Ever find yourself seduced by a huge, juicy watermelon in the market—only to be stumped by what on earth to do with it once you lug it home? Sure, its size may be intimidating—but that’s no reason to let it linger, hogging refrigerator space. This summertime staple is good for so much more than slices and cubes. Chop it! Grill it! Swirl it into your morning smoothie. From salsa to spritzers, we’ve mapped out a plan of attack to help make the most of every sweet and juicy inch.
graphic by onethread design
If, by some fluke, you should find yourself with even more melon, follow these general storage tips:
- Until they are sliced, whole watermelons are best kept in a place that's slightly cooler than room temperature—such as an air-conditioned countertop. Indeed, research has shown that room temperature melons contain significantly more antioxidants and other nutrients than their chilled counterparts.
- Once a watermelon has been cut, try and use it within 2 to 3 days. As time passes, the chill from the refrigerator will start to break down the flesh’s texture and flavor—so it’s best to try recipes that call for firm pieces of melon (like salads or grilled melon wedges) right away. Recipes that call for melon puree (like cocktails, smoothies, and popsicles) are perfect for later days.