You have leftover watermelon and you know you won’t eat it before it goes bad. But you don’t want it to go bad. Can You Freeze Watermelons?
Going through a whole watermelon usually takes at least a couple of days. Often longer. Even if we buy halves or quarters, it’s often too much to work through before the watermelon spoils.
Now you’re looking for a way to preserve those leftovers, and freezing is the first thing that comes to mind.
Sure, you can put the fruit in the freezer and see how it goes. But you’d probably want to know how that works beforehand. Or you want to know the best way to freeze leftover watermelon.
Let’s talk about this.
Can you freeze watermelons?
Like many other fruits, watermelon loses its texture after freezing and thawing. It turns out to be mushy and doesn’t taste nearly as good as fresh watermelon. My wife said it tasted like a “wilted cucumber”.
Here are a few snippets after I thawed them:
Does that mean you shouldn’t freeze the fruit? Not really.
That means the frozen and thawed watermelon has a limited number of uses. And eating them alone is definitely not one of them.
I’ll share some ideas for using these frozen chunks later in this article.
How to Freeze Watermelon Chunks
You’ve probably heard of packaging fruit for freezing in sugar or syrup (e.g. in my article on freezing oranges ).
While these options have their place, they’re either time-consuming or add extra sugar to the fruit. Both are big taboos for me.
That’s why I think freezing watermelon chunks is the best way to freeze the fruit. All you need is a cookie sheet, a silicone mat (optional but helpful), and a freezer bag or container.
Once you have these to hand, you can get to work. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Slice the watermelon. I use thinner slices so it’s easy to remove any seeds, but you can do it however you want.
- Remove the seeds and cut off the rind. You can leave the kernels in, but that means you have to do it after thawing. I can’t take care of it, so I’ll do it right now.
- Cut the fruit into pieces. If you have a specific recipe in mind, cut the slices into the shapes and sizes needed. If not, feel free to go freestyle (I do).
- Freeze the chunks. Take a cookie sheet and line it with a silicone mat if you have one. Spread out the pieces in a single layer so they don’t touch. Then place the cookie sheet in the freezer until the pieces freeze solid. A couple of hours should be enough.
- Transfer the frozen pieces into a freezer bag. This way you get the peel back and the fruit takes up much less space in the freezer. Plus, the pieces don’t stick to each other, so you can easily grab just a piece or two if needed.
If you don’t use a silicone mat when pre-freezing, it can be difficult to remove the frozen pieces from the tray with your fingers. If that’s the case, use a spatula.
Read Also: Can you freeze Philadelphia cream cheese?
How to thaw frozen watermelon
As usual, there are several options when it comes to defrosting. Nothing revolutionary, but I decided to list them anyway:
- In the refrigerator. How long it takes for the fruit to fully thaw in the fridge depends on the size of your pieces. My pieces (the ones you can see in the video and photos), laid out in a single layer, took about five hours to thaw.
- At room temperature. Room temperature thawing is only an option for smaller chunks that thaw in about an hour (mine took exactly an hour to thaw). Please note that you should eat the melon immediately after defrosting if you decide to go this route. Most people (myself included) do not recommend this route.
- Skip defrosting. In many cases, you can use the fruit without having to defrost it first.
How to use frozen watermelon
Here are some ideas on how to use your leftover frozen watermelon:
- smoothie If you leave the fruit frozen, you can use these chunks in place of ice cubes. More flavor, less water.
- flavoring with water. Water infused with watermelon is an excellent drink on a hot day. It is also suitable for alcoholic drinks and cocktails.
- fruit salads. Make sure the majority of the salad is fresh fruit. Fresh fruit beats frozen and thawed any day of the week, but most people won’t tell the difference if a small portion is from the latter category. But taste your watermelon first.
- Any recipe that calls for watermelon puree. Defrosted melon is almost like pureed melon. You can probably just puree them with a fork instead of a blender. However, you may need to strain some of the water.