Nothing says summer like a cold slice of watermelon straight from the fridge. It’s refreshing, delicious, and oh so juicy! The problem is, it can be intimidating to try and figure out how to cut that massive green melon to reveal the sweet juicy treats hidden inside.
If you’ve found yourself avoiding watermelon in the past because you’re just not sure how to cut it, then I’ve got great news for you. Cutting a watermelon doesn’t have to be complicated! In fact, I can show you how to cut a watermelon in three easy ways.
Once I learned how to cut fresh watermelon, I was able to keep my refrigerator stocked with this delicious summer fruit. Cutting a whole watermelon the right way will lead to less mess, headache, and time spent. Whether you want to learn how to cut a watermelon into cubes or you’re looking to master the classic wedge shape, there’s a simple method that will work for you.
How do I pick a good melon?
Before you can learn how to cut a watermelon, you need to know which melon is the best one to bring home. Watermelons can all look great from the outside, but if you’ve ever grabbed the wrong melon, you know that what’s inside can sometimes be deceiving.
- Weight—Your watermelon should feel heavy for its size. The heavier the melon is, the more juice it has on the inside.
- Shine—Avoid particularly shiny watermelons. While they may look appealing, the glossy green watermelon rind can signify that the melon sat on the vine too long. Instead, choose one that’s dull in appearance—it was probably picked at the right time.
- Damage—Try to avoid any melons that have growths spots or scabs on them. This damage is usually limited to the rind of the melon, but it may have spread further into the fruit itself.
- Field spot—Look at the bottom of your melon. Do you see a light-colored spot on the bottom of the melon? That’s the field spot—the part of the watermelon that was touching the ground. If this spot is yellow, it means your melon is most likely ripe. If it’s orange, then your melon is super ripe and ready to go! If it’s still white, then chances are your melon isn’t mature and it’ll have a bland flavor.
Is my melon ripe?
If you’re growing your own watermelon, you’ll want to be sure not to harvest them too early. Watermelons don’t continue to ripen once they are picked, so only harvest once you are sure they are ripe. The field spot should be a golden, bright yellow, and the tendril and leaf closest to the stem should be starting to brown.
You can also knock on your melons to check for ripeness. If it produces a dull sound when you thump, it’s probably not a ripe watermelon, while if it sounds hollow on the inside, there’s a good chance your melon is ready to be enjoyed.
How long will my melon last?
When your melon is whole, it’ll last for roughly two weeks at room temperature. Once it’s been sliced, it needs to be refrigerated. As long as you keep your cubes or slices in an airtight container, they should last for up to four days in the fridge.
Can I freeze watermelon after it’s been cubed?
Once you’ve learned how to cut a watermelon into cubes, you might be wondering if you can freeze some of this summery goodness for later. The short answer is yes. Frozen watermelon cubes contain the same juicy flavor as their fresh counterparts. The texture changes slightly—it gets a bit mushy—but watermelon cubes can be frozen for use in smoothies, juices, cocktails, and shakes.
To freeze watermelon cubes, lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet that’s been covered in parchment paper. Place them in the freezer for several hours until they’re frozen. Once they’re solid, you can transfer them to an airtight container where they’ll keep for up to three months.
Three ways to cut watermelon:
Watermelon Sticks (AKA: Spears)
These sticks are a super fun way to serve no-mess watermelon at a party! They look beautiful displayed on a tray, and their built-in rind “handle” makes them easy to eat without utensils. This is our favorite cutting method when serving to kids—the little sticks are great for little hands!
- Using a large, sharp knife, slice your watermelon in half crosswise. Take one half of the melon, and place it cut-side down on a large cutting board.
- Slice off the very ends of the melon.
- Cut long slices every 1” to 2” down the length of the melon half.
- Gather the slices, and rotate the entire stack of watermelon 90°.
- Cut through the stack the opposite way (perpendicular to the previous cuts) every 1” to 2”.
- Discard the outside rind pieces, transfer the sticks to a container, and repeat with the other half of the melon.
Classic for a reason! Watermelon wedges or triangles are the perfect way to serve up a juicy melon. Wedges are also one of the easiest cuts to make!
- Slice your watermelon in half crosswise with a sharp chef’s knife.
- Take one half of the melon, and place it flat side down on a large cutting board. Cut the piece in half cross wise to make quarters.
- Take one of the quarters and place one of the cut-sides down. Cut 1-inch slices down the length of the melon quarter.
- Repeat with the remaining quarter and the remaining half of the watermelon. For smaller wedges, cut the larger wedges in half.
Rind-Free Chunks of Watermelon
Want to enjoy your watermelon with a fork or enjoy it in bite-sized, poppable chunks? This is the method for you. We completely remove the rind for quick and easy snacking.
- Slice your watermelon in half crosswise.
- Take one half of the melon, and place it cut-side-down on a cutting board.
- Cut long slices every 1” down the length of the melon half.
- Using a paring knife, cut off the rind of one of the half slices.
- Cut the rind-free slice into 1″ to 2″ sticks.
- Then cut perpendicularly to make cubes.
And finally: why we DON’T recommend making melon balls!
Melon balls are a fun and beautiful way to serve up melon (and we use them in our Honey-Mint Melon Salad recipe), but in general, we don’t recommend melon balls if you want to get the most out of your melon.
Using a melon baller leaves behind a lot of extra (and perfectly tasty) watermelon flesh. So save melon balling for when you want to create a melon dish for a fancy party!