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How to Cut a Watermelon (the Easy Way!)

Here's our step-by-step guide on how to cut a watermelon. You can make slices, cubes, and melon balls like a pro.

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Fresh ripe striped sliced watermelon on wooden background

How to cut a watermelon

Watermelons are big and bulky, and the idea of cutting into one can be intimidating. If you find yourself asking how to cut a watermelon, you’re not alone. We made the process so simple, you’ll be snacking on chic watermelon cubes or enjoying our sweetest watermelon recipes in no time! For extra fun, check out these watermelon carving ideas, too.

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Watermelon on a wooden table.

First, prepare a work station

You might be tempted to cut the watermelon in half and get things going, but it’s easier to start by cutting off the top and bottom of the watermelon. That creates a flat side so the watermelon doesn’t roll away, giving you nice, neat slices while also protecting your fingers! Before you start slicing, make sure you know how to pick out the perfect watermelon.

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Cut watermelon (halves, half, quarter), watermelon slices, sliced watermelon
Lovelyday Vandy/Shutterstock

Quarter the watermelon

Starting with a quartered watermelon is our go-to way to create slices and melon balls. To get there, stand the watermelon on one of the cut ends and slice it in half down the middle, creating two large halves. Then, lay each piece flesh side down and slice in half lengthwise so the whole watermelon is now quartered.

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woman cutting watermelon into pieces on a wooden board
Olga Pysarenko/Shutterstock

Slice your quartered watermelon

If you’re looking for snack-sized slices, simply place the quartered pieces flesh side down on your cutting board. Slice the melon into one-inch-thick triangles. Add a sprinkle of salt to bring out the sweet flavors, or toss them on the grill for an unusual way to eat watermelon.

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Fruit salad with watermelon balls.
Kaiskynet Studio/Shutterstock

Use a melon baller

Once the watermelon is quartered, you can also ball the fruit. Place a melon quarter flesh side up on the cutting board. You won’t have to worry about how to cut a watermelon if you use a melon baller like this. Just insert the baller into the flesh and twist your wrist, rotating it toward you. Serve the balls in your favorite salad, on a skewer, or soaked in alcohol for a boozy treat. Watermelon isn’t just a snack or dessert!

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Man cuts the watermelon with a knife to prepare the fruit salad for sale

Remove the rind before cubing

It’s safer (and easier) to cut watermelon cubes when you start with a whole, peeled watermelon. Instead of quartering it, stand the melon on one of the cut ends. Using a sharp knife, remove the green peels, saving them to make watermelon rind pickles later. If you missed some of the white parts during the first pass, don’t worry; you can always go back over the watermelon and remove them.

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Wooden bowl with watermelon cubes, close-up, horizontal shot

Cut peeled watermelon into cubes

Once the watermelon is peeled, cut it in half widthwise. Place the halves flesh side down and slice the melon into one-inch slices. Then, turn the board 90 degrees and slice the melon again into one-inch slices. You can serve the watermelon sticks as-is, or turn them on their sides and slice them into smaller cubes.

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Cold Watermelon Smoothie
K2 PhotoStudio/Shutterstock

Make watermelon juice

Even after you figure out how to cut a watermelon, don’t feel like you have to eat the whole thing! Cut the peeled watermelon into manageable pieces and toss ’em into the blender. Use the juice to make a few of these extra-refreshing watermelon drinks, like watermelon slush or margaritas. Now that you don’t have to spend extra on pre-cut watermelon, don’t miss these 20 other produce mistakes you didn’t know you were making.

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Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef and a food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary school, Lindsay became the Executive Chef at Jackson's Corner in Bend, OR, from 2013 to 2016. Her genuine passion for food and sustainable food practices led her to find the farmer in herself. She lives in Durango, CO, where she enjoys the trials and errors of small plot farming. Lindsay is currently working on a cookbook that teaches home cooks how to craft beautiful meals without a recipe, tentatively titled "The Art of Bricolage: Cultivating Confidence and Creativity in the Kitchen."