Your watermelon should be firm, symmetrical and free of major bruises or scars. Some minor scratches are okay, however. After all, the purpose of that thick rind is to protect the delicious contents inside. Ripe watermelons should also be dark green in color. The ripest watermelons have the most water. And since watermelons are 92 percent water, your watermelon should be relatively heavy for its size. Turn your watermelon over and check out its bottom, which should have a creamy yellow spot (also called “the ground spot”). This is where the watermelon sat on the ground while it soaked up the sun at the farm. If this spot is white or greenish, your watermelon may have been picked too soon and might not be as ripe as it should be.


Scrub the rind of the watermelon with a produce brush under cool running tap water. Make sure to dry watermelon with a clean towel or paper towels before cutting to serve.


To store an uncut watermelon at room temperature, it should stay fresh for up to a week.  To store cut watermelon so it stays its freshest, securely cover the cut end in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Or, cut the watermelon flesh from the rind and place it in an airtight container.