Okay, continuing the coconut series, How can I break a fresh green coconut without wasting much of it, without using a knife?

  • Do you want to break it or open it to get the milk out? Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 11:17
  • Vague memories of seeing this done on tv with a sharp stick.
    – Aravona
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 11:21
  • why does the question specify green? Are you not interested in the brown ones for some reason? They are more edible as well as easier to get into Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 17:42
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    @KateGregory: see the questioner's earlier coconut question, and the one it links to: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/9863 Basically the theme of the series is, "so, I'm lost and I see a coconut tree, what's in it for me and what do I do next?". Therefore getting the best out of green coconuts is very much the agenda. Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 18:54
  • Where you have a coconut tree, you often have a bunch of brown coconuts already conveniently on the ground near it. Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


Coconut opening comes in two parts, neither of which needs a knife.

First, the husk. Get a reasonably sturdy pointed stick and put it in the ground, point up, between your feet. Jam the coconut down onto the stick, hitting off centre. This should wedge off bits of husk. Repeat until the husk is all off. A very green coconut is harder to "peel" this way, but without a knife, this is basically the option you have.

If getting all the liquid out is important, and you have no bowl or bucket, pause here, find a stick or stone, and poke at the eyes until you break through one or two of them, and drink the liquid through the hole. A hollow piece of grass or reed might make a useful straw.

Once you have exposed the inner coconut, find the three "eyes" on it. Hold the coconut so that it vaguely looks like a face - the three circles on a side of it, two above one. Hit it hard with a stick or a rock on the "top of its head" and it should break in half. You can now continue to break it up to separate shell from meat, or you can scrape out juicy meat with your same pointed stick and eat it as you go.

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    I have just watched others do it - including someone who had never done it before but was being instructed Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 14:55
  • pictures of coconut opening lessons transpacifictrip.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/… Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 14:59
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    Well just keep in mind a green coconut it will have lots of milks and very little meat. The meat it does have will be very thin in thickness and almost gelatinous in consistently. Coconuts don't ripen on the tree. Then ripen on the ground and can take years to fully mature and finally germinate and sprout into a young Palm.
    – Escoce
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 15:29
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    I'd recommend against randomly putting grass in mouth as it may contain a whole bunch of parasite eggs
    – deej
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 1:29

This is a slightly different approach than Kate's but this is how we used to do it when I was a kid.

Requirements: 1 coconut, 2 heavy objects (large rocks work well but you have to be able to pick them up. A cinder block probably works but I've never tried with one), one with a flat side to it (not necessary if you're not doing this in sand/dirt - if there's a concrete pad or something nearby just use that)

  1. Balance the coconut on the flat surface with the stem side facing downward.
  2. Pick up heavy object, raise it over your head, drop it on the pointy side of the coconut
  3. Repeat. After three or four times the husk should have split down the ridges of the coconut. This also has the added benefit of loosening the husk to make it easier to remove.
  4. Remove the husk, you should be able to just rip it off with just a little effort
  5. If you want the liquid you can use Kate's method (bore through one of the "face" holes. Kate suggests the eyes but we always went through the "mouth". I suspect it makes little difference).
  6. To crack the inside open and get at the meat of the coconut, simply rap the coconut against one of the objects from earlier, while continually rotating the coconut. The shell should crack after about 30 seconds of this.

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