Mangoes bring their tropical goodness to everything from salads to salsa to smoothies. But between the thick skin and large pits, extracting the sweet pulpy fruit can be a slimy, sticky headache. Here's how to peel and cut a mango so you get the most fruit with the least amount of hassle or harm.

First order of business – start with a ripe mango. Go by feel rather than color. It should be slightly soft, but not mushy. Learn more about selecting mangoes in this guide from the National Mango Board.

Try the following methods for safe, easy mango cutting.

The peel-and-slice method

peeling mango Peel a mango from top to bottom using a Y peeler. (Photo: RVCTA Imagenes/Flickr)

Though mangoes don't need to be peeled, if you prefer skinless fruit, here's how to do it.

1. Using a Y peeler (or regular peeler if you prefer), remove the skin from top to bottom to reveal the yellow fruit underneath. Once you've removed a portion of the skin, use a paper towel to hold onto the peeled pulp so it doesn't slip out of your hand.

2. Stand the mango on its end. The seed inside is long, flattish and oval shaped, similar to the mango itself. Holding tightly with the paper towel, use a sharp knife to cut off one of the mango's flatter sides, slicing from top to bottom. The cut should be a quarter-inch from the midline, following alongside the pit but not touching it. If you hit the pit, adjust the knife. Repeat on the other side. You'll end up with two half pieces and a center slice that contains the pit.

3. Cut the two half pieces into slices or cubes.

4. On the center slice, trim off the remaining fruit from around the pit and cut into cubes or slices.

5. Toss mango pieces into your favorite recipes or savor them on the spot.

The slice-in-the-peel method

cut mango in skin Cut the mango flesh horizontally and vertically with the skin on to create cubes. (Photo: Francis Chung/Flickr)

1. Start by standing an unpeeled mango on its end and slice through the skin to cut off two half pieces, as outlined above.

2. Place both half pieces on a cutting board with the peel side down and cut several slices in the fruit without breaking the skin. You can also cut a grid-like pattern to create cubes.

3. Scoop out the slices or cubes with a large spoon. Alternatively, press the skin on the underside of the cut mango halves, inverting them so the sliced sections push up for easier access. Cut them away from the peel with a paring knife.

4. Trim the remaining fruit from the pit, pare off the skin and cut into slices or cubes.

To see exactly how it's done, watch this video.

Bonus tip: Kitchen gadget junkies may want to opt for a mango slicer that removes the pit with a single press. Some also do the slicing. Check out a few top-rated mango-cutting tools from Best Reviews Guide.

How to peel and cut a mango like an expert
Mango is a delicious fruit that can be a pain to cut. Here's how the pros do it gto et the most fruit without hassle or harm.