Tuesday, November 28, 2023


How to choose a watermelon: Three things to look for in perfect melons

By Cheri Sicard
Summer’s favorite fruit—ripe, juicy watermelon—is incredible when it’s good. The problem is, it’s pretty bland and boring when it’s not. Have you wondered how to choose a watermelon? A perfect watermelon that will deliver that sweet, juicy, flavorful, magical, summer fruit experience? A watermelon worthy of a centerpiece on your summer buffet? The folks from Food Chain TV are here to help.

In the video below, our host shares three important things you should always look for when choosing a watermelon. He also demonstrates the easy way to cut a watermelon into cubes for easy serving.

Three steps on how to choose a watermelon

Out host scans a pile of watermelons at the market and quickly eliminates contenders. That is because he needs to see three specific things to ensure he has picked a melon that will be ripe and juicy.

Watch the short video, as you will visually see each of these points, and exactly what to look for as well as what to avoid. These techniques work with any variety of watermelon and, in the video, he demonstrates with several varieties.

The best watermelons will have all three of these things:

#1 A Yellow Spot: Watermelons won’t be all green, there will be a discolored spot where it sat on the ground while growing. You are looking for an underside spot that is pale yellow in color.

#2 The Belly Button: Our host says you want to see a “brown belly button.” This is the part of the melon that was attached to the vine before it was harvested. By contrast, if you find a melon with a green belly button, you will know that this watermelon was picked too early and it probably won’t be ripe.

#3 The sound it makes when thumped: If the watermelon has a nice hollow sound when tapped, that tells you that it is juicy and full of water. Our host likens it to tapping on a barrel full of water.

How to cut a watermelon into cubes

Once he helps you choose a watermelon, our host uses a Sugar Baby Watermelon to demonstrate how to easily cut an entire watermelon into cubes for serving. If you are just interested in this, the demo starts a 6.42 into the video. It involved removing all of the rinds then chopping the rest—and it is genius!

You must watch this video on YouTube, but you can click here to do so.



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Gary Grant (@guest_240784)
5 months ago

Here’s what I was told from the neighboring farmer who grew yes Melon’s, he told me in his 60+ years of growing that all 3 of those has let him down at times and the only 100% one was to look for a juice stain where it leaked from the stem button. If it’s sweet and ripe you’ll see that stain or dried drop there if the Melon’s have been washed and waxed well it’s a game of chance, as a grower and what he taught me 99 out of a hundred I can pick one of the best. I’ve cut Mellon’s with the spot that were literally green and tasteless same with thumping them, that’s only as good as what’s around u to thump and compare they can help yes but a sure thing no. Find one weeping out of the stem you won’t be wrong.

KellyR (@guest_240638)
5 months ago

When we were kids, the perfect melon was the one in the field closest to the road.

Gigi (@guest_240613)
5 months ago

If you take a piece of straw and lay it across the stripes and it turns to the same way as the stripes it will be ripe. I learned this from my great uncle Harry who was a store chain manager. He was born in the 1800’s and lived to 96. I have tried this and can vouch for it does work. The problem is now the stores don’t carry straw brooms, just plastic…..

Ruben Nourian (@guest_240610)
5 months ago

After being 44 years in the produce business, 37 of them as a manager for a grocery chain in the heart of central California, and actually picking watermelons in the field for a season, it is still, and probably will be, one of the most difficult things to buy a perfect melon. All those “tips” are great, but…if the grower can’t find enough bees or doesn’t use them while growing, the watermelon will never “bee” (sorry for the pun) sweet. Also when consuming watermelon, if eating or drinking something sweet before the watermelon, the flavor of the melon will taste bland. In our Armenian culture it was custom to serve watermelon with string cheese. So to summarize, it’s a gamble, and if you had bought your melon from me at my store and you got a bad one, I’d give you another one till you were satisfied.

Bob Walter (@guest_240572)
5 months ago

I’m confused…
#1. Don’t all melons lay on the ground? What does an external yellow spot have to do with taste?
#2. The brown stem area makes sense that it indicates ripeness.
#3. A hollow sound indicates it’s full of juice? I’ve always known that a hollow sound indicate empty.
Please elaborate.

Bob P (@guest_240584)
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob Walter

Next time you’re in the store try these tips, I’ve always used the tapping sound, if it is ripe it will have a distinct hollow sound, if not it will have a “dud” sound.

Cheri Sicard (@guest_240588)
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob Walter

You are looking for a yellow spot as opposed to a white spot from where it was on the ground. Bob already answered about the sound and he is correct.

Last edited 5 months ago by Cheri Sicard
Bob Walter (@guest_240798)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheri Sicard

Again, please explain both. I keep getting the “what”, but not the why.

Yellow/White? Why? Please explain…

Hollow from a thumping indicates ripe? Again, tap on a hollow object and it echos. How can a hollow object be full of juice. Counterintuitive…

Rob B (@guest_240642)
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob Walter

Pale yellow like a cheap butter color, if white it’s not ripe, if dark yellow or strong yellow it’s over ripe. All tips are not sure fire ways to pick, someone said if no bees pollinate the plant they won’t be sweet, it’s a gamble.

Joy Ricks (@guest_240745)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob B

1st Tip: The very best way to tell if a watermelon is ripe is to choose one that has a yellow area! That’s the area of where it has laid on the ground in the field!

2nd Tip: Look for green spider veins specifically that are spreading!! I was told this by a customer at a Sams Club in my hometown of Livingston Paris, Louisiana!!
It was the perfect one, very sweet I must say…

Steve (@guest_240767)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob B

I have to have a crispy melon. Where it crunches like an apple. The sound has to be a higher pitch when tapping compared to other melons. It cant have other melons on it either to get an accurate reading. It should be on top of the pile. When looking for a juicy melon the odds of an over ripe mushy melon increase drastically. Think of them as drums. You want the one that sounds like a snare not a floor tom. this has always been foolproof since my father showed me when I was ten. I’m 50 ish give or take an ish. Happy hunting

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