How to cut a watermelon in 3 easy steps

Watermelon wedge slices
Watermelon wedge slices (Image credit: Shutterstock)

There’s nothing more refreshing than eating cold watermelon on a summer’s day, and knowing how to cut a watermelon can come in handy. 

Not only are melons sweet and juicy, but they comprise 92% water that keeps us hydrated. What’s more, they’re loaded with essential nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and has a low calorie density, making them a healthy snack.

But while it takes us no time to tuck in, it’s a little tricky to know how to cut a watermelon the right way. What’s more, you don’t want to end up with a sticky mess to clean or else you’ll need to know how to get rid of fruit flies. So if you want to serve up in style, here’ s how to cut a watermelon in  three easy steps. 

How to cut a watermelon

1. Rinse and cut off both ends 

Rinsing a watermelon

Rinsing a watermelon (Image credit: Shutterstock)

First, rinse your watermelon under water to wash off any bacteria that might get onto your slices. Then, cut off the ends with a large serrated knife or a sharp chef’s knife on one of the best cutting boards. This gives you a nice flat surface on which to rest the watermelon as you cut the rest of it up. If your blade is dull however, make sure you read how to sharpen a knife for best results.  

2. Slice the melon in half

Cutting watermelon in half

Cutting watermelon in half (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Next, halve the melon carefully. This can be a little tricky, but the best method is to stand it on one cut end before slicing lengthwise, working from top to the bottom. If you only want to eat one half, tightly wrap the remaining half in cling film, and store in the fridge.  

3. Cut watermelon triangles

Cutting watermelon triangles

Cutting watermelon triangles (Image credit: Shutterstock)

To cut wedge pieces, place one half of the melon on the cutting board and slice vertically down the middle to make quarters. Then cut 1 to 1½ inch slices across the quartered melon before serving. Alternatively, you could stack two or three slices on top of each other, ensure they are sturdy, and cut them in half from the top to the bottom of the stack.  If you want to make batons, slice it lengthwise, and for cubes, slice it crosswise.  

How to peel a watermelon

Peeling a watermelon

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to completely remove the watermelon rind, it's easy to do. Slice off both ends and halve the melon crosswise before standing up on one cut end. Then, take your sharp knife and start cutting downward to remove the rind. Continue doing this around the circumference of the melon until all the skin is removed. Trim away any remaining white rind before cutting your slices as normal.

How to tell if a watermelon is ripe

When you're shopping for watermelon at the store, how do you know which is ripe? A top tip is to check if it makes a deep, hollow sound when you tap or knock on its rind with your knuckle. The bottom of the watermelon or ‘field spot’ should be yellow, and the rind should not dent or scratch easily. Heavier watermelons indicate they are ripe, while an unripe watermelon will feel lighter and less sturdy. 

How long does cut watermelon last?

Watermelon wedge slices

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Once you cut your watermelon, store it in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within three to five days. A whole watermelon can be stored for about a week at room temperature and up to two weeks in the fridge. However, you will see it start to lose some water.

If you enjoy homegrown fruit, check out how to grow strawberries, how to grow tomatoes in pots and how to plant potatoes for tasty meals.  

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!