How to Cut Watermelons – With and Without the Rind

How to cut watermelon – here are my two favourite methods. I call them the “The Naked Cube Cut” for when you don’t want the rind and “The Picnic Cut” for when you want the rind for easy holding.

bowl of cubed watermelon
When you need cubed watermelon, use the Naked Cube Cut method.
watermelon spears with rind
When you want spears with a little rind handle, use the Picnic Cut.

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 or wedge 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.

watermelon spears with rind

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.

cut melon in half - watermarked

Step 3 – Cut slices in one direction. Aim for 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.

slice one direction - watermarked

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.

the picnic cut grid - watermarked

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! pull out pieces - watermarkedJenga watermelon - watermarked

The Naked Cube Cut – Rind Off

Sometimes, you need watermelon that’s nicely cubed and has no rind like for this Watermelon Cucumber Feta Salad.

bowl of cubed watermelon
Use the Naked Cube cut for rindless watermelon cubes.

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. 

cut melon in half - watermarked

Step 3 – Cut off the End. Start by slicing off the remaining end piece.cut off the top - watermarked

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.

minimal waste - watermarkedcontinue cutting all the way around - watermarked

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.

the naked watermelon cut - watermarked

 

Step 8 – Dig in! You should have a nice pile of even sized watermelon cubes.

bowl of cubed watermelon

Perfect for recipes like watermelon and feta salad, aqua fresca, watermelon granita and so on.

Note:

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.cube cut slices rind on - watermarked 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. Scooping nice cubes out of the melon like this is not easy. cube cut rind leftovers - watermarked

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?

Want to learn more?  Get Getty to facilitate a home cooking session for you, a group of friends or a community group. Getty Stewart is an engaging and enthusiastic facilitator that makes it fun and easy to learn tasty recipes, time-saving tips, and helpful kitchen ideas. She is a Professional Home Economist, author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, mom and veggie gardener.

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3 Comments

  1. I’m interested in cutting a watermelon so each serving is equal……………….so latecomers will not end up with mostly rind………….

    1. Hmm, interesting dilemma, Jan. I think you’re best would be to use the rindless method and cut equal sized cubes or rectangles. Maybe insert toothpicks into cubes and serve on a tray. You can use any scraps in a fruit punch or to make flavored water.

      Anyone have any ideas for how Jan could cut her watermelon into equal sized pieces with the rind?

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