How to Pick the Perfect Watermelon

The warmer months always leave you hankering for a cold, juicy and sweet watermelon. Now most people usually take a gamble when picking one out, here’s how to play your cards right and score the perfect watermelon every time.

Do you even lift bro?: Pick up the watermelon, is it heavier than you expected? That’s a good sign! If the melon is heavy for its size then it usually means you’ve scored an extra juicy one

Credit: acurbher

Size matters: you don’t want a melon that is overcompensating or lacking in size, pick an average, humble sized melon.

Image credit: Pomai

Not everything that shines is good: don’t be fooled by the shiny looking melons, shiny watermelons are usually underripe. You want to look out for the dull watermelons, these ones are usually the ripest.

Image credit: Best Food Facts

Yellow field spot marks treasure: Watermelons grow and rest on the ground and develop field spots on their undersides. You want to look for a creamy yellow field spot, this is a good indication that it has received enough sun and has ripened to perfection. If the melon has a white, pale yellow or even non existent field spot, give it a pass, this usually means that it has been picked too soon.

Image credit: Fabulous Farm Girl

Check that stem: if the stem is drying it means the melon is ripe! Avoid green stems, this is usually another sign of early pickings.

Image credit: PA Department of Agriculture

Boys and girls: I’m not sure if farmers were trying to be controversially sexist with this one but watermelons are… believe it or not, gendered. Long, oval like melons are ‘boy’ melons and are known to be more watery. You want to look out for the ‘girl’ melons, these are usually circular and notoriously sweeter.

Image credit: PA Department of Agriculture

Uniform size: You want to look out for a watermelon that is fairly uniform in size, whether it be a boy or a girl, lumps and bumps on a melon aren’t so lovely; they’re usually a sign of under watering or uneven distribution of sunlight during the growing process.

Image credit: u/Psycho_Robot

Give it a good whiff: You want it to smell sweet when you go in for a sniff, trust your nose, if it smells good it should taste good right?

Image credit: Getty Images

True colours: You want a watermelon that has a nice dark green complexion, remember to also avoid shiny looking melons.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Look out for the webs: Some watermelons develop brown spots that are connected by brown lines called webs, if a watermelon has a lot of webbing it’s a sign that many bees have touched the pollination parts of the melon’s flower. The more indications of pollination, the sweeter melon!

Image credit: Lydia Summers

Knock, knock: I’m sure you’ve seen this technique done before but giving the melon a good knock with your knuckles isn’t only a fun thing to do when passing the massive bin of melons but it’s actually a sensory technique most people legitimately use. When you give the melon a good knock you want to make sure the skin is fairly firm, avoid soft melons as they’re usually overripe. Here’s what to listen out for:

  • underripe melon = high pitched sound
  • overripe melon = lower pitched thud
  • ripe melon = hollow sounding, listen out for a ‘plunk’
Image credit: Waterfront Hy-Vee
Video credit: Getty Stewart

Now not everyone needs a whole watermelon, especially if you haven’t got the room to store it in your fridge, so here are some tips for picking pre-cut watermelons:

  • Bright red
  • Flesh is still tight and doesn’t look like it’s ripping apart
  • Black or dark brown seeds
  • Avoid watermelons ridden with white streaks and seeds

Now that you know everything and anything you need to know about picking the juiciest, ripest, best watermelon there is, happy watermelon picking!


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