Opening Coconuts

Young coconuts and brown coconuts have different shell consistencies, so they have to be opened differently. We'd also strongly recommend using different tools.

Opening ripe brown coconuts

You can easily open up ripe brown ('hairy') coconuts using a hammer. Hold the coconut firmly in own hand or place it on a hard surface and create a faultline along the middle by hitting the sides in a horizontal ring. To do so, turn it around incrementally while hitting it on the side until it starts to crack and you see the delicious white meat. If you don't happen to have a hammer available, you can also use a sturdy kitchen knife (blunt side) or any other hard edge (e.g. the curb). Watch this video for a demonstration:

Opening Young Coconuts

Coconut openers 

There are special tools that were developed specifically to open up young coconuts. You can find them in our shop.

In Brazil, coconut street vendors have a cart equipped with a tap made specially for quickly opening coconuts in a matter of seconds - the Cocomobile. If you come to one of our events with young coconuts you can see it in action.

When you've finished drinking the water, you can halve the coconut to get at the jelly-like meat. The ideal tool for the task is a cleaver or a sturdy sharp knife. Alternatively, you can also slam the coconut against a sharp stone or on the ground to break open the husk, thereby exposing the shell. That's how monkeys do it!


The machete is the traditional tool for slicing open coconuts in Asia. One precise stroke is enough to 'decapitate' a young coconut. But be careful not to chop off your fingers in the process!