How to Store Watermelons (cut, whole, fresh, frozen)

Watermelon is a fruit with excellent nutritional substances, possessing that red color that acts as a natural antioxidant. It is juicy and ideal for that summertime when you need to hydrate, but what happens the rest of the year? How to preserve watermelons?

You can store watermelons in the pantry for up to 10 days. If you cut them, you should keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days, although the whole ones can last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. To extend their shelf life, they must be frozen or transformed into jam, with a duration of 1 year.

Store Watermelons

So that you can get the most out of this delicious summer fruit, I recommend you to continue reading below the preservation methods. 

How to store watermelons at room temperature

Storing the watermelon in the pantry or simply at room temperature is the most used way from when it is harvested until it is kept in stores.

Keeping watermelons at room temperature is best if you haven’t bought refrigerated at the supermarket or if it hasn’t been cut.

I will show you how to keep watermelons in the pantry:

  • Step 1: Select the watermelon.

If you choose a good watermelon, it will last more.

  • Step 2: Do not wash.

Not washing it will prevent the decomposition process.

  • Step 3: Place in the pantry.

You must ensure that the pantry is cool and dry, away from sunlight. Of course, the optimal thing is that it is stored at 13°C (55°F), but if the temperature fluctuates a little more, it is not a problem. [1]

It is possible to store watermelon under these conditions for 7-10 days.

Once you cut the watermelon, you should not leave it at room temperature for more than 12 hours.

How to keep watermelon in the fridge

This fruit is one of the largest; that’s why you usually have the chance to buy a whole watermelon or simply in pieces. Therefore, I will teach you both forms of storage.

Store whole watermelons

In this case, a watermelon would take up a lot of space in a typical refrigerator; however, you can simply achieve its conservation.

Let’s see how to keep whole watermelons in the refrigerator.

  • Step 1: Choice of watermelon.

If you want to see in detail how to choose a watermelon, I have a specific heading in the following sections.

  • Step 2: Wash the watermelon.

By washing the watermelon, you will eliminate the chemicals used in its culture or impurities that may contain bacteria and contaminants.

  • Step 3: Store in the refrigerator.

Please put it in the fridge in a place that has adequate space and is not near fruits that produce ethylene and accelerate ripening to break down the watermelon.

You can store it for up to 2 or 3 weeks without diminishing its quality.

How to preserve chopped watermelons

Unlike a freezer, where the firmness of the pulp is lost a little, keeping chopped watermelons in the fridge, you get a much better quality result, although for much less time than freezing.

I am going to explain how to keep cut watermelons in the refrigerator.

  • Step 1: Wash the watermelon.

Before cutting the watermelon, it is a good idea to wash it, even if you do not eat the shell.

  • Step 2: Cut into pieces.

You can use a knife or spoon to carefully separate the shell from the pulp to make the most of the pulp.

If you already have it chopped, skip this step.

  • Step 3a: Put the watermelon into an airtight container.

Some people cut the watermelon pulp into small cubes, removing the seeds in the process. If you are one of them, transfer all the pieces to an airtight container and close it tightly.

  • Step 3b: Cover the watermelon.

On the other side, suppose you used half of the watermelon. In that case, you need to wrap or cover the watermelon with plastic film.

  • Step 4: Refrigerate in the fridge.

Place the container or the watermelon in the fridge. There, you will be able to preserve watermelons for 3 to 5 days, depending on how riped the watermelon is.

How to freeze watermelon

Can you freeze the watermelon? Yes, freezing is the only scientifically proven method to preserve watermelon long-term without changing its consistency.

To freeze watermelon correctly, you must perform the following steps:

  • Step 1: Wash carefully.

It would be best if you always wash it with plenty of water to clean the dirt or fertilizer residues.

  • Step 2: Chop and separate.

Cut the watermelon into squares or large pieces depending on the taste, and remove the seeds. You can also cut it into slices depending on the capacity and size of the container and freezer.

  • Step 3: Place in a tray.

Place parchment paper over a tray and then put the pieces of watermelon on it. Ensure the pieces are separated from each other.

  • Step 4: Take it to the freezer.

When you have the tray ready with all the pieces, you must put it in the freezer so that it freezes.

The time depends on how significant the pieces you cut are, but on average, you should leave them in the freezer for at least 4 hours. It is also possible to leave the tray overnight.

  • Step 5: Store in airtight containers.

After the pieces are hard, you must take them to an airtight container, either a bag or another container.

  • Step 6: Label the container.

Frozen watermelon expires like any other food. For the same reason, it is essential to label the container with the date of storage to control when it would be the maximum date of consumption.

  • Step 7: Freeze watermelon.

Finally, you are ready to store watermelon for the long term in the freezer.

Using this method, it is possible to keep watermelons for 10 to 12 months.

Why not freeze the whole watermelon?

I have three compelling reasons to argue that freezing a whole watermelon is not a good option at home.

  1. The space. Generally, the freezers are not very large, so placing a whole watermelon is almost unfeasible.
  2. Manipulation. If the entire watermelon is frozen, you will have a reasonably large fruit that will be impossible to cut unless it is completely thawed.
  3. Interruption of the cold chain. Being whole, you will have to consume it all at once since you will break the cold chain. It is not recommended to freeze it again, at least not safely.

How to thaw watermelon?

Remove the watermelon from the freezer and leave it at room temperature for a bit, and you will be able to eat it as you usually would.

Why does watermelon get bad?

Like any food extracted from nature through harvesting, it has a shelf life that changes on different external factors.

  1. Bacteria and Fungi: The most affected area is the stem near the fruit. If neglected, it can quickly affect the watermelon.
  2. Cold: If the fruit is exposed to temperatures below 2°C, brown spots and rottenness manifest.
  3. Transport: The proper handling of the transfer of this fruit must have ventilation and space that supports a considerable humidity of more or less 85 or 90% humidity. Too much heat accelerates ripening.

How to know if a watermelon is ripe?

It is essential to select the best watermelons when you consume them because they will have a better taste and better preservation since once the watermelon is harvested, it will no longer ripen.

I have three essential points to know if a watermelon is ripe which are:

  • Grab it. Whether large or small, watermelon should feel heavy for its size and high water content.
  • Look for the yellow spot. Watermelons develop a stain where they rest on the ground. When this spot is creamy yellow, it is ripe.
  • Knock it. Tap the bottom of the watermelon to check the sound. Generally, a ripe watermelon will have a deep and hollow sound since its water content is at its best level. It is not at its point if it has a sound without force.

How to know if a watermelon is bad?

To avoid consuming a damaged product, you should examine whether any of the following characteristics are present in the watermelon fruit.

  • Check if the fruit has any bumps or any brown spots. If it does, discard it.
  • White spot: This indicates that it is still green because the ripening spots must be yellowish, which signifies a natural and good maturation.
  • A very yellowish stain is a sign that the watermelon is overripened.
  • Lightweight: It has dried or is past mature. It should have a considerable weight, indicating that it is juicy.
  • Green stem: a stem of this color means that the fruit is not ready to eat because it is still green.

How long does watermelon last?

Methods and fruitHow long does it last?
Watermelon at room temperature7-10 days
Watermelon in the fridge2-3 weeks
Cut watermelon at room temperature12 hours
Cut watermelon in the fridge3-5 days
Cut watermelon frozen6 months
Watermelon Jam or syrup (unopened)1 year
Watermelon Jam or syrup (open)1 month

What is the best way to preserve a watermelon?

To make better use of the consumption of watermelon, which is rich in vitamins A and C, with a huge percentage of water, and a sugar level steep, conservation by freezing would not be the most convenient.

The form of natural consumption is the most suitable so that you can bring all the advantages that the body will appreciate, consume it refrigerated and juicy refresh to undoubtedly.

If you want to know more, I invite you to continue consulting all the information related to the food storage you consume daily. Indeed you will find valuable information for the care of your food, not only how to preserve watermelon but other fruits, vegetables, and dishes.


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