How to Easily Pickle Watermelon

Watermelon may just be THE fruit of summer. We see it at summer outdoor outings, festivals, and backyard barbecues. It’s a fruit that’s practically synonymous with picnic tables and white and red checkered tablecloths.While that may be true, the VAST majority of people who love watermelon have never had pickled watermelon.

We want to change that here at the Great Lakes Pickling Company!

Best of all, it is JUST as easy to pickle watermelon as it is cucumbers or just about any other vegetable (or fruit).

The pouch we’d suggest, is our Granny’s Bread & Butter pickling pouch. Its sweetness, paired with onion, turmeric and spices, along with the fruitiness and tartness of cider vinegar are paired perfectly together.

So, now that we’ve got our pouch chosen, it’s time to choose the right melon. The best watermelon to choose is the smaller, seedless variety, such as the Sugar Baby Watermelon, Personal, Mini Love or Mini Piccolo.

We recommend pickling the smaller, seedless variety watermelon for a couple of reasons:
  • The pulp diameter is smaller, which allows you to have small wedges, which will fit into your pouch. Larger melons, when cut into wedges, have pulp which extends so far out from the rind, that it tends to break off when hand-held after pickling.
  • The smaller melons typically have a brighter green rind, which after pickling, will still retain some of its green color. The larger melons, generally have a lighter green color rind to start with so the color is more faded towards yellow after pickling.

Any watermelon will do the trick. The above is just a recommendation.

Ways to pickle watermelon:

  1. Rind on wedges (or rind + pulp attached) — Add your wedges to your Great Lakes Pickling Company pickling pouch and follow the directions on the back of pouch. Increase the pickling time from the typical 3 days to 5-6 days.
  2. Pulp only (cubes or other) — Add your cubes or other choice cut cut pulp to your Great Lakes Pickling Company pickling pouch and follow the directions on the back of pouch.
  3. Rind only (usually cubes or panels) —
    • You can either leave the outer skin on or remove it with a vegetable peeler, it’s just a matter of preference.
    • Remove all the sweet red pulp, right down to the white rind.
    • Cut it into 1” x 1” cubes or whatever shape you choose.
    • Unlike method #1 used for the rind wedges with pulp, the rind, while perfectly edible, ends up still quite firm after refrigerated pickling. As such is used more as a holding handle as you enjoy the pickled pulp that’s attached to it. Pickling just the rind however, gives you the opportunity to simmer the pieces in the seasoned sweet pickling brine mixture.
    • To do so, add the contents of the Great Lakes Pickling Company pouch plus the required vinegar and about 1 cup of water to a medium size saucepan. Bring to a simmer while occasionally stirring.
    • Once the mixture comes to a simmer, add the watermelon rind pieces and simmer slowly for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the entire mixture to come to room temperature before adding all back to your pickling pouch.
    • It’s important to be sure that the mixture is no longer warm to ensure that the seal will remain sealed once closed.
    • Increase the pickling time from the typical 3 days to 4-5 days.
Pickling watermelon can be a delicious and surprisingly welcome addition to your 4th of July menu or for any summer occasion.

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