Tired of wrestling with a 20-pound watermelon on your cutting board? (In addition to wrestling your 30-pound toddler into their car seat?) Make your life easier by using our guide on how to cut a watermelon, including 5 fun and easy ways to enjoy this refreshing fruit.

Graphic for post - how to cut a watermelon - 5 easy and fun ways. Images are in a grid against a white background with colorful kids plates with fun ways to cut the watermelon.

Medically reviewed and co-written by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

How to Cut Watermelon

Watermelon is an incredibly refreshing and versatile fruit, making it a great choice as a summer treat, side dish, or snack. Depending on the recipe you’re making, you’ll want to consider different ways to cut a watermelon to best fit your needs. From watermelon wedges to sticks, or cookie cutter shapes to cubes, we’ll review 5 fun and easy ways to cut a watermelon, each with a helpful step-by-step pictorial guide.

A watermelon against a white background.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you tell if a watermelon is sweet or ripe?

A few clues can point you to a sweet or ripe watermelon: heavy for its size, a golden yellow spot on the melon’s underside, a dark green rind, and a deep, hollow sound when tapped with your fist.

What’s the easiest way to cut a watermelon?

Opinions on this vary from person to person, but we think that the easiest way to cut a watermelon is in stick shapes, as we’ll discuss below.

Should you wash a watermelon before cutting it?

Yes. It might seem silly, when you don’t plan to eat the rind. But when you cut through a watermelon, your knife brings along any dirt or bacteria from the rind, right into the fruit.

To hold holding a wedge of watermelon against a white background.

How to Pick a Good Watermelon

Here are some tips on how to pick a fresh, juicy watermelon:

  • Shape: look for symmetry and avoid any dents or cuts
  • Weight: choose a watermelon that feels heavy for its size, which means its ripe and juicer
  • Spot: the field (or the ground) spot is where one side of the melon has been in contact with the ground as it grows. Look for a field spot that’s more yellow than white, indicating ripeness
  • Touch: a ripe watermelon should have a firm rind that doesn’t give easily when pressed
  • Sound: if you tap a watermelon with your fist and hear a deep sound (instead of a hollow sound), it’s ready to cut

Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon is full of essential vitamins and minerals:

  • Excellent source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system and helps with iron absorption.
  • Good source of vitamin A, which helps support healthy eyes, teeth and skin.
  • Contains different antioxidants, including lycopene, carotenoids, and cucurbitacin E.
  • High water content which can help keep you hydrated.

How to Store a Watermelon

You can store a whole watermelon at room temperature for up to 10 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you want to cut up one half of your watermelon at a time, wrap the uncut half tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Cut watermelon is best stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze watermelon cubes for up to 10 months.

Different Ways to Cut Watermelon

Watermelon is a versatile fruit when it comes to cutting and serving, and there are different ways you can cut watermelon depending on how you want to serve it, what recipe you are making or whom you are serving it. Here are five of our favorite ways to cut watermelon:

  • Watermelon Wedges
  • Watermelon Cubes
  • Watermelon Sticks
  • Watermelon Balls
  • Watermelon Shapes

Tips for Cutting Watermelon

  • Cold watermelon – place your watermelon in the fridge for a few hours and cut when it’s cold. A cold watermelon retains its juices better and holds its shape better when cutting it.
  • Cutting board – choose a cutting board with grooves along the outer edges. This will help with catching juices from the watermelon as you cut, keeping your kitchen counter less messy.
  • Sharp knife – to avoid any accidents, make sure you are using a very sharp knife when you cut the rind of a watermelon.

Wash Watermelon

It’s a good idea to wash the rind of your watermelon first, so that any dirt or debris on the outside won’t get transferred to the inside once you start cutting. Place the watermelon under cool, running water or give it a light scrub with a clean washcloth or sponge and water.

How to Cut Watermelon Wedges

Watermelon wedges are great for barbeques and picnics. Cutting watermelon into a wedge shape is also helpful for older toddlers (16+ months) and kids to manage.

  1. Wash and dry the watermelon.
  2. On a cutting board, cut one of the ends off of the watermelon.
  3. Sit the cut end on the cutting board, and with a sharp knife, cut down through the watermelon, slicing it lengthwise. You will now have two halves of a watermelon.
  4. Place one of the halves of the watermelon cut side down on the cutting board and cut lengthwise. You will now have two quarters.
  5. Flip one of the quarters of the watermelon over so the rind is on the cutting board, and cut it into 1″ slices.
  6. Repeat until you have all the watermelon you want to be cut into wedges

How to Cut Watermelon Cubes

Watermelon cubes are great for cutting up and putting in salads, slushies or snacking on the go. If you cut the watermelon in smaller bite-size cubes, they are great for helping babies 9+ months work on developing a pincer grasp.

  1. Wash and dry the watermelon.
  2. On a cutting board, cut the watermelon in half.
  3. Cut off the stem end, close to the red watermelon flesh.
  4. Place the watermelon, cut side down on the cutting board.
  5. Holding your knife at an angle, slice off the rind and white flesh of the watermelon, starting at the stem cut and working your way down to the cutting board.
  6. Cut around the entire watermelon until the rind and white flesh have been removed.
  7. Cut the watermelon in half from the stem side to the middle.
  8. Turn the watermelon, so the last cut is on the cutting board.
  9. Slice the watermelon into 1-inch slices. Repeat on the other half of the watermelon. You will have roughly 6-8 slices of watermelon.
  10. Lay one slice of watermelon on the cutting board and cut the watermelon into 1-inch slices.
  11. Turn the watermelon and slice in the opposite direction in 1-inch slices to make cubes.
  12. Repeat until you have cut all of the watermelon slices.

How to Cut Watermelon Sticks

Watermelon sticks are a fun kid-friendly way to serve the fruit differently for a party or barbeque. Watermelon sticks (with the rind cut off) are also a good shape to serve babies 6+ months using a baby-led weaning approach.

  1. Wash and dry the watermelon.
  2. On a cutting board, very carefully cut the watermelon in half. Then place one of the halves of the watermelon flesh side facing down on the cutting board.
  3. Slicing from the top of the rind down to the bottom of the watermelon closest to the cutting board, you will cut each end of the watermelon trying to make your round watermelon into a square. You will have 4 pieces of rind.
  4. Starting on one side, cut the watermelon into 1-2″ strips from the top of the rind down to the bottom of the watermelon, creating long vertical strips.
  5. Turn the watermelon.
  6. Then, cut the watermelon into 1-2″ strips from one side to the other creating sticks when the watermelon is pulled out.

How to Cut a Watermelon into Shapes

Watermelon shapes are so fun! Cutting watermelon this way is great for toddlers and younger kids just starting to help in the kitchen. Get creative and add the pieces with other fruits and cheese cubes for kabob appetizers.

  1. Wash and dry the watermelon.
  2. On a cutting board, cut the watermelon in half.
  3. Cut off the stem end, close to the red watermelon flesh.
  4. Place the watermelon, cut side down on the cutting board.
  5. Holding your knife at an angle, slice off the rind and white flesh of the watermelon, starting at the stem cut and working your way down to the cutting board.
  6. Cut around the entire watermelon until the rind and white flesh have been removed.
  7. Cut the watermelon in half from the stem side to the middle.
  8. Turn the watermelon, so the last cut is on the cutting board.
  9. Slice the watermelon into 1-inch slices. Repeat on the other half of the watermelon. You will have roughly 6-8 slices of watermelon.
  10. Lay a slice on the cutting board, and using your favorite cookie cutter, cut out any shapes you prefer.
  11. Repeat until you have cut shapes out of all of the slices.
  12. You can dice any leftover watermelon to eat or use in a smoothie or popsicles.

How to Make Watermelon Balls

Scooping watermelon into balls is a perfect way to make a pretty fruit salad for your next cookout. You can even use the rounded-out melon as a serving bowl when finished.

  1. Wash and dry the watermelon.
  2. On a cutting board, cut a watermelon in half.
  3. Take one half of the watermelon and slice the back off of it off, this creates a solid foundation. Flip the watermelon over, so the red flesh is facing up.
  4. Using a melon baller or small cookie scoop, press it into the watermelon flesh, rotate it in all directions, and remove the ball from the watermelon. Repeat until you have desired amount of watermelon balls.
  5. When you have used the entire surface of the watermelon, simply cut off that portion so you have a fresh layer to make more watermelon balls.

Leftover Tip: you can cut up the leftover watermelon into small chunks for a snack, smoothie, slush or popsicle!

Graphic for post - how to cut a watermelon, images are in a grid with colorful plates and different ways to cut a watermelon

Get the recipe: How-To Cut a Watermelon (5 Ways!)

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A step-by-step guide on how to cut a watermelon, 5 fun and easy ways!

Ingredients 

  • 1 watermelon

Instructions 

How to Cut Watermelon Wedges

  • Wash and dry the watermelon. On a cutting board, cut one of the ends off of the watermelon. Sit the cut end on the cutting board, and with a sharp knife, cut down through the watermelon, slicing it lengthwise. You will now have two halves of a watermelon.
    What are melon on a cutting board with a hand holding a knife cutting it in half.
  • Place one of the halves of the watermelon cut side down on the cutting board and cut lengthwise. You will now have two quarters. Flip one of the watermelon quarters over so the rind is on the cutting board, and cut it into 1″ slices.
    A wedge of a watermelon on a wooden cutting board with two hands, one hand holding a knife and cutting slices of watermelon.
  • Repeat until you have all the watermelon you want to be cut into wedges
    A wooden cutting board with a fan of sliced watermelon on it.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    A purple plate with three wedges of watermelon.

How to Cut Watermelon Cubes

  • Wash and dry the watermelon. On a cutting board, cut the watermelon in half. Cut off the rounded end, close to the red watermelon flesh.
    Wooden cutting board with a watermelon and a hand holding a knife cutting the bottom off of it.
  • Place the watermelon, cut side (flesh) down on the cutting board. Holding your knife at an angle, slice off the rid and white flesh of the watermelon, starting at the stem cut and working your way down to the cutting board. Cut around the entire watermelon until the rind and white flesh have been removed.
    A wooden cutting board with a watermelon on its side with a hand trimming the rind off of the watermelon.
  • Cut the watermelon in half from the stem side to the middle.
    A half of a peeled watermelon on a wooden cutting board with a hand holding a knife cutting it in half.
  • Turn the watermelon, so the last cut is on the cutting board. Slice the watermelon into 1-inch slices. Repeat on the other half of the watermelon. You will have roughly 6-8 slices of watermelon.
    Four slices of watermelon sitting on a white wooden cutting board
  • Lay one slice of watermelon on the cutting board and cut the watermelon into 1-inch slices.
    A pair of hands with a knife cutting each slice of watermelon into slices
  • Turn the watermelon and slice in the opposite direction in 1-inch slices to make cubes.
    A slice of watermelon cut horizontally and now being cut vertically into cubes.
  • Repeat until you have cut all of the watermelon slices.
    A wooden cutting board with two thick slices of watermelon in a pile of cubes of watermelon
  • Serve and enjoy!
    Blue plate with cubes of watermelon and a hand holding a cube of water melon.

How to Cut Watermelon Sticks

  • Wash and dry the watermelon. On a cutting board, very carefully cut the watermelon in half. Then place one of the halves of the watermelon flesh side facing down on the cutting board.
    A watermelon on a wooden cutting board with hands holding a knife cutting it in half.
  • Slicing from the top of the rind down to the bottom of the watermelon closest to the cutting board, you will cut each end of the watermelon trying to make your round watermelon into a square. You will have 4 pieces of rind.
    A watermelon board cut in half, with hands holding a knife cutting the edges off
  • Starting on one side, cut the watermelon into 1-2″ strips from the top of the rind down to the bottom of the watermelon, creating long vertical strips.
    A half of a watermelon sitting on its side cut into long vertical strips
  • Turn the watermelon. Then, cut the watermelon into 1-2″ strips from one side to the other.
    Hands holding a knife cutting a watermelon into long sticks
  • Thus creating sticks when the watermelon is pulled out.
    A hand holding and showing off a 6 inch watermelon stick over the rind of the watermelon.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    Yellow plate with sticks of watermelon.

How to Cut a Watermelon into Shapes

  • Wash and dry the watermelon. On a cutting board, cut the watermelon in half. Cut off the stem end, close to the red watermelon flesh.
    Wooden cutting board with a watermelon and a hand holding a knife cutting the bottom off of it.
  • Place the watermelon, cut side down on the cutting board. Holding your knife at an angle, slice off the rind and white flesh of the watermelon, starting at the stem cut and working your way down to the cutting board.
    A wooden cutting board with a watermelon on its side with a hand trimming the rind off of the watermelon.
  • Cut around the entire watermelon until the rind and white flesh have been removed.
    A board against a white background, with a knife, a half of a skin watermelon and the peels of a watermelon.
  • Cut the watermelon in half from the stem side to the middle. Turn the watermelon, so the last cut is on the cutting board. Slice the watermelon into 1-inch slices. Repeat on the other half of the watermelon. You will have roughly 6-8 slices of watermelon.
    Four slices of watermelon sitting on a white wooden cutting board
  • Lay a slice on the cutting board, and using your favorite cookie cutter, cut out any shapes you prefer.
    A slice of watermelon being cut into flower shapes with a cookie cutter.
  • Repeat until you have cut shapes out of all of the slices. You can dice any leftover watermelon to eat or use in a smoothie or popsicles.
    A slice of watermelon being cut into flower shapes with a cookie cutter.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    A green plate with flower shaped pieces of watermelon.

How to Cut Watermelon Balls

  • Wash and dry the watermelon. On a cutting board, cut a watermelon in half.
    A watermelon on a wooden cutting board with hands holding a knife cutting it in half.
  • Take one half of the watermelon and slice the back (rounded part) of it off, this creates a solid foundation. Flip the watermelon over, so the red flesh is facing up. Using a melon baller or small cookie scoop, press it into the watermelon flesh, rotate it in all directions, and remove the ball from the watermelon.
    A watermelon cut in half with two hands holding a melon Baller over the flesh side of the watermelon.
  • Repeat until you have desired amount of watermelon balls. When you have used the entire surface of the watermelon, simply cut off that portion so you have a fresh layer to make more watermelon balls.
    They have a watermelon with holes in it in a bowl of melon balls sitting next to it.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    Teal plate with melon balls on it.

Notes

Storage: Cut watermelon is best stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
 

Equipment

large cutting board
sharp knife
storage container

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