Learn how to cut a peach for all of your favorite summer recipes using fresh peaches. Keep reading for the best way to cut peaches into halves, wedges, and cubes!
Every fresh peach recipe starts with the same important step: slicing peaches.
Whether you visit your local farmer's market or grab some from your grocery store, the ability to cut your own fresh peaches for a homemade peach pie or this Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler is satisfying and gratifying.
Besides sweet desserts, like peach ice cream, fresh peaches are amazing in savory dishes, too, like our Tomato Peach Burrata Salad. See which basic method of cutting your juicy peaches works best for you!
Editor's note: for the best cutting environment, we recommend listening to our favorite peach-inspired songs including Justin Bieber's "Peaches" and Jack Black's "Peaches" as made famous by the Super Mario movie.
Peaches, Your Favorite Stone Fruit
Juicy peaches are part of the stone fruit, or drupe, family. There are several different kinds of peaches and they may have fuzzy, yellow, or white peach skin.
All types of peach skin, including the fuzzy skin, are edible, just like an apple's skin is! However, we will briefly explain how to peel any unpeeled peaches that you may have should you prefer skinless for your use!
Peaches are very nutritious and, depending on who you ask, are consider to be one of the most nutritious fruits overall! In general, they are considered a healthy fruit and they possess very high levels of Vitamin C.
Peach trees produce peaches for about 12 years and they can each produce around 66 pounds of peaches. The peak season for peaches is typically from June to August.
Difference Between A Peach & Nectarine
For all intents and purposes, nectarines are just fuzz-less peaches! To clarify, though, nectarines are not genetically modified peaches.
Peaches and nectarines are two completely different fruits that share a similar genetic make-up. The difference? Nectarines don't possess the gene that gives them fuzzy skin.
How to Choose a Perfectly Ripe Peach
Within three days of picking, fresh peaches arrive to your grocery store (quicker if you grab them from your local farmer's market!). While that makes for a quick turnaround to buy your ripe peaches, here are some tips to pick the best fresh and juicy peaches!
- Smell them! Ripe peaches should have a sweet and fruity aroma.
- Pick them up. Ripe peaches will feel heavy for their size as they are dense with liquid. Juicy peaches = heavier than you think!
- Give them a very gentle squeeze. Ripe peaches should have a slight give and feel just a little squishy, meaning, you don't want them hard like a golf ball or baseball.
- Avoid green peaches. Before fresh peaches are picked, they will ripen from green to yellow-orange while still growing on the peach tree. If you see any green on the peach at your grocery store or farmer's marker, this is a sign that it may have been picked too early.
- Steer clear of bruised peaches. This includes peaches with dents. Bruises, brown spots, or dents are often signs of deeper damage (not just a surface wound) or spoiled peaches.
- Two kinds of peaches. Most grocery stores carry freestone peaches because the pit is easier to remove.
- Clingstone peaches: Also called "cling" peaches. Clingstone peaches can be difficult to work with because the pit actually clings to the fruit. This makes it tougher to remove during the process of making cut peaches.
- Freestone peaches: Freestone peaches are the type of peach where the pit separates more easily from the peach flesh. While the pit in clingstone peaches "cling" to the peach flesh, generally, freestone peaches are easier to "free" from the peach flesh!
How to Ripen a Peach
3-4 day method: If your fruit isn't quite ripe enough when you get them home, allow them to ripen at room temperature on your counter for a few days.
Quick method: place the peaches in a paper bag. Enclosing them traps the ethylene gas they omit which triggers the ripening process. Add a banana or apple to the bag as well to boost the ethylene levels.
Once fully ripe, transfer your fresh peaches to the refrigerator for up to 5 days before proceeding with these steps for how to cut a peach.
Cool temperatures (like in your refrigerator) help slow the ripening or aging process.
Fresh peaches are the perfect summer fruit but there are some things to keep in mind when you are cutting your ripe peaches.
- Be sure to use a sharp paring knife. By using a sharp paring knife (a small knife), you will be able to cut the peach easier. A sharp knife is also safer to work with when you are cutting!
- Cutting board. Use a fresh & clean cutting board to cut your fresh peaches. We recommend a larger sized cutting board for the easiest cutting experience.
- Kitchen towels or paper towels. These are optional to place under the cutting board to collect the juice and have less mess! Fresh peaches can be very juicy.
How to Cut a Peach
The recipe you are making may dictate how you want to cut your peach! You may want diced peaches for this Peach Apple Crisp or sliced peaches to put on top of our favorite Fruit & Honey Crostinis or even our Cottage Cheese Toast.
Nevertheless, whether you want halved, sliced, or peeled and diced peaches, this step-by-step guide has you covered!
Cut the Peach in Half
With your non-dominant hand, hold the peach with the stem side pointing up. Insert the blade of your sharp paring knife until it reaches the pit. The blade of your knife should run vertically with the peach stem.
Keeping the blade inserted and touching the pit the entire time, slice around the peach until you've reached where you started, similar to slicing an avocado in half. Your knife and non-dominant hand make work in opposite directions as you slice around.
Twist the peach halves in opposite directions.
Remove the Pit
If the peach is ripe, the peach pit should pop out easily, especially if you are using freestone peaches. If the peach pit sticks, cut around it or loosen it with a spoon and remove it.
Cut the Peach into Slices
Place the peach halves flat-side-down on a cutting board. Using your sharp paring knife, cut each peach in slices of your desired thickness. You can slice up and down or cut them on the bias (at an angle).
Generally, diced peaches are the most common way to use fresh peaches in recipes like peach cobbler, crisps, or peach mango salsa.
Turn the peach slices so they are perpendicular to the blade of your knife. Lastly, dice each slice into ½-inch pieces.
Removing Peach Skin
Most baking recipes call for peeled peaches. There are a few peeling methods depending on preference and how ripe the peaches. are.
- Vegetable Peeler. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin away from the peach flesh, similar to peeling a potato.
- Blanch the peaches. Add ripe peaches to a pot of boiling water. Boil for 15-30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peaches to an ice bath. The skin should come off easily. Make a small "" with a knife in the skin and use your fingers to peel it away. This step is ideal if your peaches are really ripe and soft or if you're using a large amount of peaches as it's much quicker than peeling each peach one by one.
Related: If you recently visited your farmer's market and picked up other fresh produce, check out our step-by-step guides including How to Cut Watermelon Cubes, How to Cut a Bell Pepper, How to Cut Dragon Fruit, and How to Cut Green Onions!
How to Store Peaches
If you need to store cut up peaches, you can do so in an airtight container for up to five days. The airtight container helps to prevent the peaches from turning brown.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cutting a peach is a simple process! The first step, though, is to know how you want your peaches to end up: in halves, slices, or diced. To make the process even easier, we recommend using a sharp paring knife.
You do not have to peel peaches before cutting them! Whether you peel your peaches or not will depend on personal preference and if your recipe asks for peeled peaches.
If possible, it is best to not cut your peaches until you are ready to use them. Exposing the peach flesh to air will actually speed up the ripening, or again, process. If you cut your peaches and need to store them, it is best to do so in an airtight container. They will last up to five days in the refrigerator.
Try These Recipes with Peaches
- Grilled Peach Salad
- Peach Burrata Salad
- Peach Apple Crisp
- Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler
- Mango Peach Salsa
- Cottage Cheese Toast (add Sliced Peaches!)
How to Cut a Peach
- 1 ripe peach Note 1
- With your non-dominant hand, hold the whole peach with the stem end facing up. Insert the blade of your sharp paring knife until it reaches the pit. The blade of your knife should run vertically with the peach stem.
- Keeping the blade inserted and touching the pit the entire time, rotate the peach to slice around it until you've reached where you started.
- Hold both halves of the peach in each hand and twist the peach halves in opposite directions. The pit should easily come out of one-half of the peach if it's ripe enough.
- Place each peach half flat-side-down on the cutting board. Slice peaches into wedges of your desired thickness. If you need diced peaches, turn them perpendicular to the knife and cut them into chunks.