning, hunting soap making, small engine repair, gardening, negotiating, simple carpentry, butchering, cooking, blacksmithing, cooperage, brewing, farming, tanning, flint knapping, and changing the TV channel without the remote.

Most of us are guilty of not listening to our Elders when they are trying to show us a skill they learned as a child that we feel is now obsolete. Do yourself a favor, find someone with a lost skill, and take the time to learn it. The older generation is always left behind as technology advances, and we owe those advances to them…so show some damned appreciation and let your great uncle show you how to bleed the brakes on his old truck, or take the time for your great grandmother to show you how to cut up a chicken for frying. You never know when it will come in handy. And if it never does, you’ll have created a memory that will last long after they are gone. Trust me, you’ll cherish this moment.

Sorry, we were talking about coconuts…sheesh!

Here I am opening a coconut with my Cold Steel khukri. Enjoy!



    1. I’ve seen that too, but have never done it, I always have a machete of some sort with me, so opt for this method. The stick in the ground seems to be a LOT faster, but then those guys probably opened hundreds a day, if not more.

  1. Good Gosh man you almost cut yourself about 10 times………you need to slow down and find different hand positions….

    1. For the record, I only partially agree…I’ve done this hundreds of times, and still have all 10 fingers…It’s actually fairly safe when I take my time and do it over dirt. I felt rushed to get it all in one shot – it was my last coconut at the time!

      Thanks !

  2. Hey nice work and thanks for teaching an old dog (41) a new trick…. I’ve just moved to Belize and have hundreds of coconuts to practice with ?. Am i right…. Green ones are good for consuming water and flesh and brown ones are good for producing milk and oil?

    1. Green = young coconut. Brown = old, mature coconut.

      The younger the nut, the less meat and more water. As it ages, it will yield less water and more meat.

      Coconut milk and coconut oil are the product of processing the meat.

      Thus, the older the nut, the more meat, and therefore the higher yield of meat, milk, or oil.

      (And have you seen my “How to make your own coconut milk” video?)

  3. I have done it with an ax and wondered why it was so difficult. After watching your video, I see it is not easy. The only difference I see is the location of hits you made. I will have to try that the next time I go to Miami to visit my son and his three coconut trees. Thank you.

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