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How To Choose A Good Watermelon: {Plus Carvings & Ideas}

Picking a perfect watermelon to buy can be a little tricky. It may look fine to the untrained eye, but get it home and it’s tasteless or worse yet–has a rancid bite to it.

Here are a few things to look for to help better your odds of selecting a good one:


Watermelon is one of those perfect foods–it’s healthy, contains no fat or cholesterol, yet it’s delish and will even pass as dessert (how many foods can accomplish that!).

Next up is a great bunch of goodies! First you’ll find a list of instructions for all kinds of different ways to carve them, then a list of carving tips, then a fun bunch of recipes and ideas for serving them. Lots here, enjoy!

First is a great resource different carving tutorials from watermelon.org [3], these designs are amazing! You’ll find pictures and instructions for making the following carvings & designs:

And a bunch more! Also check out the other categories for recipes, garnish ideas and more good stuff. Fun fact from the website:

The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt.

Here are some of the tips [4] they share for carving:

Recipes & Treats


On Tap [5]: A 3/4″ ball-valve faucet with handle is inserted into the watermelon to turn it into a keg to serve beverages.

Fresh Cake [6]: Scoop out the fruit with a melon baller or rounded spoon then use the balls to top wedges of melon arranged as cake slices.



Frozen Pops [7]: Cut fruit into shapes (using cookie cutters), insert wooden popsicle sticks, freeze then arrange in cut half of watermelon.

Rounds [8]: Arrange on a tray for serving or…use as a burger topping if you can believe it! Cookie cutters can be used to make other fun shapes.



Rum Smoothies [9]: Made with seedless watermelon, fresh strawberries, lemon juice, simple syrup, crushed ice, light rum and extra dry vermouth.

Alcohol-Free Coolers [10]: Cans of frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed), mint sprigs, ice are blended with cubes of melon.



Sorbetto [11]: Ingredients include lime, chocolate chips, sugar, salt, churned in an ice cream maker and frozen until ready to serve.

Jam [12]: Simple recipe that makes about 7 (8-ounce) jars, ingredients include white sugar, lemon juice and powdered pectin.



Tangy Salad [13]: How refreshing would this be on a hot summer day! Ingredients include red onion, green onions, orange juice, red wine vinegar & more.

Salad with Tomatoes [14]: Ingredients include seeded & diced tomatoes, sugar, salt, red wine vinegar, chopped cilantro and more.



Ice Pops with Jalapeno [15]: Sweet meets heat! A bit of pectin helps keep ingredients incorporated evenly.

Dippers [16]: A fun treat for both young and old, dip is made with sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract.



Punch Bowl [17]: (includes recipe) Hollow out the melon, puree the fruit and mix with seltzer and use the rind as the serving bowl.


This is from a well worn, loose page of an old cookbook. Unknown source.


16 cups watermelon pieces
8 cups granulated sugar
4 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
1 cup salt
Cold water
2 TBS whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 pieces ginger root
1 lemon, thinly sliced


Yield: Makes 6-8 oz jars