How to Cut Watermelon

Cubed and Peeled Melon
The Spruce / Molly Watson

Use this surefire method for quickly peeling and cutting any size watermelon like a pro. Using a chef's knife to peel the melon whole first, allows for easy cutting, slicing, or cubing of the prepped fruit for use in your favorite recipes or to serve prepared slices at your next cookout or party.


Watch Now: How to Cube a Watermelon

  • 01 of 04

    Cut off Watermelon Ends

    Preparing Melon
    The Spruce / Molly Watson

    On a steady cutting board (or another clean work surface) hold the watermelon still with one hand. Use a large, sharp knife to cut off the two ends, being sure to remove enough of the peel on each end to reveal the brightly colored flesh beneath, as pictured. The best knife to use for cutting watermelon is a chef's knife, as it is large and sturdy enough to tackle the melon and its rind.

    Discard the ends (or save with the rest of the peel to make watermelon rind pickles).

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Stand the Watermelon on Its End to Remove Rind

    Cutting Rind From Melon
    The Spruce / Molly Watson

    Stand the watermelon up on one of the cut ends. This achieves two goals: first, the once-round watermelon that needed to be held in place is now relatively steady; second, you can easily see exactly where the tough peel ends and the sweet fruit begins.

    Using the line between fruit and the peel as your guide, use that large, sharp knife to cut down, following the natural shape of the watermelon, to remove a length of peel from top to bottom.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Cut off All of the Rind and Peel

    Melon Without Rind
    The Spruce / Molly Watson

    Repeat with the remaining peel, working your way all the way around the watermelon. 

    If you missed any bits of peel or white rind anywhere, now is the time to trim it off. You may want to turn the melon over on its other end to see the bottom side and clean it up, too.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Peeled Watermelon to Slice or Chop

    Peeled Melon
    The Spruce / Molly Watson

    Now that the watermelon is perfectly peeled, you can slice it up for parties for people to grab and snack on, or cut it into cubes if you are making a fruit salad.

Tips For Cutting a Large Watermelon

  • If the watermelon is large in size, this technique can still be used with a slight modification in order to make the process easier. Simply trim off both ends of the watermelon, and then slice the melon in half along its equator. Place both halves cut-side down on your cutting board and follow the steps above for removing the rind, trimming both halves from top to bottom before slicing or cutting the melon into cubes.

Best Knife For Cutting Watermelon

  • The best knife for cutting a watermelon is a sturdy chef's knife. The larger size allows for easier handling of all variety of melon sizes.
  • Most importantly is that whatever knife you use to should be sharp. A sharp knife means you don't need to work as hard cutting through the thick outer peel and rind of the melon, which means much less chance of an accident or cut. Whether you take your knives to get professionally sharpened, or sharpen or hone them at home, you will want to make sure the chef's knife you use is sturdy and sharp before tackling the melon.

Uses for Watermelon

  • Melon is lovely in summer salads, either in place of or alongside sweet-tart tomatoes—their flavor and texture are great companions.
  • Make a simple salad of cubed melon and feta cheese. Grind on some black pepper and you're done.
  • Wrap spears of melon with prosciutto and drizzle with olive oil for a classic Italian appetizer.
  • Sprinkle cubes of melon with toasted cumin seeds—the sweet-earthy contrast is fabulous.
  • Serve peeled melon spritzed with lime juice and sprinkled with chili powder for a refreshing, flavorful snack.
  • Throw cubes of peeled melon into a blender for a completely refreshing melon drink (if you want to add tequila, lime, and a bit of Cointreau to make a melon margarita, no one here is going to stop you!).