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A hand holding a seedless watermelon wedge.
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How to Pick the BEST Watermelon

Learn a few simple tips so you walk home with the best and most ripe watermelon with the sweetest juice from your grocery store!

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author London

Ingredients

  • 1 watermelon

Instructions

Shape - Symmetry is key.

  1. A round and pretty symmetrical watermelon (the "female") is best since it means it was watered evenly throughout its growth process.
  2. Melons that have odd lumps or are bigger on one side versus the other may have experienced seasons of drought and/or times of overwatering.
  3. Oblong watermelons (or "males") tend to be more watery and not nearly as sweet and flavorful.

Size - Pick it up.

  1. As soon as you hold the melon in your hands you want it to almost shock you by how heavy it is.
  2. This means the interior of the fruit is extremely dense with sweet juice that is extremely flavorful.

Spot - Look for the ground spot.

  1. The watermelons with a big creamy yellow or light orange ground spot (or belly spot) are the best and most ripe ones.
  2. This spot on their underbelly means they sat on the ground and were allowed to ripen naturally before being picked from the vine.

Sound - Give it a thump.

  1. Ripe watermelons will have a deep, hollow sound when tapped.  (Watch video to hear sound.)
  2. If the melon is not yet ripe, it will sound a little flat and dull when thumped.  (Like a zucchini or squash does.)

Other Tips & Tricks:

  1. Stripes: The stripes of the melon should have a pretty stark contrast between the dark and light areas.

  2. Webbing: The larger the webbing, or scars, the more sweet and ripe the fruit will be.  These brown marks are from bees pollinating the flower during its' growth.

  3. Stem: Look for the stem area to be slightly depressed and dried out.  If you see this it means the fruit fell off of the vine on it's own instead of being picked from it before fully ripening.

  4. Color: A darker colored watermelon means it was allowed to ripen more fully on the vine and will have a sweeter juice.

Recipe Video