This foolproof guide on how to cut watermelon teaches you 3 different ways to cut everyone’s favorite juicy fruit – slices, cubes, & sticks. Hello, summer! 

Half watermelon.

Whether it’s watermelon season or you can access melon year round in your region, it’s time that you got privy to the easiest way to cut summer’s favorite fruit. In fact, we’re going to up the ante and teach you not one, but three, simple ways to carve into a whole watermelon. Each serves a different purpose, but all of them will result in you enjoying all the juicy splendor.

Tools You’ll Need: All you need to cut a watermelon is a sharp chef’s knife and a large cutting board.

Picking the Perfect Watermelon

Before we dive into the different ways to slice and dice a whole watermelon, let’s first cover off on how to pick the perfect melon at the grocery store or farmer’s market. 

  1. Weight – The first indicator of a ripe watermelon is its weight. It should be heavier than you expect when you pick it up – this means that it’s packed full of juice! 
  2. Coloring – When the watermelon rests on the ground before it’s harvested, it develops a creamy yellow coloring where the light doesn’t hit it. When this patch of the rind reaches this color, you’ll know it’s ripe on the inside. 
  3. Hollow Sound – Give the watermelon a couple of knocks for the last test. If it sounds hollow, it’s full of juice and at its peak.

How to Cut a Watermelon in 3 Different Ways

While everyone has their own approach to cutting a watermelon, these 3 ways are the simplest and most straight-forward in our book. Explore all the different shapes and see which one is best suited for your snacking needs. 

How to Cut a Watermelon into Slices 

Watermelon slices make for perfect, hand held snacking. Pack these along for a summer picnic or serve them alongside whatever you have grilling at your next cookout. 

  1. Cut the Watermelon Crosswise – Using a sharp knife, slice the watermelon crosswise. 
  2. Slice the Watermelon Halves into Quarters – Place each watermelon half down on a cutting board flesh side down. Slice each half into four equal quarters.
  3. Cut Quarters Into Slices – Slice each quarter into thick 1-inch slices. Enjoy! 

How to Cut a Watermelon into Cubes

Watermelon cubes are best for classic fruit salads, watermelon juice, or a watermelon smoothie.

  1. Cut the Watermelon Crosswise – Using a sharp knife, slice the watermelon crosswise.
  2. Slice the Watermelon Halves into Quarters – Place each watermelon half down on a cutting board flesh side down. Cut each half into four equal quarters. 
  3. Crosscut the Watermelon Quarters – Using a sharp knife, slice diagonally across the flesh 3-4 times. Flip the watermelon quarter around and slice diagonally across the other side 3-4 times. Run your knife flesh against the watermelon rind. 
  4. Shake the Chunks Free – Wriggle the chunks of watermelon loose from the watermelon rind. Repeat with the other 3 watermelon quarters. Enjoy! 

How to Cut a Watermelon into Sticks 

Watermelon sticks are probably the most uncommon cut, but they are perfect for feeding younger kids who have too small of hands to hold onto a big slice. 

  1. Cut the Watermelon Crosswise – Using a sharp knife, slice the watermelon crosswise.
  2. Slice the Watermelon Halves in One Direction – Place the watermelon flat side down on the cutting board. Slice it into 1-inch thick pieces from one side to the other. 
  3. Cut the Watermelon in the Opposite Direction – Turn the watermelon halfway and slice in the opposite direction, making small cube-sized shapes with the rind and forming 3-4 inch long watermelon sticks. Enjoy! 

Bonus! How to Make Watermelon Balls

Melon balls are such a fancy way to up level some of your favorite watermelon recipes. To make them, all you’ll need is a melon baller or a typical tablespoon. 

  1. Cut the Watermelon Crosswise – Using a sharp knife, slice the watermelon crosswise.
  2. Slice the Bottom off the Melon – To make the watermelon half stable enough to stand flesh side up, cut off the round ends from both halves to create flat, sturdy bottoms. 
  3. Make the Melon Balls – Now that your watermelon half is standing up straight, use the melon baller or tablespoon to scoop out balls. To do so, place dig the baller into the flesh deep and at a diagonal. Rotate it 360 degrees until a ball forms. Repeat until you’ve sufficiently scooped all the flesh out of each halve. Enjoy! 

Different Ways to Use Watermelon

While juicy watermelon is one of the most healthy snacks out there as-is, it’s also great in so many different recipes. Check out a few ideas here to inspire you…

  • Watermelon Feta Salad – Toss half a watermelon (cut into chunks) with half a sliced cucumber, half a bunch of mint, 1 cup of feta cheese, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of balsamic glaze for a sweet and salty salad.  
  • Spicy Watermelon Salad – Toss half a watermelon (cut into chunks) with Tajin (a Mexican-style sweet and spicy chili seasoning) for a puckery snack. 
  • Watermelon Salsa – Add small cubes of watermelon to pico de gallo for a refreshing salsa for carne asada tacos. 

Storage Best Practices 

Whether your watermelon is whole, sliced in half or quarters, or broken down into slices, chunks, or sticks, here’s all you need to know to store it properly. 

  • Whole Watermelon – Whole watermelon should be kept at room temperature, unsliced until you’re ready to use it. Depending on when it was picked, it will keep for 1-2 weeks.
  • Watermelon Halves & Quarters – If you only used a portion of a large watermelon, store the remaining halves or quarters wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Once the rind is cut into, the fruit is prone to turning soft and mushy faster – so use it as quickly as possible! 
  • Slices, Chunks, & Sticks – If your watermelon is broken down, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1-2 days. The longer it sits in the fridge, the more the juice will break down the fibrous parts and turn the pieces watery. 

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About Author

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.