With Summer upon us, let’s talk about how to cut melon and keep your household with lovely fruit all season long. Unlike some fruit, I don’t recommend tossing a whole melon into a cantaloupe smoothie, honeydew smoothie or watermelon smoothie. The rind and seeds are a bit too much. I’ve got the best way to cut watermelon as well as how to cut cantaloupe to enjoy right away or store for smoothies.
Summer doesn’t really feel like summer until I start seeing watermelon at my local grocery store. There’s something about that gorgeously striped fruit in those large pallet bins that says, “It’s me, hi! I’m Summer, it’s me.”
Yet almost all melons have a weird skin that you can’t eat and you’ve got to get around before you can enjoy the juiciness inside. Let’s break the code on honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe to create all the wedges, melon balls, slices, cubes and more!
Table of Contents
The Best Way to Cut Watermelon
Before you even head to the market to grab one of these beasts, let’s make sure you’ve got the proper tools to fully enjoy this ruby-red goddess. Grab a large, flat cutting board, a big sharp knife and a large bowl with a tight-fitting lid.
Pro tip: I discovered that my local farmer’s market has a knife sharpening station! To safely cut into these giant fruits, you really do need a sharp knife. Find out where you can get yours sharpened now and be ready for summertime!
Now, let’s get cutting.
Step 1: Position the watermelon in the center of a large cutting board lengthwise. Cut off the end of the melon to create a flat bottom. Do the same to the top end to create a flat top, then set the melon upright on one of the flat surfaces you just created.
Step 2: Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and set one half aside. If you only need part of the fruit, wrap one half tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for future use. Cut the remaining half into wedges lengthwise.
Step 3: Next, carefully remove the rind by holding the wedge in your hand and sliding the knife between the wedge and the flesh. If this isn’t easy, then your wedges are too wide. Simply cut the wedge again lengthwise to give yourself a smaller piece to work with.
Step 4: Now that you’ve got several wedges of rindless fruit, just chop them in a line to create bite-sized chunks. Keep the pieces larger if you want to eat them with your hands and smaller if you want to toss them into a fruit salad. This is the best way to cut watermelon as well as the easiest!
If you want balled fruit, then after you cut the watermelon in half, grab your melon baller and start to scoop out rounded balls of fruit and set them in a bowl.
Pro tip: You can freeze these balls on a tray and they make excellent “ice cubes” for chilled fruit-infused water, fun summer cocktails or as a refreshing snack on a hot day!
How to Cut Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe and honeydew are similar in that they have pockets of seed inside, instead of seeds throughout like watermelon does. Cutting them is *slightly* different, yet still very easy! Grab the same tools and let’s get started.
Step 1: Position the cantaloupe on a cutting board stem side up. Take a sharp knife and cut through the center of the stem side all the way through the fruit.
Step 2: Open up the 2 halves and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
Step 3: Cut the halves into wedges (like with the watermelon) that are narrow enough to fit in your hand. Carefully remove the rind by holding the wedge in your hand and sliding the knife between the wedge and the flesh.
Step 4: Now that you’ve got several wedges of rindless fruit, just chop them in a line to create bite-sized chunks.
How to Store Melon
Now that you know how to cut melon like a pro, how do you store all this vibrant goodness?
No matter which melon you choose, it will stay fresh for a few days when stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. If you want a more long-term solution, let’s freeze it.
Take a freezer tray and line it with parchment paper. Spread out the pieces of fruit in a single layer with a bit of space to freeze. Place in the freezer for at least one hour.
Once frozen, take the fruit and toss them into a silicone freezer bag to save. Remember, since melon acts as a fruit and a liquid in smoothies, you’ll need to add a bit more liquid to your blender if you use frozen chunks in your next blend.
Use a sharp knife to cut off the top and bottom of a watermelon to create two flat surfaces on either end. Cut in half lengthwise, and cut eat half into long wedges. Place each wedge in your hand rind side down and use a knife to separate the rind from the flesh. Then chop the fruit into smaller pieces and enjoy!
For most melons, you can tell if it’s ready to eat by pressing on the blossom end (not the stem end) of the fruit. Gently pressing should cause the fruit to yield slightly, though not break open. If pressing causes it to break open then it is overripe. If it is still super hard when you press in then the melon isn’t ready to eat.
First, it should feel heavy. If you pick one up and it is super light, it’s not ready. Make sure they are at room temperature at the grocery store and not refrigerated. Then try the ripeness test by pressing gently on the blossom end. If there is some give then you know you’ve got a ripe one.
Uncut cantaloupe should be kept on the counter. Be sure to cut it up at peak ripeness, then store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days to enjoy throughout the week.
Recipes with Melon
One thing I love and find challenging about most melons is that they produce a lot of fruit. Cut up a watermelon and eat it for a week!
Sometimes even my fruit-crazed kids have a hard time finishing off cantaloupe, so I’ve come up with a few recipes to make it easy to finish off these gorgeous fruits and enjoy them to the fullest:
- Watermelon Smoothie
- Fruit-Infused Water
- Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie
- Sweet Cantaloupe Smoothie
- Watermelon Popsicles
- Summer Melon Smoothie
Melon often acts like a fruit and a liquid in smoothies since it is loaded with water. Talk about some sweet hydration! When you add it to your next blend, be sure to start out with less liquid than normal, then add as needed to reach the right consistency.
More How-To Guides
Green smoothies have opened my eyes to a whole world of fruits and vegetables I had previously ignored. Yet they aren’t all apples and oranges! If you’ve ever wondered how to peel, cut or open something in the produce aisle, then you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve got helpful guides to make the best of the foods you purchase, and that includes storing them as well!
- How to Cut an Avocado
- How to Freeze Spinach
- How to Cut a Mango
- How to Freeze Bananas
- How to Peel Kiwi
- How to Cut Pineapple
- How to Cut Leeks
What fruit or vegetable intimidates you? Drop a comment below so that I can include more of these helpful guides!
How to Cut Melon
- large cutting board
- large, sharp knife
- airtight container
- 1 watermelon
- Position the watermelon in the center of large cutting board lengthwise. Cut off the end to create a flat bottom. Do the same to the top end to create a flat top, then set the melon upright on one of the flat surfaces you just created.
- Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and set one half aside. Cut the 2 halves into wedges lengthwise. You want the wedges to fit easily in your hand width-wise.
- Carefully remove the rind by holding the wedge in your hand and sliding the knife between the wedge and the flesh. If this isn't easy, then your wedges are too wide. Simply cut the wedge again lengthwise to give yourself a smaller piece to work with.
- Chop the pieces of fruit in a line to create bite-sized cubes. Keep the pieces larger if you want to eat them by hand, or smaller if you want them in a fruit salad.
- If you only need half of the watermelon, you can actually ask the grocery store to cut it in half and let you only take home what you need or you can tightly wrap the extra half in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cut it.
- To make melon balls, switch from the knife to the melon baller after you cut the melon in half. Scoop rounded balls out and into a container, or onto a parchment-lined baking sheet if you want to freeze them.
- You can compost the rinds of all kinds of melon, so don’t throw them away!