Jeni vs. A Coconut: Reviewing Melissa’s Coconut Punch

This kitchen gadget review was a tough nut to crack.

Beth of It’s Just Life found a display of lovely Midwestern coconuts and Melissa’s brand Coconut Openers at one of our local Mason City grocery stores and sent it to me to review. I’ve lived in the upper Midwest my entire life. Although I have traveled to warmer states where palm trees grow free, I honestly don’t recall ever touching a coconut before. Coconut curries are some of my favorite foods in the entire world, but I can’t get into the coconut water trend. I’ve tried at least three different brands of coconut water and can’t stomach its flavor or texture. I won’t even tell you what I think it tastes like. This gadget is supposed to make it easy to punch a hole in the coconut for easy coconut water sipping.

This particular product is called a “Young Coconut Punch.” I’m guessing it’s intended to be used on young coconuts, making me wonder if there was an “old” coconut punch, too. When I searched for this product online, I only found one version of this product ($5.49) that looked like this punch.

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The package depicts a coconut with all of its skin shaved off, however the instructions don’t offer any information about removing the skin or requiring that it’s removed. I even found this article on Melissa’s website demonstrating how to open a skin-on coconut with their opener.

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Here’s a close-up of the “Quick Crack Coconut.” Again, the instructions say to use a Melissa brand opener to punch a whole through one of the eyes which are supposed to be softer.

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The tool consists of a handle and a sharp, hollow screw with a safety cap. One is supposed to puncture the coconut by pressing the sharp end into an eye and wiggling the tool.

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Here’s a close-up of the instructions:

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First, I tried to use the tool as demonstrated on the website. My attempts to puncture the tool through one of the coconut eyes were unsuccessful. All of the eyes were as hard as rocks and my tool slipped causing me a scare. Seriously, do not try this at home without safety gloves and/or a towel to stabilize the coconut! I should have known better.

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I tried puncturing the coconut a second time, but wrapped it in a towel so it would have less chance of slipping.

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Still, I had no success even when holding the nut with a towel. I Googled how to remove the coconut skin and articles instructed me to freeze or bake the nut, neither of which I had the time or patience for this day. I was afraid that even if I did attempt these methods, I’d still end up sending myself to the emergency room with coconut injuries.

I gave up on the coconut punch tool and took it outside with a big, rubber mallet.

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Without too much effort, I easily cracked the coconut. unfortunately, I lost most of the water. I collected enough in my hand to take a sip. If you watch the videos, you can hear my garbled. “ughhhhh yuck.”

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This kitchen gadget review pitted me against a coconut and the coconut almost won. A broken coconut sits in my fridge. It looks like I still have to bake it in order to separate the meat from the shell. Once I do so, I can toast the coconut meat or even grate it and make it into coconut milk.

Do you have any tips for easier coconut peeling and opening? What would you do if someone gave you a whole coconut?

15 Comments

  1. Beth Ann Chiles

    The Midwest Coconut Growers are proud of your “can do” attitude . I think the punch would work best through the eyes but could you even find them? I have seen the unpeeled coconuts in places but obviously not where I bought this one. I did not know that you were not a fan of coconut milk or I would have passed on this one. But hey–the price was right. Thanks for the review. You rock!

    • Jeni

      It was fun to try out! Plus, I can experiment with fresh coconut. I saw a few eyes at the top, but they were also pretty hard.

  2. Sara Broers

    Looks like the directions on the packaging could use some help! Love this video. You always have such great advice when it comes to those kitchen gadgets!

    • Jeni

      They are very unclear when compared to the company website. Thanks Sara! I can’t believe Beth finds all of these.

  3. Monica Jertson Cateron

    I’ve seen those “young” coconuts in the stores before- always wondered what the difference was. I’m not a fan of coconut water either- it’s one of those trends I never “got” either.

  4. Camille Lee

    Ok first, where DO coconuts grow in the Midwest? And, we used to use a drill to punch through it. I also remember my mother using a hammer and screwdriver. I don’t get the coconut water thing- it tastes like rancid wallpaper paste to me, assuming I really knew what that tasted like.

    • Jeni

      I think a drill makes more sense than a punch. Your description of coconut water is pretty spot on!

  5. Laura Weers

    I loved your video !!!

  6. Jenny.U

    I’ve seen the young ones at the store too but never bought them. When I was little we only had the brown ones. Dad would whack a nail driving hammer at it, we’d dump the water and try to get out the meat. Which was sometimes difficult. Then when you did get coconut meat to eat you’d get a sore jaw from all the chewing but it was still a treat we enjoyed. Your videos are great, I enjoy them much Jeni!

  7. Donna Hup

    I’m not a fan of coconut water either. My husband loves it. We lived in Key West for years and there was a local guy we called Coconut Joe. He rode a bike around the island and would sell coconuts. When you bought one he’d pull out his machete, slice off the top, and stick a straw in it 🙂

    • Jeni

      I need a machete!

  8. patty

    I got this melissas quick crack coconut brand cause i thought it’d b easier than the white ones. I didn’t realize till later that the sticker on it says DONT DRINK THE WATER. i drank nit anyways. i was looking for info on it when i stumbled on the video. im just wondering why the sticker says, dont drink the water, until i find out what it means im not buying another one.

    nice try opening the coconut though, i hope you find a delicious one that changes your mind on the taste

    • Jeni

      I missed the note about not drinking the water:/ Fortunately, I did not get sick from the sip that I had. I’ll have to try this again! I see they’re mixing coconut water with other juices. I think I could handle that:)

  9. Irene In Las Vegas, NV

    Here’s the facts on coconuts and secrets to opening them below:
    There are 3 stages of coconuts:
    1. The first stage is referred to as “young” coconuts that are smooth without the hairy outer shell; light color; distinctive cone-shaped top. This is the only stage from which the “coconut water” is sweet, delicious and contains the highest form of natural electrolytes used during world war II when they ran out of blood for transfusions, they used “coconut water transfusions.” The “meat” inside this coconut is minimal, soft and not as chewy. The younger the coconut, the less amount of “meat” is available. Some are filled with water and less meat. We use this stage to make coconut/banana ice cream containing it’s sweet water and meat with bananas (dairy and sugar free).
    2. The second stage is the “lighter” colored hairy outer shell. This is considered a mature coconut and the water is usually not as sweet and sometimes tasteless. It has more meat than the “young” coconuts. As the coconut darkens, there is less water and more meat which becomes chewier as it ages.
    3. The third stage is the “dark brown” colored hairy outer shell. This is an old coconut and it’s water can taste bitter, almost rancid. It contains less water and more meat available.
    CONCLUSION: Use “young” coconuts if interested in it’s water only because usually not enough meat. Use the mature/older coconuts for it’s thicker, chewier meat.
    If interested in opening the coconuts, go to Youtube for many ways and pick the one that you feel is safest for you. I chose the hammer and screw driver method of making perforations along the top of the “young” coconuts and allow the water to drain into a cup or small bowl then connect the perforations to make a “door” to open the top. You will need to make it wide enough to scoop the soft meat out with a spoon.
    The mature/older coconuts, I place a thick towel on a cutting board and place coconut on top of the towel to prevent it from slipping and I place another single layer towel on top to prevent it from fragments hitting our faces and just hit hard on counter or (clean) floor….I’m an OCD clean freak…ha,ha.
    Any questions, you can reach me at: lv4me2 at aol dot com
    Happy cracking….Irene in Las Vegas (professional singer)

    • Jeni

      So helpful! Thanks for giving us all some guidance. Happy cracking to you too:)

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