How To Pick The Perfect Watermelon

Digging face first into a giant slice of watermelon on a hot summer day is one of those essential summertime food experiences. A good ol' wedge of watermelon — all juicy, sweet and crisp — can be a serious thirst quencher when the sun is high in the sky. Unfortunately, it's all-too-possible to end up with a less-than-perfect watermelon. But if you shop armed with the knowledge to ensure you buy a perfectly ripe watermelon, you'll be good as gold.

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Never succumb to a subpar piece of watermelon again; instead, browse the fruit section with savvy with these tips:

Buy a whole watermelon

Always buy whole fruit rather than cut. First, a whole watermelon will cost less money per pound, saving you precious dollars. Secondly, a full watermelon will last for 7 to 10 days at room temperature, while a cut watermelon will only be good for two days in the refrigerator. If you're not sure what to do with all that watermelon, consider making grilled watermelon steaks, watermelon salad, watermelon drinks and watermelon salsa.

Go for uniformity

Avoid any watermelons that look lumpy, dented or generally irregular. You want to choose one that is firm and has no bruises, soft spots or damaged areas.

Pick it up

A ripe watermelon will feel heavy for its size. This extra weight is a great indicator that it is full of water, not dry and flavorless. Compare different watermelons that are roughly the same size and select the heaviest one — it will surely be the ripest!

Find the field spot

A watermelon's field spot is the yellow spot that you will see on one side of the fruit. It indicates where the melon sat on the ground as it was growing and ripening. The yellower the spot is, the riper the watermelon is going to be. Definitely avoid a watermelon whose field spot is very pale, white or not there at all — this means that it was picked far too early and has yet to ripen.

Give it a knock

This is a more well-known technique that many watermelon lovers swear by. Simply knock on your selected melon with your knuckles and take note of how it sounds. A dull sound indicates that the fruit is not quite ripe; a deep, hollow sound, however, is just what you are listening for from this prime summer produce.