How to Cut a Watermelon, Step by Step

With this easy-to-follow guide, you can slice up watermelon for your favorite summer recipes.

Fresh, juicy watermelon is one of summer's simple pleasures, and you want to take advantage of it while it's in season. A recent episode of The Best Way that we published shares advice for selecting, cutting, and storing summer fruits, such as stone fruit and melons—and in this video, we tackle how to cut a watermelon, providing directions step by step so you can use wedges for a recipe or enjoy them all on their own.

Place the Watermelon on a Work Surface

First, start off by placing the melon on a work surface "with the stem end facing sideways," so that it lays horizontal.

Cut off a Third of the Melon, and Start Slicing the Larger Piece

Next, cut off one third of the melon with a large chef's knife, and flip the bigger piece so that it sits cut-side down on your surface. Taking your knife, slice it in half, and then cut each half into one-inch-thick semi circle-shaped slices.

Turn the Smaller Piece of Watermelon and Slice

Now it's time to cut the smaller piece of watermelon (the one-third you first sliced off). Turn it cut-side down so you're working with more stability, and cut one-inch-thick slices.

Stack and Cut Wedges

Now that you have a pile of watermelon wedges, stack two slices on top of each other at a time and use your knife to cut the slices into thirds, creating triangular wedges.

That's all there is to it—you've got sliced watermelon. And you can apply the technique to plenty of dishes. Paige Grandjean's recipe for chile-coconut watermelon crudo, which was featured in our June 2020 issue, adds a ton of flavor to sliced watermelon—ingredients include lime zest and juice, fresh ginger, fresh green Thai chiles, toasted flaked coconut, crispy fried shallots, and more. You could also use it to cut up some watermelon as a garnish for this salted watermelon ice cream (also by Grandjean), or prep slabs for Justin Chapple's grilled watermelon with avocado, cucumber and jalapeño salsa. Check out our roundup of watermelon recipes for even more ideas.

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