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How to Pick a Mini Watermelon (The 7 Best Tips)

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These 7 helpful tips will show you how to pick a mini watermelon that’s refreshing, juicy, and utterly delicious. You will be able to choose the perfect melon every time for your summer snacks and recipes.

Keep reading to learn how to tell if a watermelon is good and how to tell when a watermelon is sweet!

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How to Pick a Mini Watermelon
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Those cute, smaller variety watermelons catch your eye at the grocery store, but you aren’t sure if they are ripe, so you grab the one you think is best.  You take it home, slice into it, and discover it’s an immature watermelon. So disappointing!

I have always loved watermelon, but before losing 125 pounds, I rarely ate it. I preferred junk food.  Now that I enjoy a plant-based diet, I crave a ripe melon and can’t wait for watermelon season. I have discovered the best way to pick the perfect watermelon, let me teach you how. 

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Mini watermelon slices

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🔍 Quick Tips for How to Pick a Mini Watermelon

  • Look for a uniform shape
  • Opt for a melon with a deep, vibrant green hue
  • Pick one with a rich, golden yellow field spot
  • Tap for a hollow sound
  • Make sure it’s a heavy watermelon
  • Check for a dull skin and not shiny
  • Look for sugar spots and webbing

If you want to understand better how to tell a good watermelon from a bad one here are some more indepth tips.

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How to Tell a Good Watermelon

🍉 How to Tell a Good Watermelon

Look for a uniform shape

When you are choosing a mini watermelon, pay close attention to its shape. A well-rounded, symmetrical watermelon is generally a good indicator of even ripeness. Irregular bumps and shapes or flat sides can suggest that the melon developed inconsistently, potentially leading to uneven sweetness and texture inside.

A uniformly shaped watermelon has likely received consistent sunlight and water during its growth, contributing to an evenly ripe and juicy melon. So, take your time to find a melon that is evenly shaped, as this is often a sign of quality and deliciousness.


Check the color

The color of the skin is a good sign of its ripeness and quality. Opt for a melon with a deep, vibrant green hue. This rich color suggests that the watermelon has fully matured on the vine and will be the best watermelon.

The skin should look healthy and robust, without any major blemishes, cuts, or bruises, which can be signs of mishandling or damage that may affect the fruit’s interior.

However, don’t be deterred by minor scuffs or surface imperfections. These small marks are normal and often occur during the growing process, but they do not impact the juicy goodness of the watermelon. 

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Inspect the field spot

The field spot is the creamy yellow patch on the underside of the melon where it sat on the ground. A rich, golden yellow field spot usually means the melon is ripe and sweet. Avoid watermelons with a white or greenish field spot, as these may be underripe.

A rich, golden yellow ground spot typically indicates that the watermelon has spent a good amount of time maturing on the vine and that is necessary for the sweetness of a watermelon.  

If the spot is white or greenish instead of a creamy yellow spot, that suggests the melon was harvested prematurely and may not be the best melon.  These watermelons are often underripe and won’t be a sweet and juicy fruit. 

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How to Pick a Mini Watermelon

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Tap for a hollow sound

One of the classic methods for picking a good watermelon is the “tap test.” When you give the watermelon a gentle tap, listen carefully for the sound it produces. A good watermelon will emit a deep sound that is hollow, much like a drum. This deeper sound indicates that the melon is full of water, which is a sign that it is juicy and at peak ripeness. 

The science behind this is quite simple. As the watermelon ripens, the flesh inside becomes saturated with water and the internal structure loosens, allowing the sound to resonate.

An under-ripe watermelon, on the other hand, will produce a higher-pitched, more solid sound because it hasn’t developed that internal juiciness yet. Similarly, an overripe watermelon might sound dull thud or flat sound as the flesh starts to break down and lose its firm, juicy texture.

Performing the tap test is an easy and quick way to gauge the ripeness of your mini watermelon without cutting into it. Just hold the melon close to your ear and give it a few taps, moving it around to listen for that perfect hollow sound. If it resonates deeply, you’re likely holding a sweet and succulent watermelon that’s ready to enjoy. This simple technique can help you select the best melon every single time.


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Feel the weight

When choosing a mini watermelon, picking it up and assessing its weight is a reliable way to gauge its ripeness and juiciness. A heavy watermelon is a strong sign of ripeness. 

Watermelons are composed primarily of water—over 90%—so a heavier melon usually means it’s densely packed and juicy. This juiciness is a key factor in determining the sweetest watermelons.

If you pick up it up and it’s a light watermelon, it might be under-ripe or even overripe, both of which can result in a lousy melon. An under-ripe melon may not have the best flavor, while an overripe one might have a mushy texture.

So, next time you’re at the store or local farmers market, take a moment to compare the weights of a few mini watermelons of similar size. Choose the one that feels the heaviest and you’ll have a perfectly ripe, juicy watermelon every time.


Check for a dull skin

Examining the skin can provide crucial hints about its ripeness. A ripe watermelon often has a dull skin rather than a shiny one. This subtle change in the skin’s appearance is a good sign of the fruit’s maturity and readiness to eat.

As watermelons ripen on the vine, their outer skin undergoes a transformation. The surface, which may start out glossy and shiny, gradually becomes more matte and dull as the whole fruit reaches its peak ripeness. This dullness suggests that the watermelon has absorbed ample sunlight and nutrients.

A glossy or shiny watermelon might indicate that it wasn’t harvested at the right time and has not had enough time to develop its natural sugars.  

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How to Tell if a Watermelon is Ripe

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😋 How to tell when a watermelon is sweet

Look for sugar spots and webbing

At first glance you might notice the perfect watermelons, but don’t overlook the ones with small, rough brown spots or web-like lines on its surface. These marks, often referred to as sugar spots and webbing, are excellent indicators of a sweet and flavorful fruit.

Sugar spots are a small area where sugar has seeped out of the melon, creating rough brown patches. This usually happens when the watermelon has been sitting on the vine for an extended period, allowing it to develop high levels of natural sugars. These sugar spots are a positive sign that the watermelon is exceptionally sweet.

Webbing, on the other hand, consists of thin, web-like lines that appear on the surface of the melon. These lines are formed due to pollination and can also indicate that the fruit has had ample time to mature and develop its sweetness. The more webbing you see, the more likely it is that the watermelon is rich in flavor.

By looking for these sugar spots and webbing, you can significantly increase your chances of picking a watermelon that is not only ripe but also deliciously sweet. 

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How to Tell When a Watermelon is Sweet

Once you’ve chosen the perfect watermelon, check out my quick guide on How to Cut Triangle Watermelon Slices. This is my go-to method for serving this delicious fruit for parties and entertaining.

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How to Pick a Mini Watermelon

These 7 helpful tips will show you how to pick a mini watermelon that's refreshing, juicy, and utterly delicious.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword how to pick a mini watermelon, how to tell a good watermelon, how to tell if a watermelon is ripe, how to tell when a watermelon is sweet
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 46kcal
Author Cindy Newland with Intentionally Eat

Ingredients

  • 1 mini watermelon

Instructions

  • Look for a Uniform Shape –  a well-rounded, symmetrical watermelon is generally a good indicator of even ripeness.
  • Check the Color – Opt for a melon with a deep, vibrant green hue.
  • Inspect the Field Spot – a rich, golden yellow field spot usually means the melon is ripe and sweet. 
  • Tap for a Hollow Sound – a good watermelon will emit a deep sound that is hollow, much like a drum.
  • Feel the Weight – a heavy watermelon is a strong sign of ripeness.
  • Check for a Dull Skin – a ripe watermelon often has a dull skin rather than a shiny one.
  • Look for Sugar Spots and Webbing – These marks are excellent indicators of a sweet and flavorful fruit.
  • If you want an easy way to cut watermelon into triangles, see my How to Cut Watermelon Triangle Slices post. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutritional Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of this recipe may differ depending on the ingredients you use. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fiber: 1g

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​Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a medical professional. The information provided on this blog is based on my personal experiences and research as a vegan recipe enthusiast. While I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns. The recipes and tips shared on this blog are meant for general informational purposes and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Always prioritize your health and well-being by seeking personalized guidance from a qualified healthcare provider.

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