peeled grapefruit segments on a white plate with a whole grapefruit in the background

How to Peel a Grapefruit

Watch the video to learn how to peel a grapefruit with your hands in this quick and easy tutorial! This quick tip is easier and produces less waste than using a special serrated grapefruit spoon. No special tools needed using this method to peel and segment a grapefruit!

peeled grapefruit segments on a white plate with a whole grapefruit in the background
How to Peel a Grapefruit

Watch the video to learn how to peel a grapefruit with your hands in this quick and easy tutorial! This quick tip is easier and produces less waste than using a special serrated grapefruit spoon. No special tools needed using this method to peel and segment a grapefruit!peeled grapefruit segments on a white plate with a whole grapefruit in the background

When I was a little girl, I begged my mom to buy those nifty serrated spoons so I could copy grapefruit eaters on television and peel a grapefruit just like them. Cut the grapefruit in half, stick your spoon in, and enjoy, right? I was dismally disappointed when she bought a set of serrated spoons and I got to try it out for myself. I found that there was an enormous amount of waste, and that I could not really release the grapefruit from its peel very cleanly. I never used the serrated spoon again.

I know there are many nifty ways to peel and segment a grapefruit. Sometimes I do use a knife to segment the citrus, gliding my knife between the segment and the peel to release clean cuts of grapefruit. However, my favorite way of peeling and segmenting a grapefruit actually relies more on my own hands. It was the method my mother taught me, and one I had assumed everyone knew about.

I realized that my method of segmenting grapefruit was different when I was pregnant with my daughter. Talk about pregnancy cravings! While I was carrying her, I could not get enough of grapefruits! I had at least one a day, and in my old office lunchroom, you could probably bet that I was in there, peeling a grapefruit by hand. My coworkers were intrigued by my technique, and even my husband confessed that he had never seen anyone segment a grapefruit my way before. But all agree that it definitely yields less waste.

So, I’m curious – how do you segment a grapefruit? This is how I peel a grapefruit:

How to Peel a Grapefruit Step by Step

I realized that the best way to show you how to peel a grapefruit is with a video, so I put together a short clip so you can see my method in action!

Did you find these tips on how to peel a grapefruit helpful?  You might also enjoy these other produce-related quick tips:

How to Cut a Squash Easily
How to Pick a Perfect Cantaloupe
How to Peel and Store Fresh Ginger
How to Pick Spicy Jalapeños

Comments

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  1. Kate Rogers

    Those grapefruit spoons may not work well on grapefruits but I love to use them to remove the seeds from butternut (or other winter) squashes!

    Reply
  2. Deanne

    I don’t score the peel first, just rip it off. And I eat the thin skin. More vitamin C packed in that part. I do enjoy it without any and do occasionally peel it completely so thanks for sharing your way. 

    Reply
  3. Noel

    The toughest part of segmenting is separating the skin at the two tips of the “crescent moon”. So before segmenting I like to cut the ends off- removing all the segment tips in just two slices. Then it’s easy and clean to insert a paring knife at the tips between the segment skin and the segment meat- the sharp end toward the thin fruit center side, then slitting the segment “bag” open. I found a paring knife that comes with a sheath that I keep in my desk at work. I segment holding the fruit over the trash can. But really I loose only a few drops.

    Reply
  4. Hema

    Peel and the pith part of any Citrus fruit, incl. Grapefruit, contain a lot more nutrition than the fleshy part. You lose a lot of the goodness when you discard the peel and the pith and eat just the flesh. 

    Reply
  5. John

    The trick with using the serrated spoons is to use a narrow, sharp knife to cut out all the sections. All the way around each “pie” shape. I do like peeling and eating this way better though.

    Reply
  6. Whitney

    We always ate our grapefruits with a spoon, but when I was little, it frustrated me no end trying to remember which way to cut to halve the segments. :P Some come out cleaner than others, but it’s true, it’s not an efficient method (and we only had regular tea spoons, no serrated ones). I think my sister started peeling them like this a few years ago (and we all looked at her funny, too ;) but I do need to try it. I never liked the spoon method.

    Reply
  7. Kathy

    To be honest, this is how I learned how to peel a grapefruit and pomelo and most Filipinos do it this way :)

    Reply
  8. Ken

    My mom taught me how to peel a grapefruit the same way you described, over forty years ago!

    Reply
  9. Jared

    Aargh! Where was this video last night and this morning when I was butchering and wasting my precious grapefruits :D

    Reply
  10. Carson

    This is a much better way to eat a grapefruit then using a spoon, a little more work but worth it. I also enjoyed your video, you have a very sweet voice. Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Lorence

    Liren, I saw you post on Pinterest, thanks for posting this technique. I’ve don this for years and thought I was the only one! I’m glad that there are others out there doing this, too, makes me feel not so crazy. I always use a small serrated knife to split the inner skins away from the segments, works great!

    Reply
  12. Becca

    I do the same thing! I googled skin of a grapefruit expecting to see someone else peeling it the same way as i do because i never see anyone around me ( not even my mother) eat a grapefruit like i do.

    Reply
  13. Sarah

    So about 15 minutes ago i looked at 5 grapefruits on my counter with a breaking heart. I thought im not gonna fight with that thing for a few measly pieces why did i buy you? Then a lightbulb went on and i googled and found this. Im now eating everything that grapefruit has to offer and so pleased to be lounging and reading all your comments. Thanks you’ve actually changed this part of my life forever.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Sarah, you made my day. I’m so glad you were able to enjoy your grapefruits – I’m so excited that they are back in season, I have 5 sitting on my counter right now, too :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Gina! You’re right, it’s very similar to opening a pomegranate…one good thing is at least grapefruits do not stain! So glad it worked for you :)

      Reply
  14. Kathy Diaz

    Sassy video. You have a sophisticated way of peeling and segmenting your grapefruit. I should follow your lead. I literally just slice in half and use a regular spoon to scoop out the meat. I must say, lots of waste using my method. Love this post!

    Reply
  15. Jackie

    Super cute video, Liren! That’s actually exactly how I eat pomelo, but that’s because the pith is so tough that you can’t eat it. looks delicious =)

    Jax x

    Reply
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