How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon Every Single Time

Nothing tastes like summer quite as much as a fresh slice of juicy, sweet watermelon. But when you try to pick out a ripe one from the pile, it’s basically a guessing game, right? Not so, friend. Here’s how to pick a good watermelon, with one super-easy trick.

How to pick a ripe watermelon:

Once a watermelon is harvested, it won’t ripen any further, so it’s important to choose one that’s ready when you buy it. The next time you go to grab a watermelon at the farmers' market or grocery store...

  1. Look for one that’s deep green instead of light or yellowish (which means it probably didn’t spend enough time on the vine).

  2. Search the rind for the ground spot (aka the area where the melon touched the ground as it grew). If the patch is a cream or yellow tone, the watermelon is ripe. If it’s light green or white, it’s not ready. Resist the urge to lift it up and shake it.

  3. Give it a hard tap right on the ground spot. It should sound deep and hollow; if it’s under- or over-ripe, it will sound dull. This is how you can be absolutely sure you've picked a good one.

You found the one? Great. Here’s how to cut a watermelon (and not your fingers) into wedges or cubes. You should be greeted with sweet, juicy flesh that’s soft but not mushy or grainy.

5 Recipes to Make with Watermelon:

Now that you’re the owner of a deliciously ripe watermelon, it’s time to put it to good use. You could eat it straight from the cutting board, but why not try one of these summery dishes?

Chrissy Teigen’s Watermelon Slushie Is This Summer’s Must-Try Drink

screen shot 2020 05 14 at 6 31 35 pm

Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...