There is more to summertime than just boozing it up, sleeping in, and watching Netflix all day (without thinking about your term paper due tomorrow). Summer is also about all of the great fruit that the season has to offer. This includes berries of every kind, peaches, and of course…watermelon.

perfect watermelon

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I love watermelon. It’s refreshing, light, and a delicious way to keep hydrated in the heat. What I don’t love about watermelon is picking them out. There is nothing worse than cutting into a watermelon and having it taste bland, not sweet, and dry.

Well, say sayonara to those days with these helpful tips on how to pick the perfect watermelon!

perfect watermelon

Photo by Kathleen Lee

Step 1: Evaluation

First and foremost, you need to evaluate your watermelon. Check for any dents, scratches, bumps or bruises on the surface. You want your watermelon to have perfect skin. Also, make sure that the watermelon is symmetrical. Irregular shapes and bumps typically indicate the watermelon received inconsistent amounts of sunshine and water.

perfect watermelon

Photo by Lila Seeley

Step 2: Colour and Appearance

There is more to evaluate than just rough patches. The colour of the rind is extremely important. The ideal, perfectly ripe watermelon should be dark green in colour and dull looking. If it’s shiny, it’s not ripe yet.

Another important thing to look for the field spot. This will be a yellow splotch on the underside of a watermelon. It should be a creamy yellow colour. The darker the yellow, the sweeter the melon is! Ditch the watermelon if the field spot is white or non-existent.

perfect watermelon

Photo by Justin Schuble

Step 3: Look at the stem

For a sweeter and riper watermelon, there shouldn’t be a visible stem on the surface. Instead there should be a small crater, indicating that the watermelon fell off the vine on it’s own. If there’s a stem, it was plucked off too early.

perfect watermelon

Photo by Katherine Baker

Step 4: Knock on it

Gently knock on the watermelon, as you would a door, and listen to the sound it makes. A ripe watermelon should have a full, deep, and hollow sound. Whereas an under ripe melon will make a more dull one.

Make sure to note the firmness of the melon when you knock on it. You want the surface to be hard and firm.

perfect watermelon

Photo by Caleb Shipman via Flickr

Step 5: Pick it up

Regardless of how big or small the melon is, a ripe watermelon should be heavy for its size. This indicates that the melon is full of water, which means that it is ripe and juicy.

perfect watermelon

Photo by Tess Wei