Here are my favorite methods for cutting watermelon: “The Picnic Cut” for when you want the rind and the “The Naked Cube Cut” for when you don’t want the rind.
The Picnic Cut – Rind On
When it comes to enjoying watermelon as is – piece by piece, you really should keep a bit of a rind to serve as a handle. It’s the easiest and most practical way to serve watermelon especially outdoors or when kids are involved. The classic triangle cut is pretty good, but I’m loving this cube cut first introduced to me by my friend Dawn on one of our camping trips. Here’s a step by step photo guide.
Step 1 – Wash the watermelon. Yup, start by washing the outside; when you slice through the watermelon with your knife, your knife will drag whatever is living on the outside of your watermelon to the inside. It’s best to give it a good wash first.
Step 2 – Cut watermelon in half. I like cutting around the equator, but you can cut it lengthwise if you want.
Step 3 – Cut slices in one direction. Aim for 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.
Step 4 – Cut slices in the other direction. Turn your cutting board and cut 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices in the other direction to form a grid.
Step 5 – Serve the upside down, sliced melon as is. People get to pull out whatever piece they want. It’s a little like the game Jenga – eventually the pieces will topple!
The Naked Cube Cut – Rind Off
Sometimes, you need watermelon that’s nicely cubed and has no rind.
For these purposes, I like to use the Naked Cube Cut. I call it that because after halving the watermelon, you take the rind off and then cut it into cubes. Here’s a quick You Tube video of me demonstrating this technique, followed by a photo how to:
Step 1 – Wash the watermelon. Give it a nice wash.
Step 2 – Cut watermelon in half.
Step 3 – Cut off the End. Start by slicing off the remaining end piece.
Step 4 – Remove the Rind. Firmly place watermelon on cutting board then run knife from top of watermelon to bottom between the flesh and the rind. Repeat all the way around until the rind has been removed and you are left with a naked watermelon.
Step 5 – Cut a grid pattern starting with horizontal slices. Hold your knife parallel to the cutting board and cut 1 inch slices all the way through the watermelon. Then cut slices from top to bottom in one direction, rotate the cutting board and cut slices in the other direction. Keep slices a consistent size – about 1 inch.
Step 8 – Dig in! You should have a nice pile of even sized watermelon cubes.
Perfect for recipes like watermelon and feta salad, aqua fresca, watermelon sorbet and so on.
I’ve seen a few You Tube videos and blog posts that demonstrate the cube cut with the rind on. I tried it a couple of times, but I did not like it as much as the Naked Cube Cut described above for two key reasons:
1. Cutting even slices through the watermelon rind is tough! It’s not easy getting an even slice while also trying to maneuver a big knife through thick watermelon rind. 2. I found there was more watermelon waste when I tried to cut around the inside of the watermelon between the flesh and the rind. It’s impossible to get the knife to follow the curve of the watermelon, so getting an exact cut is hard. Each time I tried it, I had a lot of leftover watermelon inside the shell.
It works, but I’d rather do the extra step of cutting off the rind and not worry about getting the leftover pieces out of the rind.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite method of cutting watermelons? And more importantly, do you have a favorite watermelon recipe?
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