Watermelon is how summer rewards us for putting up with all the heat. But, whether your watermelon is large or small, you're going to have to cut it up to serve it up. Here are 10 ways to do it, from fancy to basic and back again.
10 Ways to Cut Watermelon
1. Sticks: Slice the watermelon in half end-to-end. Place a watermelon half cut-side-down and make one-inch-wide slices lengthwise. Then cut 1-inch-wide slices crosswise. Repeat with the other half.
2. Rounds: Slice the watermelon crosswise into 1-inch rounds. Topped with fruit and yogurt, these make the most photo-ready watermelon pizzas. Plain rounds can be cut into triangles with the rind attached for easy eating, or the flesh can be cut out into shapes.
3. Triangles: Slice the watermelon into rounds (see above). Stack three or four rounds and slice into small triangles for grab-and-go eating.
4. Stars: Slice the watermelon into 1-inch-wide rounds, Use cookie cutters to cut the rounds into stars for your July 4th picnic. Keep all the little leftover bits to make Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade.
5. Stacks: Slice the watermelon into 2-inch-wide rounds. Use a round cookie, biscuit cutter, or ring mold to cut circles. Why? So you can make Shrimp Goat Cheese Watermelon Salad Stacks, of course.
6. Wedges: Do this for the classic shot of happy kids biting into oversized watermelon wedges. Slice the watermelon in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise again to make quarters. Slice the watermelon crosswise into wedges.
7. Balls: Slice the watermelon in half crosswise or lengthwise. Use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh.
8. Cubes: Slice the watermelon in half crosswise, and cut off the rind. Cut the peeled half into 1-inch or larger slices. Stack two or three slices and cut into strips, then cut across the strips to make cubes. Make all of your cuts the same width to make the best looking cubes. Use the cubes in classic watermelon salads, or skewer them to make this clever Watermelon Salad on a Stick.
9. Watermelon boat: For best results, use a watermelon with a thick rind. Draw a line around the outside of the melon and use it as a cutting guide to slice the watermelon in half crosswise or lengthwise. Optional: Use a small, sharp knife to make a zig zag cut. Scoop out the flesh and set aside. Turn each half over and slice off a bit off the bottom to make a flat surface so the bowl can stand up. Be sure not to cut off too much or you'll cut into the hollow of the bowl. Now you can use it to serve watermelon salad or watermelon soup.
10. Watermelon basket: This watermelon fruit bowl is a more decorative take on a basic watermelon boat. It's actually easier to make than it looks, as you'll see in this step-by-step demo from West of the Loop.
Top Tips for Cutting Watermelons
- Before you get started, wash off the melon with soap and water to remove bacteria that could transfer to the flesh when you cut it.
- Sharp knives make cutting easier, and actually reduce the chances of injury.
- A sturdy bread knife with a serrated edge can make it easier to cut through a very large watermelon.
- Cut melons on a clean cutting board with a runnel to catch all the juices.
- Break out your pumpkin-carving tools to cut decorative shapes into the rind or the flesh.