How to: Pick and Cut Watermelon

So Kate actually posted this quite a long time ago.  And I remember seeing the title of the post when I checked the blog that day and thinking to myself, “Really Kate?  As if people don’t know how to cut a watermelon…”  And then I read the post.  And I looked at the pictures.  And I said to myself, “Really Sara??  You’ve never known how to cut a watermelon?!”  It was one of those “ah-ha” moments and I wondered why no one had ever shown me something so simple before.  Maybe some of you have had those same moments with our posts on cutting kiwi, mango, or avocado.  So when Kate mentioned in her Korean BBQ Beef post that she was excited for watermelon season I thought it would be helpful to re-take some pictures of this cool trick and share it with those of you who may have missed it.  Enjoy!  -Sara

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Today’s post is not just cutting a watermelon, it’s about picking a good one, too. Because believe you me, nothing makes me more mad than paying $5 for a watermelon only to come home and have it be disgusting. I actually sweet-talked the nice lady at Albertson’s to take one back a few months ago when I broke one of the cardinal rules of watermelon-buying. Okay, okay, I didn’t really sweet-talk her into taking it back…something about Albertson’s policy to return your money if you’re not 100% satisfied. But I WILL say that it took guts for non-confrontational me to bring a dripping watermelon into Albertson’s and ask for my money back.

So before you can cut your watermelon, you need to pick a good one. These tips won’t guarantee 100% that you’ll get a great watermelon, but it will greatly increase your chances. In fact, in my experience, as long as I follow all these rules, I’ve never gotten a bad one.
1. Make sure you’re buying the watermelon in season.
In other words, buy it in the summer, from about May-September. This was the rule I broke at Albertson’s–I love watermelon so much that when I saw it for sale in March, I couldn’t control myself. And it felt like rubber in my mouth.
2. It should be heavy for its size.
When you start picking up watermelons, look for one that, when you pick it up, you think, “Something this size should NOT weigh this much!”
3. It should sound hollow.
Once you find your unusually-heavy melon, put it down and knock on it. If it sounds hollow, you probably have a winner. A hollow melon alone doesn’t mean it will be good, but one that’s hollow AND heavy is another story.
4. Examine the rind. You just want to make sure it’s not leaking, bruised, or soft anywhere. If not, you probably have a winner!
Cutting the Watermelon

A lot of people don’t buy watermelon, even if they love it, because they can’t quite figure out a good way to cut it and eat it. I think slices of watermelon are fun, but for overall simplicity, I like cutting it into chunks. And this is the easiest way to do it.

1. Wash the watermelon. I know that sounds weird, but watermelons grow on the ground and the rind is dirty. When you cut into it, all the yuckiness on the outside of the watermelon will make its way to the inside of your perfect watermelon.

2. Cut the watermelon in half and then into quarters

3. Make vertical cuts about 1 1/2″ apart all the way down to the rind.

4. On one side, make horizontal cuts about 1 1/2″ apart. Repeat on the other side.  Okay, Sara interjecting here.  This is where I got lost the first time I tried this.  For some reason I didn’t understand the knife angle, so in case anyone is like me and butchers the melon on the first attempt, notice the picture below.  The cuts on each side of the watermelon should be at the angle shown.  Notice the knife is parallel to the opposite side of melon (shown by the white arrow).  Do this on both sides of the watermelon quarter.

5. When you do it correctly, you get perfect little cubes!

Flip the wedge over and let all the cubes that have been completely cut fall into a large bowl. There will be some pieces remaining.

6. Run your knife along the inside of the rind to release any remaining cubes. Repeat steps for remaining wedges.

There you have it- super quick and easy and you get uniform little cubes every time.  Happy watermelon eating!

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78 comments

  1. Eric, I can’t believe you ratted me out! I was trying to keep that on the DL around here, lol. Ok, it’s true, I don’t eat watermelon. It’s weird because I *want* to love it, (kind of like I *want* to like seafood), it always looks so juicy and yummy, but when I do eat it, I get nauseous. Every time. Weird, huh? but it it’s any consolation, watermelon flavored bubble yum is like my favorite thing ever, lol.

    And…even though I don’t eat watermelon, I do have to cut it still, and I never knew that neat trick, so thanks Kate!

  2. Yum, the pictures of juicy watermelon make me want some now! Those are great tips, and now I’m inspired to go find me a great watermelon. 🙂 And thanks for pointing out that it’s 7/11, I never knew they gave out free Slurpees today!

  3. Mmmmm I love ice cold watermelon in the summer! All of the tips reminded me of trips to the grocery store with my dad. In addition to being heavy and hollow, he always made sure we picked the one with the most sugar spots (the nasty looking brown crusties… haha) so we were sure to have a super sweet one!

  4. Neat trick! I cut mine very similar, but it never occurred to me to cube it BEFORE releasing it from the rind. I’ll have to do this.

    Alton Brown said on his show to look at the patch of the watermelon where it sat on the ground. If it’s yellow instead of white, then it’s “done”. Works about 95% of the time for me!

  5. My dad swears by looking for bee stings near where the stem would be. He says the bees only sting the sweetest ones.

    I swear by having the produce manager at Macey’s (a family friend) pick me one. It’s always guaranteed to be a good one!

  6. I needed this! I’m always so unsure and seem to end up getting the wrong one. So basicly I’ve stoped buying them! Have a blessed weekend!

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