If you’ve ever had a watermelon that’s flavorless — or, worse yet, mushy — you may wonder: Is there some trick to choosing a good, ripe watermelon?

Get some pointers for picking a great watermelon right here, so you won’t end up watermelancholy about your choice.

fresh watermelon slices

How to pick a watermelon

Color: The main color of a watermelon should usually be dark green, but, according to Daniel Egel at the Southwest-Purdue Agricultural Center,  “A watermelon that is ripe will be faded on the top. If the watermelon has stripes, look at the area between the stripes. This area should be a light green.”

Underside: Turn the melon over and see if there’s a buttery yellow spot. That is where the melon sat on the ground as it ripened in the sun, and is a good sign of ripeness.

Shape: You want watermelon that is symmetrical, firm, and doesn’t have any cracks, dents, bruises, soft spots or mold. Egel says that watermelons at the peak of ripeness are normally filled out and blunt on the ends, and that melons with pointy ends may still be maturing.

Sound: What about tapping on a watermelon? The National Watermelon Promotion Board says, “While it’s true that the ‘sound test’ can give you some insight on a watermelon’s ripeness, I don’t endorse or use the test because it’s too subjective and there’s no definitive agreement on which result the test is supposed to yield.”

>> How to make watermelon Legos

Weight: A watermelon is heavy for its size — and that’s a good thing. In fact, a watermelon is 92% water (therefore very appropriately named).

Smell: You may be able to detect a little bit of a melon-y scent, especially from the stem end.

(Article continues below ad)

Sheen: (No, not Charlie.) A ripe watermelon’s exterior should have a healthy sheen, but not a shine.

Avoid: Watermelons that are very hard, white or very pale green on the underside aren’t ripe yet.

Remember: Egel recommends checking the watermelon for a shipper’s or grower’s sticker. “Remember the name on the sticker so that you can buy another of the same brand or avoid it, depending on your experience,” he says.

After you buy a watermelon

The experts at Burpee Seeds say that after you pick your perfect watermelon, handle it carefully to keep it from rolling, being bumped or dropped.

An uncut watermelon can keep at room temperature for up to two weeks, though Burpee says that temperatures below 50 degrees or above 90 degrees for extended periods will speed deterioration. Cut watermelon should be stored in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, or sliced and placed in plastic containers.

>> Watermelon juice for sore muscles & healthier arteries

Picking out a good watermelon in the grocery store (video)


See books created by our team in the Myria shop!


About The Author

The Myria Editors

Myria, originally launched in 1998, strives to deliver more conversation, and less gossip. More intelligence, less eye-rolling. More acceptance, less judgment. And throughout the site: more needle, less haystack. Through life's ups, downs, and everything in between, we want to encourage you, support you, and help guide you. The team behind Myria understands that status updates and selfies never tell the whole story, and that we all have stuff to deal with, and that's nothing you need to hide here. Beyond "been there, done that" - every day, we're still there and still doing it. That's how we know: You've got this.


Photo credit(s): Photo thanks to Harsha K R

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Read previous post:
Two big health benefits from cheese

Two research studies have found evidence that some pretty good health benefits could be as close as the nearest wedge...

Close