When it comes to the hot summer season, there is nothing better than having some slices of cold watermelon, straight out of the refrigerator.
Watermelons are naturally hydrating and contain a lot of water, making them perfect for keeping up the energy during hot weather, plus, they are sweet and delicious. Perfect for dessert or as a snack.
However, watermelons present one big challenge: cutting them. If you buy a watermelon whole, it comes in its mega-tough outer shell, which can be quite the hassle to cut open!
This is why learning how to cut a watermelon properly can save you a lot of effort and a lot of pain, and it will mean that you can confidently buy as much watermelon as you desire, and always have your house stocked with it.
So let’s get right into it, from how to pick the right watermelon, to how to cut it open to enjoy!
Picking your watermelon:
The first step is going to the shop and buying your watermelon. But as with all fruit, it usually takes some picking and choosing, so that you make sure you get the best possible piece, and you don’t accidentally end up with the one that is of less quality.
The main trick, when picking your watermelon, is to find one that is matte. This is because shiny watermelons are often overgrown, so you want to avoid those!
You should also pick a watermelon that is as smooth as possible. Any bumps or holes on the surface might indicate that insects had a go at this particular watermelon, or that it grew in less ideal circumstances.
You also want to be able to pick the biggest watermelon possible, but something far more important than the size is the weight.
A heavier watermelon will have a lot more juice in it, hence the weight. So pick up a few watermelons, and take the heaviest one, for the juiciest possible snack!
When is a watermelon ripe?
The best time to eat a specific watermelon is when it is ripe and ready. Any sooner and it will be far too hard and green, and too late and it will begin to be mushy and rotten. It needs to be just right. But how do you know when a watermelon is ripe?
Here are some of the signs to look out for:
- When a watermelon is ripe, it will make a hollow sound when you knock it. So that’s a pretty good sign to look out for!
- The watermelon should be hard and firm. If it gives way when you apply pressure or it is easily scratched, then it might be past its prime.
- The bottom of the watermelon has an area called the “field spot”, which looks like a circular dot. When the watermelon is ripe, this field spot will be yellow in color.
How to cut a watermelon:
Once you have the perfect watermelon, and you’re certain that it is ripe and ready to be eaten, it’s time to cut the watermelon open. And this is usually the tricky part that people try to avoid.
But if you follow these instructions, step by step, then it should be an easy job, and you should never struggle with watermelons again!
You will need:
- A large cutting board, big enough for the watermelon
- A sharp chef’s knife. The sharper it is, the better it will cut the watermelon, but always handle it with great care.
- Start by rinsing the watermelon, and then drying it.
- Next, place the watermelon on a cutting board that is large enough. Make sure you have enough space so that you can focus on cutting the watermelon without anything getting in the way.
- Slice the watermelon in half, crosswise. You should now have two circular pieces of watermelon.
- You can now store one half of the watermelon and slice the other half up for serving, or you can cut up both halves. It depends on how much watermelon you are going to eat then and there!
- Take the half you are going to serve, and cut off the stem end.
- Next, place half of the watermelon on the cutting board, with the cut side down. This should allow it to be quite stable on the surface.
- With your knife at an angle, cut away the rind of the watermelon, by cutting downwards towards the cutting board.
- Once all the rind of the watermelon has been removed, you will be left with a peeled watermelon. Cut this into three circle pieces.
- Next, slice all of the circle pieces into cubes.
- Before serving, you can place the cubes of watermelon in the refrigerator for a while, so that they are slightly colder and more enjoyable, it’s up to you!
- The watermelon cubes will be super easy to eat, and convenient to store away if needed. So enjoy!
How to store a watermelon:
Like all fruits, it is important to know how to store watermelon properly and to know how long it will last when stored. This way, you can make sure you eat it in time, before it goes off.
This is how you should store a watermelon, depending on its condition:
- If the watermelon is whole: it can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks
- If the watermelon has been cut up into cubes: it can be stored in the refrigerator (preferably in an airtight container), for up to four or five days.
- To freeze a watermelon: Place the pieces of watermelon in an airtight freezer-safe container or bag. They can remain frozen for up to three months.