A bright red juicy and refreshing watermelon is everyone’s favorite summer treat, both as a child and as an adult, but to enjoy it you need to learn How to Cut a Watermelon. In this guide, we are going to show you the best ways to cut a watermelon, including tricks that make it easy to do plus how to store it afterward.
Watermelon is the most refreshing summer food. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it also makes a good snack food or dessert. There’s always room for watermelon.
It’s just one of those wonderful foods that quenches your thirst and fills you up when you are hungry. The fact that it’s bright red and juicy makes it all the more irresistible. Let’s see the best way to cut a watermelon, so that you can start eating it!
Is Watermelon a Fruit or Vegetable?
People have debated this question for years and after doing a lot of interesting research to find out whether or not watermelon is a fruit or a vegetable, I am not any closer to coming up with a defined answer to this question. That’s because it’s technically both a fruit and a vegetable. Let me share with you briefly some of the info I found out and then you can decide for yourself what you think.
Botanically, watermelon is fruit like peppers, tomatoes, and pumpkin and is originally from South Africa. It has a smooth exterior rind along with a juicy and sweet interior that we all love especially on a hot summer day.
Watermelon is also in the gourd family and related to cucumbers, squash, and pumpkin, which are all planted from seeds and cleared from the field like other vegetables.
In most places around the world, watermelon is used as a fruit and prepared to be a sweet food, and often enjoyed fresh. In some places like China however, watermelon is prepared as a vegetable and can be stewed, pickled or stir-fried.
So take your pick…it can be considered a fruit or a vegetable. Either way it’s healthy, versatile and easily accessible. We say: slice it up and call it whatever you want but it’s absolutely delicious!!
Watermelon is one of those very healthy foods to eat that is loaded with vitamins, such as vitamins E, C, A, and B, along with different minerals such as potassium, and magnesium.
Watermelon helps to prevent cancer, improves heart health, can lower inflammation, may help with eyes, can also relieve muscle soreness, good for your skin and hair, helps with digestion…etc.
Watermelon has about 47 calories, is 91% water, and has 10 NET carbs per 1 cup.
What You Need to Cut Watermelon
Cutting watermelon is so easy to do once you have the proper tools to use. The nice thing is that it doesn’t require much, only three things:
- Watermelon – The most refreshing summer fruit, red and juicy and sweet.
- Cutting board – Use a large cutting board that you can fit the whole watermelon on. It would also be helpful to have one that stays still and does not slip.
- Knife – A large heavy duty serrated knife is the best one to use for cutting watermelon.
Tip – By laying a dish towel flat underneath your cutting board it will help to keep it from slipping while cutting the watermelon. You can even dampen it for a more secure fit.
Best Knife to Use?
There are a lot of good knives out there and you may have your favorite that you like to use to cut things. I know, I do. But to cut a watermelon properly, you need to have the right knife.
Watermelon has a hard outer skin and if you use the wrong knife it can go sliding down the side of the melon and either not cut it or worse yet it can cut your finger…and we definitely don’t want that.
The best knife to use when cutting a watermelon is a heavy-duty serrated knife because the teeth of the knife will dig into the outer skin and cut through it easily and well. The knife will resemble one that you may have in your house to slice bread with but more heavy-duty, a thicker blade, than that.
How to Pick a Watermelon
Before learning how to cut a watermelon, we first need to learn how to pick out a good watermelon. Getting a watermelon that is sweet, ripe and ready to eat is what the goal is.
When is it in Season?
Watermelon is the best in the summertime when it’s red and juicy on the inside and the perfect texture. However, you can buy watermelon almost year-round in the grocery stores in the United States, which comes from southern states or countries. Even though it may not be as ripe or sweet as it is in the summer, it’s still delicious.
How to Tell if it is Ripe
There are some tricks to being able to tell if watermelon is ripe before buying one. The best methods that I use when picking out a good watermelon are:
- Good things to look for when picking out a watermelon are that it has really bright skin, feels firm, is not soft, and is completely symmetrical.
- If the watermelon is ripe then it will have a creamy yellow spot on one side of it. This is called the field patch or field spot. If that spot is white then it’s probably not ripe and was picked too early.
- The watermelon should feel heavy for its size, in fact, if it’s heavier than other ones the same size then it’s ripe. The more water, then the better the watermelon will taste. You don’t want a dry melon which will be tasteless.
- A ripe watermelon should have a nice, deep hollow sound, like a knock on a door when you thump it. This is the old fashioned way that my Dad always used to pick out a watermelon and he was always so good at it my whole life.
How to Tell if it is Bad
If you thump your watermelon and it has a light sound then it is most likely dry, whereas if you thump it and it sounds like a door knock then it is most likely a good melon.
If you press on the outer skin and it is soft then leave that melon right in the store because it is probably on its way to going bad. You want the outer skin or rind to be hard with no signs of blemishes.
If the watermelon has brown spots on the outside then it is a good indication that it’s going bad.
Look for a dark and healthy-looking color to the watermelon. If it is pale in color, the inside will most likely also be pale in color instead of bright red.
What is the Easiest Way to Cut a Watermelon?
It’s not hard at all to cut watermelon. We’re going to show you how to cut a watermelon into cubes, sticks, wedges or triangles, and in my opinion, none of the 3 ways are particularly difficult to do.
If forced to choose, I’d say the easiest way to cut watermelon is to cut it into triangle wedges because it requires the least amount of cutting out of the 3 ways.
How to Cut Watermelon – Step by Step
Even though I have cut watermelon my whole life, I have recently learned a few new tricks that have helped me learn the best way to cut watermelon, let me share them with you one at a time, step by step.
- TIP – First let me say that washing off the melon will protect you from getting bacteria on your fruit when you use a knife to cut it open, so this is an important step.
Make sure to dry it off with paper towels so that the outer skin is not slippery to avoid injury. This is one of the most important things when learning how to cut watermelon.
Though it’s not always necessary, depending on which way you want to cut watermelon, you might want to peel it first. We like to peel it first if we are cutting watermelon into cubes and peeling it is the first step.
How to do it:
- Wash the outside of the watermelon so that the bacteria doesn’t get into the fruit when peeling it. Use paper towels to dry it off. Use a sturdy cutting board or anchor it with a towel under it for non-slip.
- Cut off the ends with a large, sharp, heavy-duty serrated knife.
- Now that the ends are off, you should cut the melon in half crosswise, so you will have 2 pieces.
- Take one half and with your knife cut downward in following the shape of the melon to remove strips of rind.
- Rotate the melon and continue until all the skin has been removed.
- When you are done it will resemble a large red grapefruit peeled. Now proceed to do the other half.
Why do it?:
Making cubes from the watermelon is a common shape for a lot of uses. Here are a few…
- Just for snacking, they are bite-sized pieces.
- Perfect as an addition to salads. web site watermelon feta salad
- Just the right size pieces to add to your fruit salad.
- Cool refreshing summer drinks, alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
How to do it:
- Now that you have taken the outer rind off the melon, the best way to cut watermelon into cubes is to slice the peeled melon into 1 inch slices.
- Then take them a few at a time, whatever you are comfortable holding onto, and slice them vertically to make cube-like pieces.
- Put them into a bowl and continue until all the watermelon cubes are cut.
Why do it?:
I love watermelon triangles because they are just the right size to hold when you are at a party or at a picnic. It’s not like wrestling with a large piece of watermelon that’s hard to eat when you aren’t sitting down at a table.
You can walk around with a triangle in one hand and you will want to go back for several pieces along the course of the event. They also look attractive because of their shape.
How to do it:
- Follow the instructions above for washing and cutting off the ends, to prevent bacteria from getting into the flesh of the melon.
- The next thing is to dry the melon with paper towels to remove the moisture.
- Using the same cutting board and the same serrated knife, cut the watermelon in half vertically from one end to the other.
- Then cut it again vertically so your watermelon has been cut into quarters.
- Cut 1-inch slices across a quarter of the melon so that you end up with triangle sized pieces.
Why do it?:
Cutting watermelon into sticks or batons is one of the fancier shapes to make. It makes your watermelon go far if you have a big crowd because you can get a lot of pieces from one watermelon.
For small children, this is the perfect size for them to hold in their small hand, and small pieces = less messy and drippy chins, cheeks, and hands.
How to do it:
Of course, follow the same instructions for washing, and be sure to use a good cutting board and a serrated knife to cut the watermelon.
- After washing the watermelon, cut off the ends. You will need to use that nice big cutting board that does not slip along with a heavy duty serrated knife.
- Cut the watermelon in half vertically from one end to the other.
- Take one half and make cuts vertically down the length of the melon 1 inch apart.
- Then make cuts crosswise on the width of the melon. It looks like small squares once you are done cutting. Pull one square up to reveal your sticks/batons.
Best Tips for Cutting Watermelon
Here are a few of the best tips that we have learned when cutting watermelon:
- As always it is always good to wash fruit before cutting into it. You could use soap and water to remove the bacteria so that it doesn’t get transferred onto the flesh when cutting through the rind.
- It is best to use a sharp knife with a serrated blade so that it cuts through the rind easier. It’s not very hard at all, in spite of its large size.
- Cut your watermelon on a clean cutting board that will help catch the juices as it’s cut and try not to let the juice run all over your counter. Make sure the cutting board is big enough for watermelon.
- You can use cookie cutters to make different shapes out of your watermelon.
- You can use a melon baller to make perfectly round balls for a fancy fruit salad.
- To avoid slipping, you could put a dishtowel underneath the cutting board to hold it in place better. A damp towel can also hold the board in place even better.
What Can I Do with a Watermelon Rind?
Amazingly the hard, white, and green rind that we all throw away after we eat the sweet red and juicy fruit, can be added to some yummy foods and it also has some good health benefits too. Here are a few ideas for things to do with watermelon rinds:
- Pickle it – It takes a few days to develop into a tangy pickled flavor. You can then use it as a condiment, mix it in your green salad, or add it to chicken or tuna salad.
- Chutney – Dice the rind into small pieces and use this sweet and tangy condiment to compliment chicken or fish.
- Indian curry – Just takes a short time to cook and does not become mushy.
- Cool Gazpacho – It can be blended with tomatoes and cucumbers to make a cold summer soup.
What Can I Do with Watermelon Seeds?
Well, I don’t know if you are like me, but for my whole life before seedless watermelon came out I always threw out the seeds or spit them down on the ground while outside.
I’ve since learned that watermelon seeds are a healthy snack for us all and a free snack too.
Watermelon seeds have important vitamins and minerals and health benefits such as:
- Iron – It only takes a handful of seeds to give you 16% of the daily requirements. It’s good for your blood and helps your body convert calories into energy.
- Magnesium – In 4 grams of seeds there is 21 mg which is 5% of the daily value, which is required to maintain nerve and muscle function, along with helping with your heart, bones and immune system.
- Zinc – 1 ounce gives you 26% of the daily need which helps your immune system. It’s also needed for the digestive system, the nervous system, cell growth, along with your sense of taste and smell.
- Good fats – Helps protect the body against heart attack, stroke, and helps lower cholesterol.
- Low calorie – 1 oz is 158 calories. Makes a better snack than chips.
- Protein – One ounce of seeds has 8 grams of protein which is more than 1 egg.
You can roast the watermelon seeds by spreading the seeds out on a baking sheet, season them with olive oil, and salt and bake them for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. If you stir them halfway through roasting they will crisp up better. You can also add some cayenne pepper for a spicy version of the seeds.
If sprouting the seeds removes the black shell, which reveals a seed with a creamy colored seed. It takes a few days to sprout the seeds but when that’s done you will have a delicious snack. You soak them so that they will start to sprout, then dry them in the oven.
Different Varieties of Watermelon
You might be thinking, “watermelon is watermelon” but they aren’t all the same. There are several varieties of watermelon that are notable.
The size of this watermelon ranges from 5-15 pounds, which fits into the refrigerator easily (refrigerators used to be called iceboxes). They are small enough for one person or small family, and you might know them as a sugar baby watermelon with dark green skin and is very sweet.
The variety weighs anywhere from 15-50 pounds, on average, even though there was a 279-pound watermelon in the Guinness book of world records. Because of the size and the name, these are usually the type that you see at a picnic because they feed a large group of people. They are oval in shape and are bright green.
Just because it says that the watermelon is seedless, the black seeds may have been taken out but there still may be some small and paper-thin white seeds in the fruit. In the 1990’s this variety was developed because the black seeds increasingly became a nuisance for people to spit out.
Everyone loves watermelon but no one likes taking out all of those seeds. Now the seedless variety is the most common variety to buy. In fact, our local grocery store doesn’t even carry the type with the seeds anymore.
These watermelons can be round or oblong, and they live up to their name with the color of their flesh. They have seeds or no seeds and weigh between 10-30 pounds.
How to Serve Watermelon
There are so many yummy things we can do with watermelon. Of course, our favorite thing to do with watermelon is to sit down to a bowlful of it…yummy. However, it can be used in a bunch of recipes. Here are some ideas:
- Watermelon Salad
- Summer drinks like margaritas
- Fruit salad
Diets Watermelon is Good For
Watermelon can be eaten on a lot of different diets.
- Vegetarian – All fruits and veggies are a part of this diet. Watermelon is just one of the many that is full of vitamins and nutrients.
- Gluten -Free – Watermelon is 100% fruit with no gluten in it. If it’s fresh fruits and vegetables then you don’t have to worry about gluten at all.
- Nut-Free – Just melon, no nuts!
- Dairy-Free – Once again no worries here, it’s 100% fruit.
- Vegan – Yes watermelon is a good choice for this diet too due to the nutrients.
- Paleo – Watermelon is one of the fruits that are strongly encouraged with this way of eating because anything grown from the earth is acceptable.
- Keto/Low Carb – If you are on Keto fruit has to be eaten in moderation because you are only allowed 20-30 carbs per day. So eat a small slice once in a while along with a good fat like 1 tbsp of almond butter or peanut butter. Watch your portion size. There are 10 NET Carbs in 1 cup so if you are looking to indulge in this delicious treat then have ½ cup for 5 net carbs.
How to Store Watermelon
In this section we will go over how to store watermelon when you first buy it and it is whole and also after you cut it how to store it to keep it fresh.
Whole Before Cutting It
When you have a whole watermelon it can be kept on the counter at room temperature for about 2-3 days before having to cut it. You don’t want to leave it out on the counter too long especially if your kitchen is not air-conditioned or it will go bad.
You don’t want your watermelon to spoil. If it’s air conditioned then the watermelon should be ok on your counter for up to a week or so before having to cut into it.
So after that, it is best to put your watermelon into the refrigerator for best life expectancy.
Storing Cut Watermelon
Cutting watermelon, you need to refrigerate the portion that does not get eaten the same day. Usually, you can store cut pieces of watermelon for 3-4 days.
Watermelon will last longer cut in half than it does in smaller pieces, because the more cuts you make leads to more water, which leads to spoilage faster because the melon gets soggy faster.
Recently, I discovered a new way to store cut up watermelon in the refrigerator which made it last even longer, up to 9 days or more.
- First, I lined a disposable pan with several layers of paper towels to absorb the water. You can use any plastic container or glass bowl or pan or whatever you want to, the container makes no difference, it’s the paper towels that are important here.
- Next place the watermelon on top of the paper towels. Once that is done put several more layers of paper towels on top of the melon and cover it. I covered it with aluminum foil but I don’t think it really matters too much using another covering because once again it’s the paper towels that do the trick.
Every day or two I changed the paper towels and replaced them with dry ones. To my surprise after 9 days that watermelon was as fresh as it was the first day! No wet mess and no bad smell, just sweet melon pieces.
Can You Freeze Watermelon
You can definitely freeze watermelon but don’t expect it to be the same when you take it out of the freezer. It loses some of the crispness and texture. Frozen watermelon makes good slushies and other frozen drinks when it comes out of the freezer, but only if you don’t thaw it out.
Other How-To GuidesPrint
This is a recipe to show you how to cut a watermelon, and how to store it. It’s easy to do and we will show you the best way to cut a watermelon so that you can enjoy this bright red juicy summer treat.
- 1 Whole Watermelon
For all different ways of cutting watermelon, first make sure to wash it thoroughly first and dry it off with paper towels. Then cut off the 2 ends with a heavy duty serrated knife on a big cutting board.
- If you are making cubes, the first step is to peel the watermelon.
- Make sure that it’s dried off after washing it.
- Next, with a heavy duty serrated knife, cut the watermelon across the width. Now you have 2 pieces.
- Place one half of the melon on the cutting board.
- Take the knife and cut downward following the shape of the melon to remove strips of the rind.
- Rotate the melon and continue until all of the rind has been removed.
To Make Triangles
- After washing off the watermelon with soap and water and drying it with paper towels, using the same cutting board and serrated knife, cut the watermelon in half lengthwise from one end to the other end.
- Then cut it again in half the same way so that you end up with 4 vertically cut pieces instead of 2.
- Next cut 1 inch slices across each quarter so that you end up with triangle shaped slices.
To Make Sticks
- Don’t forget your washing instructions which are to wash the outer rind of the melon with soap and water and then dry it with paper towels.
- Cut the watermelon in half vertically from one end to the other.
- Take one half and make cuts vertically down the length of the melon 1 inch apart.
- Then make cuts crosswise on the width of the melon, also 1 inch apart. It will look like you are making 1 inch squares when you are done cutting.
- Pull one square up to reveal your stick. It’s that simple!
To Make Cubes
- To make cubes you have already washed and dried the melon, and have also peeled the outer rind off, so now you are ready for the next step.
- Take one half of the melon and make cuts vertically down the length of the melon at 1 inch intervals. Then take a few pieces at a time, whatever you are comfortable holding onto and slice them horizontally to make cube-like pieces.
- Put them into a bowl and continue until all of the watermelon cubes are cut.
10 NET Carbs per Cup
Other important things to keep in mind about this recipe…
It’s good to wash the watermelon first before cutting into it so that the bacteria that may be on the outer rind doesn’t get into the fruit when cutting it.
The best knife to use when cutting watermelon is a heavy duty serrated knife.
Use a large enough cutting board that will hold the entire watermelon and try not to let the juice run off the board and all over the counter because it is very watery.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
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