When the days are longer and the sun is hotter, nothing satisfies quite like a cool, juicy slice of fresh watermelon. And you might be surprised to find out how many ways (and forms) people have found to enjoy the summer fruit. It’s not the easiest ingredient to handle, but we’ve discovered some tricks that might make the job a little easier and more approachable.
We’ve compiled a list of the best watermelon hacks we’ve come across, and tasked our Mom Vs. star, Nicole McLaughlin, with testing out each one. But before we start, first make sure you know what to look for when shopping for a watermelon: Choose a watermelon that has a light yellow spot on the skin (this is where the fruit rested on the ground to ripen) and sounds hollow when you tap it. Once you’ve found your perfect specimen, don’t forget to wash it before you get to slicing.
The “Fastest” Way
Known as the “fastest” way to cut a watermelon, this method calls for a few sneaky slices, which should result in a collection of easy-to-remove cubes. After cutting the melon in half lengthwise, slice a piece of rind off the bottom to create a flat, stable surface. Now, flip the watermelon over, rind-side up, and create six long incisions, being careful not to cut all the way though. Flip it over again, and run your knife along the inside where the melon meets the rind. Cut one-inch slices in one direction, then the other. Finally, tip the watermelon into a bowl, and your slices should tumble out in clean chunks.
The “Easiest” Way
Here at MyRecipes, we’re big fans of this method for creating watermelon spears. After halving the watermelon, lay the melon flat and cut one-inch slices in one direction. Keeping the slices intact, turn the melon and slice in the opposite direction. This method will yield perfectly portioned watermelon sticks that even have a rind handle. Using a serrated knife can help you cut through the rind easily.
The Quarter Method
When you find yourself without a knife, a quarter might help you do the trick. Grasp the quarter firmly and dig it into the rind to make a cut, then pull it across the edge to create a slice. Unfortunately, this method didn’t work for Nicole, so we can’t recommend it highly on the list.
The “Mad Genius” Method
While quarters didn’t really do the trick, dental floss might be a different story. Using a knife, cut the watermelon into 4 quarters. Next, grab a couple feet of dental floss (unflavored, preferably), and wrap the floss tightly around your fingers to create tension. Run the floss along the bottom of the melon where the fruit meets the rind, and then create individual wedges by flossing point and pushing down to the rind. This method works by Nicole’s standards, and it’s a little more fun than using a regular knife.
Popsicle Stick Serving
When it comes to summertime snacking, food on a stick is always more fun. Start by cutting the watermelon in half, then insert 12 popsicle sticks across the top and sides of the rind. Nicole made little slits with a knife to insert the sticks easily. From there, make two cuts lengthwise and three cuts across, leaving about an inch of rind around each popsicle stick. Each watermelon half will yield 12 slices on a stick.
Using the method above, simply freeze each slice on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper before serving. Just like that, you’ll have delicious, naturally sweet popsicles without a popsicle mold. Nicole was even surprised by how much she liked this hack.
The rind of a watermelon can double as a cute, stable mold for a jello bite (or jello shot!). Cut your watermelon in half lengthwise and remove the fruit, leaving only the rind. Stir up a batch of jello, using package instructions and pour it inside your hollowed-out watermelon half. Refrigerate until the jello has set completely, then slice it just as you would a regular melon. This fun hack works best with smaller watermelons, and could make a fun party truck using liquor instead of water in the jello mix. Just make sure to mark it “Adults-only!”
This cute bowl makes for an adorable summer fruit display. Create a flat base for your watermelon to rest steadily, then cut a 45- to 90-degree wedge out of your melon. This will be the shark’s mouth. Save the rind of what you just sliced–this will be the shark fin later. Scoop out the fruit using an ice cream scoop, transferring the melon balls to a bowl. Create “shark teeth” by making thin incisions along the surface of the rind to remove the green outer rind and reveal the white inner rind. Cut out small triangles from the white rind to look like teeth. Next, grab the peice of rind you removed earlier, and using toothpicks, attach a triangle of it onto the back of your shark to make a “fin.” Finally, put the watermelon balls back in the shark’s mouth, and draw on eyes with a marker. This method could also be used to make a watermelon “basket”—all you need is a little creativity.
Cake doesn’t get any easier (or more low-cal) than this watermelon cake. Slice off the ends to make a flat surface, then use your knife to carve off the rind on all sides, leaving no white remaining. Slice an even, “cake layer-shaped” slice out of the center, and top your cake with either fresh or store-bought whipped cream for “icing.” Fresh mint leaves can double as your colorful and flavorful “sprinkle” topping. This simple dessert is a light and fresh way to end a summer meal.
The Pringles Can Cut
Finished with your can of Pringles? You might be tempted to use it to slice your watermelon. After much effort, Nicole was able to cut a Pringles-sized cylinder right out of the center of the watermelon and slice it to make perfectly circular sections. This hack probably isn’t worth the effort, but we can’t say it didn’t work!
The Watermelon Slushie
Our final hack is an innovative way to create a watermelon slushie, if not an efficient one. Start by cutting a small hole into the top of a watermelon. Now things get a little more involved. Cut off one side of a wire coat hanger, then attach it to the head of a power drill. Once secured, put the hanger into the hole and get to drilling. When the melon seems thoroughly mixed up, pour in vodka and mix again. Cut the side of a plastic cup and insert it into the hole to make a spout for pouring. You may need to enlarge the hole to fit the cup. Nicole found this cocktail to be a little chunky, and recommends making a watermelon slushie the old-fashioned way instead.
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