Cooking Tips

How to Cut a Watermelon

No matter how you slice it, cutting up an entire watermelon can be intimidating. Here are our 3 favorite ways to break down a whole melon for easy eating.
By and

Published June 30, 2023.

Here’s a scenario that may feel familiar: You’ve selected the ripest, juiciest watermelon you can find and hauled it to a backyard gathering where you’re faced with breaking it down in front of all the guests. 

Armed with a knife (is it even the right one?), you do your best to pare the melon into attractive, even pieces. But slicing a watermelon is usually a messy process that leads to uneven results—not to mention a scary endeavor since the fruit is big, bulky, and slippery, and the rind is hard to cut through. 

Wouldn’t it be great to have a cheat sheet for how to cut a watermelon into wedges, sticks, and cubes—whatever the occasion calls for?

So that's exactly what we've done here: compiled three watermelon cutting how-tos complete with visual aids. Turns out, it’s really easy to slice a watermelon perfectly when you have the right tools and techniques!

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The Best Tools for Cutting a Watermelon

We don’t recommend a watermelon slicer—this type of tool is a waste of your money. 

Instead, we like to use either a chef's knife or serrated knife. A chef's knife requires a little more muscle to power through the rind, but pushing through the flesh is easier and creates cleaner cuts than the sawing action of a serrated knife. (And when peeling away the entire rind from a watermelon, a chef's knife a must.) One advantage a serrated knife has over a chef's knife: Its pointy teeth grip the thick, slippery rind, helping to hold the watermelon steady.

TIP: Before cutting into any melon, be sure to gently wash the outside with soap and water to remove any bacteria that could be dragged into the interior while cutting. 

How to Cut a Watermelon Into Wedges

This is the most classic way to slice up a watermelon for easy eating with your hands. 

1. Split the watermelon in half crosswise. Hold the watermelon steady with one hand as you cut. This gives you two smaller halves to work with. 

2. Slice each watermelon half lengthwise. It’s easiest to cut through the flesh of the cut side, not the rind. You now have two much more manageable pieces.

3. Slice each quarter into serving-size wedges. Starting at one end, slice each quarter into wedges and enjoy!

How to Cut a Watermelon into Batons

Try this method in front of your friends and they’ll think you’re a magician!

1. Split the watermelon in half lengthwise.

2. Cut each half into 1½-inch-wide slices along the length of the watermelon. Be sure to place each half cut side down on the cutting board first.

3. Rotate each half and cut 1½-inch-wide slices along the width of the watermelon. Hold the lengthwise slices together with your non-cutting hand as you slice.

How to Cut a Watermelon into Cubes

This is our preferred method when we want to remove the rind completely to use the flesh in an application such as a salad. Paring away the entire rind is the easiest, fastest, and most thorough way to remove this thick skin before going about the business of cutting it into chunks. You'll want a chef's knife for this task.

1. Using a chef's knife, cut a small slice off the end of the watermelon. 

2. Stand the watermelon on one end. Holding the top of the watermelon with one of your hands, carefully slice off the rind in sections from top to bottom, rotating the melon as you go. Go back and trim away any remaining white.

3. Cut peeled melon in half and slice each half into slabs of desired thickness. For seeded melons, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds before cutting the slabs.

4. Lay each slab on its side and cut into chunks.


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