How to Pick the Perfect Watermelon

Updated September 13, 2022

Looking for the perfect watermelon for your backyard BBQ this summer? Here’s how to pick the perfect watermelon for your taste and needs.

Watermelon is good on it’s own but also delicious when paired with some summer dishes such as Southwest Shrimp Skewers or Loaded Beer Can Burgers.

how to pick a watermelon

How to Pick a Good Watermelon

Choosing the perfect watermelon is important as you want it ripe, juicy and delicious. Here are tips on how to pick a good one:

Check the Rind

Look for a firm but not too hard of a rind. The skin should be smooth and free of blemishes.

Check the Color

Choose a watermelon with a bright or deep color. If the watermelon is too green or has a hard, dried texture, it likely isn’t ready to eat.

Inspect the Shape

A round watermelon is best, while an oblong one will be less juicy and more watery.

Choose the Heavy One for Its Size

To test if a watermelon is ripe, you should first determine the fruit’s weight. A watermelon that is heavy for its size is likely to be ripe. To check for ripeness, gently press down on one end of the watermelon with your fingers. If it yields to pressure, it is probably ripe. If the watermelon does not yield to pressure, it will not be ready to eat.

watermelons in a store

Check for Firmness

Other factors to consider when testing a watermelon for ripeness include the presence of sweet spots and the sound it makes when you push on it. If the fruit feels soft, but has a hard core, it is probably not yet ready to eat. The fruit should be firm to the touch, but not hard.

Look for Ground Spot

To determine if a watermelon is ripe, you first need to check for a ground spot. This spot will indicate when the watermelon is about to be ripe. Once you find the ground spot, look for ones that have a orange or yellow spot. These are going to be the ripest.

Do a Sound Test

Listen to the sound it makes when you hit it with your hand. A ripe watermelon will make a hollow deep sound when you hit it with your hand. This means it is ripe and ready to be picked.

Inspect the Stem

Look for a firm stem that is slightly dried out. This means that it is ripe. If the stem is still green and looks fresh it is not ripe yet.

Check the Webbing

For a sweet watermelon look for large webbing. This means the watermelon has been pollinated by bees and that’s a good thing. The more brown scars the sweeter it will be.


Does a watermelon ripen after being picked?

No, a watermelon does not get anymore ripe after being picked. They only ripen when on the vine. Be sure to choose wisely at the grocery store.

Can you freeze watermelon?

Yes, you can freeze watermelon but it does lose it’s flavor and texture after freezing and thawing out. It tends to be a bit mushy but that doesn’t mean you can’t freeze it. Frozen watermelon would be great for smoothies.

To freeze, cut into small pieces and lay out on a baking sheet. Place into freezer for a few hours or until firm and then place in sealed freezer bags in the freezer for up to 8 months.

watermelon key lime slushie

Ways to Serve a Watermelon

Watermelon is a delicious summer fruit that can be enjoyed in many ways. Here are five ways to serve watermelon:

  1. Cut a watermelon into small pieces and serve as an appetizer.
  2. Cool off on a hot day with by making a Watermelon Key Lime Slushie.
  3. Cut a watermelon into chunks and serve with some honeydew melon for a refreshing summer salad.
  4. Carve out a watermelon heart and serve as an attractive presentation for your dessert table.
  5. Use watermelon juice to make refreshing summer cocktails or mocktails.

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