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How to Cut a Watermelon Picnic-Perfect

Using a blue, eight inch serrated Misen knife to cut a watermelon.

TL;DR: Cutting a watermelon can seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it's a breeze. Wash the watermelon, cut off both ends, slice it in half, then cut it into wedges, sticks, or cubes depending on your preference. Store cut watermelon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Always wash the watermelon before cutting to remove dirt and debris.
  2. Use a large, sharp knife to make clean, precise cuts through the thick rind.
  3. Cut watermelon can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  4. Watermelon wedges, sticks, and cubes are perfect for snacking, fruit salads, and recipes.
  5. Cutting watermelon into uniform pieces allows for more efficient storage and serving.

Preparing the Watermelon

Before cutting a watermelon, it's essential to wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris on the surface. This is especially important if you plan to cut the watermelon into wedges or slices with the rind intact, as the knife will come into contact with the exterior of the fruit.1

Once the watermelon is clean, it's time to gather your tools. A large, sharp knife is crucial for making clean, precise cuts through the thick rind and juicy flesh. We recommend using a chef's knife or a specialized watermelon knife with a long blade.1 Place the watermelon on a large, sturdy cutting board to provide a stable surface for slicing.

Selecting a Ripe Watermelon

Choosing a ripe watermelon is key to enjoying this refreshing summer fruit at its best. Look for a watermelon with a uniform shape, a large yellow spot on one side (known as the "field spot"), and a hollow sound when tapped.4 The field spot should be a creamy-yellow color, indicating that the watermelon ripened on the ground. A white or green spot suggests it may not be fully ripe.5 The skin should have a dull appearance and be free of bruises, cuts, or blemishes.

Cutting Watermelon into Wedges

To cut a watermelon into wedges, start by slicing off both ends of the washed and dried watermelon to create a flat surface on each side. Stand the watermelon upright on one of the cut ends and slice it in half lengthwise using a sharp knife.2

Place the watermelon halves cut-side down on the cutting board and slice each half in half again lengthwise to create quarters. Take one of the quarters and make cuts about ½-inch to 1-inch apart, starting from the flesh and cutting towards the rind.6 Repeat with the remaining quarters until you have a platter of juicy watermelon wedges, perfect for grabbing and enjoying.

Cutting Watermelon into Sticks

Watermelon sticks are a fun and less messy way to enjoy this sweet fruit. To make them, cut the washed and dried watermelon in half lengthwise and place one half cut-side down on the cutting board. Cut off the four edges to create a rectangular shape, then slice the watermelon lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips. Finally, make perpendicular cuts every 1 inch to create the sticks.1

Watermelon sticks are perfect for snacking on the go or serving at picnics and barbecues. The uniform shape and size make them easy to grab and eat without utensils.2 Plus, cutting the watermelon into sticks allows for more efficient storage in the refrigerator, as they can be neatly stacked in an airtight container.

Cutting Watermelon into Cubes

Watermelon cubes are a versatile option, ideal for snacking, fruit salads, and recipes like watermelon gazpacho or salsa. To cut a watermelon into cubes, first slice off both ends of the washed and dried watermelon and stand it upright on one of the cut ends. Carefully slice the melon in half vertically, then lay one half flat on the cutting board and slice it in half again to create quarters.2

With one watermelon quarter flat-side down, make cuts about 1 inch apart from top to rind. Next, make perpendicular cuts about 1 inch apart along the length of the quarter, creating a grid pattern. Finally, slice along the rind to release the cubes.6 Repeat with the remaining quarters.

Storing and Serving Cut Watermelon

To maintain freshness and flavor, store cut watermelon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.1 If you have a large quantity, consider dividing it into smaller portions and storing them separately to reduce air exposure and potential spoilage.2

When serving cut watermelon, get creative with your presentation. Use the hollowed-out rind as an eye-catching, eco-friendly serving bowl, or thread cubes onto skewers for easy grabbing.1 For a more elegant look, arrange cubes, sticks, or wedges on a platter and garnish with fresh mint leaves or a sprinkle of lime zest.2

Conclusion

Cutting a watermelon may seem intimidating, but with the right tools and techniques, it's a simple task that yields delicious results. Whether you prefer wedges, sticks, or cubes, freshly cut watermelon is a refreshing and healthy treat that's perfect for summer snacking and entertaining. Remember to always wash your watermelon before cutting, use a sharp knife, and store cut pieces properly in the refrigerator. For more tips on selecting and caring for your kitchen knives, check out our high-quality knife collection at Misen.

References

  1. Clarke, E. (2024, June 09). How to Cut a Watermelon. Retrieved from https://www.wellplated.com/how-to-cut-a-watermelon/
  2. Donofrio, J. (2021, July 01). How to Cut a Watermelon Recipe. Retrieved from https://www.loveandlemons.com/how-to-cut-a-watermelon/
  3. Merkley, K. (2020, April 10). How to Cut a Watermelon. Retrieved from https://lilluna.com/how-to-cut-a-watermelon/
  4. Unknown (n.d.). How To Cut A Watermelon Into Cubes. Retrieved from https://dalstrong.com/blogs/news/how-to-cut-a-watermelon-into-cubes
  5. Author (2023, June 13). How to Cut a Watermelon (Easiest Way to Cut). Retrieved from https://www.fifteenspatulas.com/how-to-cut-a-watermelon/

How to Cut a Watermelon: The Easiest Way

TL;DR: Cutting a watermelon can seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it's a breeze. Wash the watermelon, cut off both ends, slice it in half, then cut it into wedges, sticks, or cubes depending on your preference. Store cut watermelon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.