How to Cut a Watermelon into Slices, Cubes or Sticks

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Follow our step-by-step guide to learn how to cut a watermelon. You'll have neat slices, melon balls, cubes and sticks in no time!

Watermelons are big and bulky, and the idea of cutting into one can be intimidating. But we made the process so simple, you’ll be snacking on chic watermelon cubes or enjoying sweet watermelon recipes in no time!

Learn how to cut a watermelon four ways: slices, melon balls, cubes and sticks. And if you need an even faster solution, you can’t go wrong with this watermelon slicer tool.

Tools You’ll Need

How to Cut a Watermelon into Slices

Step 1: Prepare a workstation

a whole watermelon on a white cutting board and a knife to the sideTMB studio

You might be tempted to cut the watermelon in half to get things going, but it’s easier to start by cutting off the top and bottom of the watermelon. That creates a flat side so the watermelon doesn’t roll away, giving you nice, neat slices while also protecting your fingers!

Psst: If you didn’t already know, watermelons are definitely a food you should be washing first.

Step 2: Quarter the watermelon

Watermelon quarters on a white cutting boardTMB studio

Stand the watermelon on one of the cut ends and slice it in half down the middle, creating two large halves. Then, lay each piece flesh-side down and slice in half lengthwise so the whole watermelon is now quartered. 

Step 3: Slice your quartered watermelon

triangular slices of watermelon on a white cutting boardTMB studio

If you’re looking for snack-sized slices, simply place the quartered pieces flesh-side down on your cutting board. Slice the melon into 1-inch thick triangles. Add a sprinkle of salt to bring out the sweet flavors, or toss them on the grill for an unusual way to eat watermelon. Don’t be afraid to try out more savory watermelon recipes!

How to Ball Watermelon

melon balls from a quarter of a watermelon on a white cutting boardTMB studio

Once the watermelon is quartered, you can also ball the fruit. Place a melon quarter flesh-side up on the cutting board. Insert melon baller into the flesh and twist your wrist, rotating the baller toward you. Serve the balls in your favorite watermelon salad, on a skewer or soaked in alcohol for a boozy treat. 

How to Cut a Watermelon into Cubes

Step 1: Remove the rind before cubing 

taking the rind off of the watermelon on a white cutting boardTMB studio

While starting with a quartered watermelon is our go-to way to create slices and melon balls, it’s safer (and easier) to cut watermelon cubes when you start with a whole, peeled watermelon. Instead of quartering it, stand the melon on one of the cut ends. Using a sharp knife, remove the green peels, saving them to make watermelon rind pickles later. 

If you missed some of the white parts during the first pass, don’t worry; you can always go back over the watermelon and remove them. 

Step 2: Cut peeled watermelon into cubes 

cubing watermelon on a white cutting boardTMB studio

Once the watermelon is peeled, cut it in half widthwise. Place the halves flesh-side down and slice the melon into 1-inch slices. Then, turn the board 90-degrees and slice the melon again into 1-inch slices. You can serve the watermelon pieces as-is, or turn them on their sides and slice them into smaller cubes. 

Editor’s Tip: Save time by using this watermelon slicer. (Amazon has a gadget for everything!)

How to Cut a Watermelon into Sticks

a hand removing a stick of watermelon from the center of the watermelonTMB studio

For watermelon sticks, cut the watermelon in half around its equator. Place one half of the melon cut side down, then make cuts up and down and from side to side. You should end up with a watermelon rind handle on each stick.

Tips for Picking and Storing a Watermelon

woman picking watermelon in grocery shopLightFieldStudios/Getty Images

How to pick a watermelon

Look for watermelons that have a dark green rind and a yellow belly (which happens because watermelons grow resting on the ground). Make sure it’s yellow, because a white or pale yellow spot isn’t ripe enough yet.

After you’ve eyed up a few contenders, pick them up and compare their weights to each other. Most likely, the heaviest will be the juiciest! Find more ways to tell if a watermelon is ripe.

For less mess, refrigerate the watermelon first

We generally recommend storing a whole, uncut watermelon at room temperature. However, refrigerating a melon right before you cut into it can help it hold its shape better as you slice. You won’t have as much juice spilling out onto your cutting board; plus, you’ll have a cold, refreshing treat to enjoy right away!

Editor’s Tip: Don’t feel like you have to eat the watermelon whole. Toss cubed watermelon into the blender to make watermelon juice to use in one of these refreshing watermelon drinks, like watermelon slush or watermelon margaritas.

How to store watermelon

Storing an uncut watermelon is simplekeep it on the counter. (Just like these other foods you shouldn’t be storing in the fridge.) There’s no need to make space for it in the fridge until after you slice it up. But once you do, wrap slices in plastic wrap before you toss it back into the fridge. Keep watermelon cubes in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  

How to freeze watermelon

It’s easy to freeze watermelon once you’ve sliced it into cubes. Just put it on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for a few hours. After that, you can take it and store it in a freezer-safe container.  

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Lauren Pahmeier
Lauren is an associate editor at Taste of Home, focusing on search engine optimization. When she’s not making sure readers can find TOH’s recipes on Google, she’s practicing her food photography, consistently finding new recipes to try and hunting down the most indulgent treats in the Twin Cities.
Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.