Recipes

How to Cut an Orange With and Without Peeling

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Last Updated: Feb 14, 2022

An orange is the perfect summer accompaniment to a delicious fruit salad. Rich in vitamin C, oranges taste great straight off the plate cut up in wedges or slices. You’ve probably also noticed how oranges make pretty garnishes for cocktails and mocktails and are used in desserts and other cooked dishes.

But you can’t enjoy this juicy fruit without cutting it open. And the way you cut it will depend on how you plan to use the fruit.

In this guide, we will show you how to cut orange slices and wedges while delicately handling all the trims and membranes of the fruit—just like you see in restaurants!

Prep work before cutting an orange

Wash the oranges thoroughly under cool running water. The skin of the rind can contain bacteria and other grime from transportation and handling. Dry the fruit with a paper towel.

To cut the oranges, you will need a cutting board and a sharp knife.

How to cut an orange

There are two options when cutting oranges—with or without the peel. The best method for you to use will depend on how you plan to use the oranges. Both methods are easy to learn, and once you get the hang of it, you will cut an orange like a pro.

Method 1: Cutting with the orange peel on

With the peel on, you can cut oranges into wedges for snacks or wheels perfect for garnishing cocktails.

How to cut orange wedges

Orange wedges are a popular snack for active kids and adults, and cutting an orange into wedges is probably the quickest way to cut this fruit. To cut into wedges:

Mother cutting orange on slices
  1. Hold the orange firmly with 1 hand on a cutting board so that it doesn’t roll away under the pressure of the knife.
  2. Cut the orange right through the center from the stem end to the blossom end.
  3. Now that you have 2 halves, place 1 half cut side down on the cutting board.
  4. Angle your knife and slice the orange into sections going into the center of the fruit. Each section or wedge should be about ½ to ¾in thick.
  5. Continue to slice the other orange half into wedges.

How to cut oranges for drinks

Orange wheels make pretty decorations for drinks. They are also used in cooked and baked foods, where you can eat the pith and the peel of the orange once it is cooked. To cut orange wheels:

  1. Hold the orange firmly on the cutting board and slice off the stem end of the orange.
  2. Use an extremely sharp knife to slice the orange into circles. Use as little pressure as possible or the juices will escape.
  3. Continue slicing the orange into wheel slices till you reach the other end where it is mostly peel and pith. Discard this end.

Wheel slices can be as thin or thick as you want. For cooking and roasting, use thin slices, but for garnishing your drinks, cut thicker slices.

Woman cutting fruit in the kitchen

Method 2: Removing the orange peel before cutting

When you remove the peel of the orange, you can make slices, segments, or wheels. The technique used here is called “supreming,” which is a French technique to remove the pith and the chewy membrane of the fruit.

How to cut orange segments

Orange segments look great in salads and desserts and are even great for a snack. To cut orange segments:

  1. Place the orange on a cutting board and stabilize it with 1 hand. Use a sharp paring knife to cut off both ends, about ½in.
  2. Stand the orange on 1 cut end. Using your knife, cut the peel off, following the contour of the orange and the white pith, while staying close to the citrus flesh.
  3. Once the peel is off, trim the remaining bits of the pith on the orange.
  4. Hold the pith-less orange over a bowl with 1 hand. Using a sharp paring knife, cut downwards between the thin white membrane and the citrus segment.
  5. Once you reach the center, you can either turn the knife upwards or stop and make another angle cut from the other side of the segment. Let the segment fall into the bowl.
  6. Continue slicing all the segments this way so that you have separated the membrane from the fruit.
  7. Use a utility knife to remove any seeds that might still be attached to the orange segments.

How to cut orange wheels

You can even cut the orange into wheels after removing the peel and the pith. Just slice the orange crosswise to cut it into wheels.

Orange wheels look great on an orange cake or as decoration for other desserts. You can even serve it on a fruit platter or in a fruit salad. 

How to peel an orange without a knife

Now that you know how to peel an orange with a knife, let’s look at the steps for peeling the citrus fruit without a knife.

  1. Take an orange and roll it gently on the cutting board for 10 to 15 seconds. This helps to loosen the skin so that it’s easier to peel with your hands. Rolling the fruit also releases the juices, making the orange juicer.
  2. Hold the orange in 1 hand and, with the thumb of the other hand, gently puncture the top of the orange. This part of the orange has thicker skin which does not adhere closely to the fruit, as it does on the sides of the orange, where the skin is thinner. This makes it easier for you to pull the skin away from the top of the orange.
  3. Holding the orange over a plate to catch any escaping juices, try to get a good grip on the punctured skin and tear off that section.
  4. Continue to tear away sections of the skin till all the peel is off.

Cutting oranges the easy way

As you can see, cutting an orange can be easy once you know how to do it. Now that you are an orange-cutting pro, why not buy some oranges and create some delicious recipes? For fresh oranges and other ingredients, you can shop at Instacart.

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