How to Cut a Watermelon

Any way you slice it, watermelon is the perfect summer fruit.

By Izzy Johnson
Jul 28, 2022
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Watermelons are one of the most iconic summer fruits. While some people don’t care for their texture or flavor, I’m not one of those people. I have worn a watermelon necklace almost everyday for the past two years and I recently purchased a vintage watermelon sun catcher to hang in my window. To me, watermelon is aesthetically pleasing as it is  delicious. I love eating slices dipped in Tajin, but in peak season, it’s best eaten plain, over the sink to catch the drips. But cutting one can sometimes be challenging.

The larger the fruit, the more unwieldy it can be, and if you don’t know the correct way to cut one, you may end up hacking it into rough, unappealing chunks. Knowing the proper way to cut a watermelon not only makes it presentable for a fruit platter or summer fruit salad, it can also help you keep it fresh for longer. Here, we’ll walk you through the whole process, from choosing a perfectly ripe watermelon, to cutting and storing it properly.

What Knife Is Best for Cutting Watermelon?

When cutting any ingredient, the tools you’re using matter. All of our knives are expertly crafted from fifth generation French bladesmiths. Because they’re full tang and fully forged, meaning they’re crafted from one piece of steel that goes all the way through the hilt, our knives are also exceptionally sturdy. Because of a watermelon’s size, we recommend you use our Chef Knife for this task. Its sharp tip will easily pierce the rind and the eight inch blade will have no trouble slicing the watermelon into manageable pieces.

How to Pick a Watermelon

Finding a watermelon only to realize that it’s watery, tasteless, and mealy when you bring it home is beyond disappointing. Here are a few tips on what to look for in a watermelon. As always, if possible, try to purchase your fruit locally and when it’s in season, as that will yield the tastiest results.

  1. An important indicator of ripeness is the field spot, or a light colored spot on the bottom that shows where the watermelon sat while it was growing. For a sweet melon, choose one with a spot that’s bright yellow.
  2. Web-like patches on the rind indicate that the sugar has seeped out, signaling an extra sweet melon.
  3. While they may look pretty, shinier melons are actually less ripe—choose a duller looking one.
  4. Lightly tap your watermelon. If it sounds hollow and deep, it has more water and is likely more ripe.
  5. Since a watermelon is  over 90% water, your melon should  feel heavier than it looks.

How to Cut a Watermelon Into Wedges

Now that you’ve selected the perfect watermelon, it’s time to begin cutting it. Watermelon wedges are ideal for picnics or other utensiless occasions because the rind keeps your fingers from getting sticky. They’re also perfect for dipping in salt or Tajin for a sweet-savory/spicy snack. Here’s the easiest way to do it:

  1. To give your watermelon a flat surface, trim off one of the ends. You only need to cut about ½ to ¼ inch so you’re not losing any fruit, just rind.
  2. Resting the melon on its flat side, slice it in half lengthwise. Set one half aside.
  3. Place your halved watermelon cut side down (this will be a great test of how clean your Butcher Block is) and slice it in half lengthwise again.
  4. Slice your melon into inch wide wedges, rocking the base of your knife up and down, while keeping the tip fixed to the block. Repeat with the second quarter.
  5. Repeat steps 3—5 on the remaining half of the watermelon. This should give you enough wedges to feed a crowd.

How to Cut Watermelon Into Cubes

Cubed watermelon removes all of the rind, yielding bright pink bite-sized pieces. This method is ideal if you’re adding the melon to a salad. You can also throw these cubes on the grill for a sweet or savory addition to a BBQ. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Start the same way you did with the cubes and slice off one end, about ½ to ¼ inch. Turn the melon over and repeat on the other side so you have a flat surface at each end.
  2. Remove the rind by lining your knife up with where the flesh and the rind meet and slicing down, following the curve of the watermelon with the blade of your knife. Try to cut as close to the rind as possible. This may take a bit of practice.
  3. Repeat this process all the way around the melon until no rind remains. Trim up any spots you missed.
  4. Rest the watermelon on one of its sides and slice into 1 inch wide spears.
  5. Slice across to form a grid, cutting the watermelon into evenly-sized cubes.

How to Store Cut Watermelon

Once you have cut a watermelon, it’s best to eat it as quickly as possible. The longer it sits, the more juice will leak out. For this reason, it’s best to slice your melon right before you intend to eat it. If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container or in a Serving Bowl or Platter tightly covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The watermelon will keep for about 2 to 3 days in the fridge.

Ready to Try It Yourself?

While watermelon is undoubtedly delicious eaten just as it is, it also lends the perfect dose of summer sweetness to a cocktail. Test out your knife skills by preparing our Grilled Watermelon Margaritas. The melon is cubed before being grilled and the smokiness of the fruit is a perfect compliment to the citrus juices and aged tequila. A spicy Tajin rimmed glass completes the presentation. Even if your cubes aren’t perfectly even, you still have a delicious drink in your hands.