Whether you’re snacking on a juicy slice of watermelon or using it in a salad, knowing how to cut a watermelon safely and confidently can make all the difference.
The first step in cutting a watermelon is to trim off the top and bottom ends so that they sit flat on your cutting board. This will make subsequent cuts much safer and easier.
1. Cut off the top and bottom
When cutting a watermelon, it’s important to remove the top and bottom of the melon. This allows you to stabilize the melon on a cutting board and cut more cleanly. It also helps prevent the rind from falling off the melon.
The next step is to cut the melon in half, lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, do this by standing the melon on one of the cut ends. Then, cut in half again to create two even halves of the watermelon.
Once you have the two halves of the melon, flip them over so the flat surface is facing down on your cutting board. This will make it much easier to cut the melon and prevent it from rolling or slipping.
Now, the best part is that you can cut your watermelon into cubes, sticks or triangles! All it takes is a few simple steps and your melon will be ready to serve.
Cubes: Start by trimming the rind to stabilize the melon. Afterward, start to cut the watermelon into 1 inch thick slices. Then, cut those slices across to create square-shaped cubes.
Sticks: Start by placing both of your halves, flesh side down on the cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut thick 1-inch slices all the way across the melon. Then, turn and slice again in the opposite direction to form a crisscross pattern.
2. Slice down the middle
You can cut a watermelon into a variety of different shapes, depending on your tastes and what you want to use it for. Some people prefer to leave the rind on, while others like to remove it to make it easier to eat without any utensils. Whatever you decide, you’ll need a sharp knife to cut the melon down its middle so that you can get the cuts you want.
To slice down the middle, put one half of the melon on a cutting board and make vertical cuts approximately 1-inch apart. Once you’ve done that, turn the melon over so that the cut side is flat against the board and cut down again.
This is an ideal cut for fruit salads, party punches, kabobs and skewers, notes Devan Cameron, chef and owner of Braised & Deglazed. It’s also great for serving with a meal or as a snack, and is an easy way to dress up a plain summer salad.
Another popular cut is square-shaped chunks, which are perfect for snacking and dipping in fruity cocktails, smoothies or yogurt parfaits. They’re also easy to eat on their own, says Devan Cameron, chef and owner of Braised and Deglazed.
For this method, you’ll need a large cutting board with grooved edges to catch the juice that runs off the melon. This will help keep the slices from falling off the edge and making your kitchen floor messy.
3. Remove the rind
One of the most important steps to getting the most out of a watermelon is removing the rind. This process will help you avoid slicing through the flesh and losing any nutrients.
Before attempting to remove the rind, it is essential to wash and dry the watermelon thoroughly. Rinsing the fruit will prevent bacteria from growing inside and will make it easier to peel.
Once the watermelon is completely clean, use a sharp knife to slice off the top and bottom. It is not necessary to cut off all the way through, but it is best to remove at least a couple of inches.
Stand the watermelon on one of its cut ends and place your knife anywhere on the border between the white rind and the red flesh. With your knife at an angle, gently cut downward to remove a wide strip of rind. Repeat this process, working your way around the perimeter until no rind remains.
When all the rind is removed, the watermelon is ready to be eaten. It can be sliced into wedges or cubes, which are great for salads, skewers, or to serve alongside a pitcher of ice-cold lemonade.
In addition to its sweet, refreshing taste, watermelon is a good source of vitamin C and potassium. It can also help maintain a healthy heart.
4. Cut into wedges
Watermelon is an incredibly refreshing and versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of different recipes. Whether you’re looking for an easy snack to enjoy during the summer or you need to cut up some melons for your next party, there are plenty of ways to do it!
The key to cutting a watermelon is to use a sharp, heavy-duty serrated knife. Unlike bread, a watermelon’s skin is hard and can be very difficult to cut through if you don’t have a good, strong knife.
To cut watermelon into wedges, place one half of the melon on a cutting board and make vertical cuts about 1-inch apart. Then, turn the wedges and make perpendicular cuts about 1-inch apart on the other side.
Another way to cut a watermelon is to slice it crosswise into thin slices that are perfect for serving in a salad. You can also cut it into spears for a party or picnic.
If you want to serve watermelon in a fun shape, try stamping it with a cookie cutter or using a ring mold to cut circles of the flesh. These spheres are bite-sized and fit better on your plate than slices.
For this option, you’ll need a large watermelon and a sharp knife. You’ll want to remove the rind from the inside of the watermelon before you start this step.
Once you have all the rind removed, you’ll need to cut off the white flesh and then cut the rest of the melon into wedges. Depending on the size of your melon, you may need to slice it in half lengthwise or even quarters. Regardless of how you slice it, be sure to keep the watermelon cool or it will lose juice quickly.
5. Cut into cubes
If you want to make a simple snack, you can slice watermelon into cubes. This is a great way to save space in the fridge and it’s also fun for kids.
First, trim the top and bottom rind off the watermelon so it can sit flat on your cutting board. This keeps the melon from rolling and slipping as you slice it.
Place the melon on the cut side of your cutting board and slice vertically across it at 1- to 1 1/2-inch intervals. Repeat with the other half of the melon.
Once you have all the slices, chop them into 1 to 1-1/2-inch cubes. This is a delicious treat that’s easy to eat with a spoon or in a fruit salad!
You can even freeze the cubes! To freeze, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the cubes on it in a single layer. Transfer them to a resealable freezer bag and store them in the freezer until they’re firm.
When you’re ready to serve the cubes, thaw them out at room temperature for about 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.