Summer is going by super quick — be sure to get your watermelon fix before it’s gone. And while you’re at it, try out these melon hacks. Most of these are especially good for watermelon, but they’ll work for any other melon too. We even have a super-fun trick for storing watermelon so you can enjoy it in December. Yeah, that’s right. Winter is coming.
1. Turn your watermelon into a keg
Turn your watermelon into a keg! It will take a little time to make, but you’ll be deemed the coolest party of the summer.
2. Chop melon without the mess
Do you always get watermelon juice everywhere while cutting into it? Here’s the way to avoid that. Cut your watermelon in half. Now cut crosshatch slices into the flesh, stopping at the rind (so you’re leaving the rind intact). Then scoop the watermelon cubes off the rind. This will give you perfect rectangles without the mess.
3. Melon as centerpiece
Melons not only taste good, but they also make amazing centerpieces. Use a melon half to hold a smoothie, fruit salad, salsa and more.
4. Melon ice cubes
Add a little flavor to your water with melon ice cubes. Purée melon, and pour into ice cube trays. Or scoop out melon with a melon baller, arrange on a cookie sheet, and freeze. Toss into water, lemonade, iced tea, wine or cocktails.
5. Agua fresca
If you find water a little boring like I do, then you should try making agua fresca. Just blend fresh melon with water (about 2 pounds of fruit to 10 cups of water). It’s traditional to add sugar, but come on — melon is already plenty sweet! Try adding fresh mint leaves.
6. Watermelon chips
If you love apple chips, then you can even try making watermelon chips. Cut your watermelon into thin (1/4- or 1/2-inch-thick) slices, and bake them in the oven at the lowest temperature it goes (135 to 200 degrees F) for three to four hours, until the watermelon is brittle. (Melon chips are even easier if you have a dehydrator.) You can add melon chips to your salads or ice cream, or have it alone as a sweet treat.
7. Freeze the melon
Cut your melon into chunks, rind removed, place on a lined cookie sheet, and freeze overnight. Then store in freezer bags. Be sure to wash the rind of the melon well with soap and water (listeria can survive in the freezer), and keep in mind that thawed melon will be slightly mushier, so don’t use super-ripe fruit. Now you’ll have watermelon anytime you want when it goes out of season.
8. Watermelon ice pops
Don’t love the way fresh slices of watermelon get sticky juice all down your hands and arms? Cut your watermelon into triangles or squares (with the rind still on), and push ice pop sticks through the rind. Now you’ll have watermelon ice pops that don’t leave your hands sticky.
9. Watermelon sorbet
The perfect treat for a summer get-together is sorbet! Make this one-ingredient sorbet, and serve it right in the watermelon half. Everyone will be super impressed (and it didn’t take a lot of work at all).
10. Watermelon shots
Make shot glasses with your watermelon. Cut your melon into chunks a little larger than a shot glass. Use a melon baller to carve cups just big enough to hold an ounce of tequila, and you have the perfect party drink.
11. Boozy melon
Infuse watermelon with alcohol. You can add chunks of watermelon to a glass of vodka or tequila, let it infuse, and serve it as a sweet little treat at your next party. Why have regular shots of tequila when you can have watermelon infused with tequila? I think that sounds so much better.
12. Cookie-cutter melon
Use a cookie cutter to make cool shapes out of your watermelon. This will make your fruit salad so much prettier.
13. Watermelon party decorations
If you’re throwing a party for your kids, take advantage of watermelon’s thick skin. You can use watermelon rind to make faces and display them at a kids’ birthday party. You’ll save a few extra dollars on decor this way.