How to Cut a Watermelon (The Easy Way!)
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Here's our step-by-step guide on how to cut a watermelon. You'll be making slices, cubes, and melon balls like a pro 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 our sweetest watermelon recipes in no time! Learn all of our tips and tricks for how to cut a watermelon, and put your new skills to practice before watermelon season is over.
Tools You’ll Need
How to Cut a Watermelon Into Slices
Step 1: Prepare a work station
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
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
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
Once the watermelon is quartered, you can also ball the fruit. Place a melon quarter flesh-side up on the cutting board. Insert a 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
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
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 sticks as-is, or turn them on their sides and slice them into smaller cubes.
Editor’s tip: It’s really easy to freeze watermelon once you’ve sliced it into cubes. Just put it on a tray and freeze it for a few hours. After that, you can take it and store it in a bag or other freezer safe container.
Tips for Picking, Cutting and Storing a Watermelon
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How to pick a watermelon
A ripe watermelon = a juicy watermelon. Picking the perfect melon is key to securing the perfect summer snack! When you’re at the grocery store, don’t bring home the first melon you lay your eyes on.
First, 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 enough, 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 likely be the juiciest! Check out more ways how to tell if a watermelon is ripe.
How to cut a watermelon
We generally recommend storing a whole, uncut watermelon at room temperature. However, refrigerating a melon for a while right before you cut into it can help it hold its shape better as you slice. This way, 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 after it’s cut!
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 extra-refreshing watermelon drinks, like watermelon slush or watermelon margaritas.
How to store watermelon
Storing an uncut watermelon is simple—just keep 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.