Watermelons are huge fruits and unless you are prepared to eat it for 3-4 days in a row, it can be hard to finish the entire thing before it goes off.
We’re here to let you know that it can be frozen!
Watermelon is about 92% water and so does not hold up massively well to being frozen and thawed. This does not mean that you can’t freeze watermelon, but this is something that you should be aware of.
If you prepare and store watermelon correctly, it can stay frozen for up to a year.
This means that you never again have to wait patiently for watermelon season to get your fix.
How to freeze watermelon
Wash your watermelon to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Cut your watermelon open on a stable surface with a sharp knife, taking care not to hurt yourself.
Cut your watermelon into small cubes or balls, depending on your preference. Remove all of the seeds from your chunks.
Lie the watermelon chunks flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not put them so close together that they touch, as this will mean that they will stick together once they are frozen.
Place in the freezer for up to 6 hours, or until frozen solid. Remove from the freezer and transfer to an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag. Label this container with the date and contents, and return to the freezer for storage.
There is another way to freeze watermelon, by submerging in sugar or simple syrup. Cut your watermelon into chunks and deseed, as before.
Place the chunks into a freezer-safe container with about an inch of space at the top. This will allow the watermelon and syrup to expand as they freeze without breaking the container.
Cover the watermelon chunks with either granulated sugar or simple syrup. If using simple syrup, cover the chunks completely. If using granulated sugar, use about ½ cup per pound of watermelon. You can even use fruit juices such as orange and pineapple to submerge the watermelon and add a different flavor.
To make simple syrup, combine 4 cups of water and 1¾ cups granulated sugar over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until all of the sugar crystals have dissolved and then allow the syrup to cool completely.
Remember to leave space at the top of the container. Cover with wax paper to hold the watermelon under the surface of the liquid. Label and seal the container and store it in the freezer until ready to use.
You can also puree and strain the watermelon cubes after you have removed the seeds. You can then freeze this watermelon juice in ice cube trays.
How to defrost watermelon
If you are planning on using the watermelon to make blended drinks like smoothies and frozen margaritas, there is no need to thaw before use. Simply add to your blender in place of ice and blend as normal.
If you wish to thaw the watermelon chunks, remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Allow them to thaw completely before eating if you plan to eat them straight.
Thawed watermelon should last around 4 days in the refrigerator before it goes off.
If you freeze the watermelon chunks in sugar, you should also thaw them in the refrigerator. This process should take around 30 minutes.
In the summer, you can even use frozen chunks of watermelon as ice cubes to add flavor to your drink.
You can also thaw the watermelon on your countertop at room temperature, although we do not advise this. If you choose to thaw your watermelon this way, it must be eaten immediately.
For a frozen treat, try blending frozen watermelon chunks with 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice. Add maple syrup to taste, adding water 1tbsp at a time while blending until it reaches your dream consistency. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!
Factors to consider before freezing watermelon
You should pick a ripe watermelon for freezing. Look for one with a dark green rind and a large, yellow sunspot. When you lift it up and knock on the rind, you should pick a watermelon that sounds hollow.
The way that you cut your watermelon depends on what you want to use it for after. If you are going to snack on it, cut into even, bite-sized chunks. If it is mainly for use in smoothies and other places where it will be blended, the size and shape of your watermelon chunks are not as important.
If you are going to use the simple syrup method, ensure the syrup has cooled completely before pouring it over the watermelon. This is because the hot syrup can cook the watermelon, and this is not something that many people want!
Your thawed watermelon will have a very different texture to fresh watermelon. It will be much more mushy due to the high water content of the fruit. It may also be slightly less sweet once thawed, so it is important to get a ripe watermelon.
We recommend taking the extra time to flash freeze chunks of watermelon as described above so that you can easily take out only the amount you need.
We recommend that you only freeze watermelon intended for use in blended products, such as smoothies and juices. This is because the texture once thawed will be much softer and not as pleasant as fresh watermelon.
Watermelon ice cubes and watermelon granita are our favorite ways to use up frozen watermelon, as neither of these methods rely on the watermelon keeping its texture.
Armed with these tips, you will be able to have sweet, delicious watermelon all year round. You will also reduce your food waste by freezing excess before it begins to spoil. There are even ways to use the rind!
We hope that you now feel confident in your knowledge of how to freeze watermelon for the best results.