You will need: a coconut, a hammer, a thin nail and a towel.
Drive the nail with the hammer through the softest “eye” or dark indentation. You can pierce each eye if you desire.
Place the coconut over a glass or container to drain the water. If it’s not draining well, you can drive a nail in the end opposite the “eyes.” Or use a drill.
Place the coconut on the towel, which should be large enough to enclose the ‘nut completely.
Tuck the edges of the towel so that the pieces of smashed coconut don’t go flying.
Place the towel-enclosed coconut on a hard, flat surface, like your garage floor or brick walkway. Bash away. Caution: using your kitchen counter is not a good idea.
Note: Coconuts in grocery stores often come scored to make opening easier. You can use the non-smashing end of the hammer to pry/crack the nut open.
Once you’ve cracked it open, you might want to hit it a few more times to break up the bigger pieces, which will make it easier to get at the meat.
Pry the meat away from the shell using a small knife. Carefully scrape off the thin layer of shell on the coconut meat.
You can grate or shred or just store the chunks. The fresh coconut meat will last two to seven days in the refrigerator; one to three months in the freezer; six to 12 months if shredded or grated and dehydrated.
Bake whole coconut at 375 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. Tap shell with hammer to open. Cut meat out of shell. Pare brown skin from coconut meat.