How to Cut a Watermelon into Slices, Cubes or Sticks
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Follow our step-by-step guide to learn how to cut a watermelon. You'll have neat slices, melon balls, cubes and sticks in no time!
Watermelons are big and bulky, and the idea of cutting into one can be intimidating. But we made the process so simple, you’ll be snacking on chic watermelon cubes or enjoying sweet watermelon recipes in no time!
Learn how to cut a watermelon four ways: slices, melon balls, cubes and sticks. And if you need an even faster solution, you can’t go wrong with this watermelon slicer tool.
Tools You’ll Need
How to Cut a Watermelon into Slices
Step 1: Prepare a workstation
You might be tempted to cut the watermelon in half to 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!
Psst: If you didn’t already know, watermelons are definitely a food you should be washing first.
Step 2: Quarter the watermelon
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.
Step 3: 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 1-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. Don’t be afraid to try out more savory watermelon recipes!
How to Ball Watermelon
Once the watermelon is quartered, you can also ball the fruit. Place a melon quarter flesh-side up on the cutting board. Insert a melon baller into the flesh and twist your wrist, rotating the baller toward you. Serve the balls in your favorite watermelon salad, on a skewer or soaked in alcohol for a boozy treat.
How to Cut a Watermelon into Cubes
Step 1: Remove the rind before cubing
While starting with a quartered watermelon is our go-to way to create slices and melon balls, 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.
Step 2: 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 1-inch slices. Then, turn the board 90-degrees and slice the melon again into 1-inch slices. You can serve the watermelon pieces as-is, or turn them on their sides and slice them into smaller cubes.
Editor’s Tip: Save time by using this watermelon slicer. (Amazon has a gadget for everything!)
How to Cut a Watermelon into Sticks
For watermelon sticks, cut the watermelon in half around its equator. Place one half of the melon cut side down, then make cuts up and down and from side to side. You should end up with a watermelon rind handle on each stick.
Tips for Picking and Storing a Watermelon
How to pick a watermelon
Look for watermelons that have a dark green rind and a yellow belly (which happens because watermelons grow resting on the ground). Make sure it’s yellow, because a white or pale yellow spot isn’t ripe enough yet.
After you’ve eyed up a few contenders, pick them up and compare their weights to each other. Most likely, the heaviest will be the juiciest! Find more ways to tell if a watermelon is ripe.
For less mess, refrigerate the watermelon first
We generally recommend storing a whole, uncut watermelon at room temperature. However, refrigerating a melon right before you cut into it can help it hold its shape better as you slice. You won’t have as much juice spilling out onto your cutting board; plus, you’ll have a cold, refreshing treat to enjoy right away!
Editor’s Tip: Don’t feel like you have to eat the watermelon whole. Toss cubed watermelon into the blender to make watermelon juice to use in one of these refreshing watermelon drinks, like watermelon slush or watermelon margaritas.
How to store watermelon
Storing an uncut watermelon is simple—keep it on the counter. (Just like these other foods you shouldn’t be storing in the fridge.) There’s no need to make space for it in the fridge until after you slice it up. But once you do, wrap slices in plastic wrap before you toss it back into the fridge. Keep watermelon cubes in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How to freeze watermelon
It’s easy to freeze watermelon once you’ve sliced it into cubes. Just put it on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for a few hours. After that, you can take it and store it in a freezer-safe container.