How to Open Any Coconut

image of J. Fergus
By | Updated March 20, 2018
How to Open Any Coconut
olivia geyelin

True coconut water connoisseurs know that nothing compares to water straight from the coconut. But novices and experts alike know that figuring out how to open a coconut is loud at best and dangerous at worst.

We researched and found the best coconut opening tools. Along the way, we discovered that different stages of coconuts required different tools. There are three common stages of coconut ripeness: drinking, rubber, and shaker.

Drinker coconuts are the youngest and mostly filled with coconut water. These are more easily found in tropical climates due to strict shipping regulations, but they can be found on the East Coast of the U.S seasonally.

The rubber and shaker coconuts are far more popular in the U.S., generally selling under the names of "young Thai" and "brown/mature coconuts," respectively. Young Thai coconuts have some soft coconut meat and a decent amount of water.

Mature coconuts have much more coconut meat that is stiffer and higher in nutrients. The coconut meat, ideally from mature coconuts, can be blended with water to create coconut milk.

In addition to the best coconut opening tools for each stage, we also found a few to help you get the healthy coconut meat out as well. Grab a straw, a tiny umbrella, and one of these great utensils!

01

Best Young Thai and Mature Coconut Opener for Most

Whether you want to open a young Thai or a mature coconut, this tool is a great overall pick for opening a coconut. (Don't worry, drinker coconut lovers; we have a pick for you in our guide).

You can use both tools to hammer a hole into a young Thai coconut or just use the mallet to crack open a more mature coconut. This Coco Jack knockoff has picked up the slack of the original tool which is unreliably available.

Best Young Thai and Mature Coconut Opener for Most
Olivia Geyelin
02

Best Coconut Opener for Young Thai Coconut Water

In addition to making getting into young Thai coconuts easier and safer, this tool also helps you save the coconut water for later. When twisted back and forth, the sharp Coconut Tapper makes a small hole in the coconut. The husk you cut through comes out through a whistle-like opening on the side. You can then either drop in a straw or screw in the coconut tap counterclockwise and cover it with a cap.

Note: Though we love this product much more than similar tools, the initial finish of the Coconut Tapper had some metal residue. Please wash yours before use to keep your coconut water pristine!

Best Coconut Opener for Young Thai Coconut Water
Olivia Geyelin
03

Best Coconut Opener Tool for Mature Coconuts

If you want to get into a mature brown coconut without all the ruckus of a hammer or mallet, we recommend this little Italian tool. The Cococcrack is another coconut tool duo made up of a small corkscrew-like opener and a cutter.

The corkscrew punctures "the mouth" (softest eye) of the coconut and you twist it to create a small hole for water removal. When screwed in deeper, it creates small cracks down the side of the coconut. You can either keep turning the corkscrew or stop and use the cutter to extend the cracks. Either of these should make a baseball-sized opening at the top of the coconut. This opening isn't the best for coconut meat removal, but we loved that this was a fast, safe, and quiet way to crack into these coconuts.

Best Coconut Opener Tool for Mature Coconuts
04

Safest Coconut Meat Scoop

If you want every last bit of coconut meat for your cooking, baking, or smoothie purposes, you'll need a scooping tool. The curve of the stainless steel blade allows you to get more meat than you would with a knife and is safer to use. Just place this tool between the coconut meat and the shell, and start working your way around. 

The Coconut Tool will work on coconut meat at any stage, but requires a little muscle, finesse, and patience when used on mature coconuts.

Safest Coconut Meat Scoop
olivia geyelin
05

Best Coconut Opener for Drinker Coconuts

Lucky enough to have access to drinker coconuts? This is the tool for you. This special blade is inserted in the flower-like stem of the coconut and twisted to create a small hole. Grab your silliest straw, and you're good to go!

Best Coconut Opener for Drinker Coconuts
Olivia Geyelin
06

Best Knife for Coconut Opening Traditionalists and Bushcrafters

Whether you're used to getting into coconuts with brute force or you just like (safely) playing with knives, we found a machete that's effective without being too intimidating. The 10 inch version of this Kershaw chef's knife is easy to handle and cuts through coconut husks like they were butter. Just watch your fingers!

Best Knife for Coconut Opening Traditionalists and Bushcrafters

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