How to cut a watermelon: instructions and video
Of course you know how to cut a watermelon, but do you know the better way to do it? Here are three easy steps to slice a watermelon, along with tips for choosing one.
Watermelon is the ultimate summer fruit. It is delicious in sweet or savory dishes as well as on its own. Even though most people like to eat watermelon, it can be difficult to slice it.
When faced with the cut of watermelon, it can be difficult to know where to start. They’re round and hard to handle, plus they’re huge (most of the time). Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy those overpriced precut melons. Cutting watermelon into triangles is the classic way to cut watermelon and it’s easy to do once you know a few tricks. Learn how to cut watermelon like a pro in three easy steps, and how to turn it into cubes.
Start with a ripe watermelon that is not very large. The bigger the melon, the more difficult it will be to handle and cut. While it’s hard to be 100% sure a watermelon is ripe, there are a few signs that will make it easier to tell. Here are three questions you should ask yourself when choosing a watermelon:
- It’s heavy ? Pick up the watermelon. Regardless of its size, it must be heavy.
- Does it have a yellow spot? Watermelons develop a yellowish spot where they rest on the ground. This spot will be creamy yellow when ripe.
- Does that sound hollow? Give the watermelon a good kick. Ripe melons will have a deep, hollow sound.
Wash the watermelon well to remove dirt and lingering bacteria on the rind. Once you cut the melon, you don’t have to worry about all that dirt settling on the flesh of the melon. Pat it dry and place it on a cutting board.
Take a heavy, sharp knife with a blade almost as wide as a melon. It is important to use a sharp knife. This makes the job safer and you won’t have to make multiple passes to get through the rind of the watermelon.
1. Hold the watermelon firmly with one hand. Cut off each end of the watermelon – cut off enough skin to expose the flesh of the watermelon underneath.
2. Turn the watermelon over on one of the flat sides. Removing the ends creates a stable base for the watermelon to stay still when you cut it. It also allows you to see where the watermelon rind ends and where the fruit begins so you can judge the size of the slices to cut. Cut the watermelon in half lengthwise. Then cut each side in half lengthwise. You should have four quarter section of watermelon.
3. Place one of the quarters with the rind facing down. Cut the watermelon into one to one and a half inch slices. Serve watermelon at room temperature or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours before serving.
Advice: Watermelons keep best uncut. So if you don’t plan on eating it all in a day or two, wrap half in plastic and refrigerate.
The steps are basically the same, except you’ll make a few more lengthwise cuts in each wedge of watermelon before slicing crosswise to create cubes, then slicing along the crust to remove the flesh. See How to Cut Watermelon Cubes with Pictures if you need help visualizing the process.
Check out our watermelon recipes for ideas on what to make with it besides simple snacks (including refreshing watermelon drinks). And don’t toss the outside, there are a number of ways you can use watermelon rind besides pickles.
Watch a video demonstration of the slicing process below and a delicious example of how to eat it, grilled!