How to Make Pickled Watermelon Rinds

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Looking for a unique summer treat? Look no further than homemade pickled watermelon rinds!

Watermelon is the fruit of the summer. It’s hard not to love the crisp, pink flesh of a watermelon. But have you ever had pickled watermelon rinds? If not, then you’re in for a real treat! This easy recipe results in tangy, bite-sized pieces that pair perfectly with salads, grilled meats and fresh fish. You can eat pickled watermelon rind on its own as a snack, too. Honestly, just think of them like any other pickle!

And before we start pickling, learn how to choose a perfectly ripe watermelon.

How to Make Pickled Watermelon Rinds

This recipe from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen will make about four pints of pickles.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups sliced peeled watermelon rind (cut into 2×1-inch pieces)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup canning salt
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 6 cinnamon sticks (3 inches), divided
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

Tools You’ll Need

  • You’ll need Mason jars with removable lids and rings for any preserving project.
  • A Dutch oven is an invaluable kitchen tool; use it for pickles and pretty much everything else!
  • For just a few dollars, snag a canning funnel so you can be sure to get all your brine and pickles in the jar with no waste
  • If you’re serious about canning, check out all the canning supplies you need to start preserving.

Step 1: Prepare the rind

Carefully remove the dark green peel from the watermelon rind. This can be done with a sharp knife or peeler. Place the rind pieces in a large bowl. Pour in the water and stir in the canning salt. (Don’t use table salt—that’s a rookie pickling mistake!) Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

The next morning, rinse and drain well.

Step 2: Make the pickling solution

In a Dutch oven, mix together the sugar, vinegar, two cinnamon sticks, cloves and peppercorns. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the rinds; return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes or until the rinds are tender. Discard the cinnamon sticks.

Step 3: Put the rinds in jars

Carefully ladle the hot mixture into four hot one-pint jars, leaving a half-inch of headspace. Add one cinnamon stick to each jar. Remove the air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot mixture. Wipe off the rims to make sure they’re clean and dry. Center the lids on the jars, then screw on the bands until tight.

Step 4: Process the pickles

Place the jars into a hot water canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and let process for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and let cool completely.

Once cooled, keep your jarred watermelon pickles in a cool dry place and store in the fridge once you pop ar jar open.

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Ceara Milligan
Ceara “Kiwi” Milligan is a professional marketing strategist and copywriter who is proud to call Milwaukee home. She loves baking, cooking, writing, listening to music, dancing, playing and hosting trivia, watching college basketball (Go Marquette!), telling lame jokes, and petting every dog that crosses her path.