How to Pick the Perfect Watermelon




There’s nothing like diving into a huge slice of juicy watermelon on a hot summer day. A wedge of watermelon — straight from the fridge is one of my favorite things. A good watermelon is juicy, sweet, and crisp. 

It can be a great way to quench your thirst. Even though watermelons can be very good – there is nothing worse than buying a watermelon only to find out that it is not ripe. Finding a good watermelon can be difficult if you do not know what to look for.  Here is how to pick the perfect watermelon!

There are ways to use up that less-than-perfect watermelon that has proven fruitful (I couldn’t help myself). You can turn your watermelon into delicious sorbet or even into a punch bowl with a simple spout.

how to pick the perfect watermelon

So here’s what you need to know:

Eat in season.

First and foremost, watermelons have a particular season when they are grown and harvested. In this season, they are abundant, sweet, and packed with flavor. You will usually find watermelons at markets, grocery stores, and roadside fruit stands.

During peak watermelon season, it is common to find great deals on watermelons at your local stores. It is the rule of supply and demand. So, when you go to the store to pick the perfect watermelon – you want to follow these other basic tips:

Go for uniformity.

You want to choose one that is firm and doesn’t have bruises, or soft or damaged areas.  Avoid watermelons that look lumpy or irregular.

Pick it up.

A ripe watermelon will feel heavier than one that is less ripe. This extra weight is a great indicator that it is full of water (not dry and flavorless). Compare different watermelons that are roughly the same size and select the heaviest one — it will also be the ripest!

Find the field spot.

This is the yellow spot that you tend to see on one side of the watermelon. It indicates where the melon sat on the ground as it was growing and ripening. The yellower the spot is, the riper the watermelon is going to be. Definitely avoid a watermelon whose field spot is very pale, white, or not there at all — this means that is was picked far too early and is not at all ripe.

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Give it a thump.

This is a pretty well-known technique that many watermelon lovers swear by. Simply thump on your selected melon with your fingers and take note of how it sounds. A deep, dull sound indicates that the fruit is not quite ripe; a deep, hollow sound, however, is just what you are listening for.

how to pick the perfect watermelon

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can You Tell Which Watermelon Is Sweeter?

The best way to find the sweetest watermelon at the market is to follow our steps from above. Look for a watermelon that is uniform, has zero blemishes, and seems heavy for its size.

These things are good indicators of a good watermelon but the most important thing is the field spot or the yellow spot where the melon was sitting on the ground.

This spot will be a light creamy yellow spot when the watermleon is ripe. If the spot is white or a pale green then the melon probably isn’t ripe.

What Color Is Best for Ripe Watermelon?

The best color for a ripe watermelon is a deep, vibrant green with dark, uniform stripes. The underside or field spot of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow color. Additionally, there should be no signs of bruising or soft spots on the rind.

This will depend on the overall variety of the watermelon as some are black where as others are dark green with yellow speckles, and other colors.

How Do You Tell if A Watermelon Is Ripe by The Stripes?

To determine if a watermelon is ripe by looking at the stripes, follow these steps:

  1. Look for distinct, dark green stripes on the watermelon. Ripe watermelons typically have well-defined, even stripes.
  2. Examine the color of the stripes. The stripes should be a deep green color, indicating that the watermelon is ripe. Avoid watermelons with pale or light green stripes as they may not be fully ripe.
  3. Check for a contrast between the stripes and the lighter skin color. A ripe watermelon will have a noticeable contrast between the dark green stripes and the lighter, pale green skin.
  4. Observe the overall appearance of the watermelon. A ripe watermelon should have a smooth, firm skin without any blemishes, soft spots, or bruises. It should feel heavy for its size, indicating a juicy interior.
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While looking at the stripes can be an initial indication of ripeness, it is important to combine it with other factors like the weight, skin appearance, and performing a tap test (a hollow sound suggests ripeness) to ensure you select a perfectly ripe watermelon.

Is Darker or Lighter Watermelon More Ripe?

A darker watermelon is typically more ripe than a lighter one. The color of the watermelon’s rind can indicate its maturity. A ripe watermelon tends to have a deep, dark green rind, while an unripe one may have a lighter shade of green. Additionally, a ripe watermelon may have a dull sheen, whereas an unripe one may appear shiny.

Are Bigger Watermelons Sweeter?

The size of a watermelon does not necessarily determine its sweetness. The sweetness of a watermelon is primarily determined by factors such as the variety, ripeness, and growing conditions. Some smaller watermelons can be just as sweet, if not sweeter, than larger ones.

It is important to select a watermelon that feels heavy for its size and has a deep, hollow sound when tapped to ensure it is ripe and potentially sweet.

Will Watermelon Ripen on The Counter?

Yes, watermelon can ripen on the counter. When left at room temperature, watermelon continues to ripen and become sweeter over time.

What Is the Most Flavorful Watermelon?

The variety of watermelon that is considered the most sweet and flavorful is the “Sugar Baby” watermelon. It is known for its deep red flesh and high sugar content, making it a popular choice among watermelon lovers.

Additionally, the “Crimson Sweet” and “Charleston Gray” watermelons are also known for their sweet and flavorful taste.

Ultimately, personal preference plays a significant role, so it’s always recommended to taste and compare different varieties to find the one that suits your taste buds best.

In Conclusion

So there you have it: some simple tips that will help you source a perfect watermelon to enjoy whenever a watermelon craving strikes. Never settle for anything less than the perfect watermelon again. So, browse the fruit section with confidence since you know how to pick the perfect watermelon.

Hi, I’m John.

John grew up on a farm where his family raised chickens, goats, rabbits, and grew a huge garden. John has a family of his own and gardens to know where his food comes from. Learn more..