Watermelon is a delicious fruit that you can eat in many different ways. You can slice it up and put it on your cereal or enjoy it as a refreshing snack with friends on the beach. It’s juicy, refreshing, and so sweet, it can be hard to resist! One simple way of enjoying watermelon even when it’s not in season is by freezing it. So now the question that comes to mind is – Can you freeze watermelon?
The answer is yes! Yes, you can. Watermelons are 90% water, so there’s no doubt that they’ll freeze. However, the concerning point for many people when freezing watermelons is their texture when thawed. The texture of watermelon does change when frozen. The natural bite that watermelons have seems to lessen when frozen and then thawed, so it is always recommended to use the frozen watermelon as is or to only partially thaw it before use. You will also notice some of the natural sweetness of the watermelon decreases when they are frozen for long periods. The ideal timeframe to use your frozen watermelons is between 6-9 months of freezing.
But, before you even start worrying about using your frozen watermelons, you need to have frozen watermelons in your fridge! And that’s what this blog post is all about. This blog post will guide you through all the steps you need to follow to freeze watermelons. And the first step in freezing watermelons is picking the best watermelons possible.
How to Choose the Right Watermelon
The freshest and ripest watermelons are always the best ones for freezing. But, unfortunately, a lot of people find picking the correct watermelon intimidating. So, here’s a simple guide to help you.
- Pick a watermelon with a uniform shape(round or oval either is fine) that seems heavy for its size.
- Look for a watermelon that has a yellow field spot. The yellow color means it was on the vine longer and has had time to mature, and is full of flavor.
- Find a watermelon that has a webbing pattern on it. A large webbing pattern on the watermelon signifies a sweet watermelon.
- Look for watermelons with a dark but dull color, the dull means that the watermelon is ripe and sweet.
Now that you know how to pick the perfect watermelon, it’s time to prepare it for freezing. First, of course, it’s always a good idea to remove its seeds when freezing any fruit, which can be a pesky task, especially when freezing watermelons. But, of course, using seedless watermelons eliminates this step.
It is easiest to freeze and use watermelon when it is cubed. Follow the steps below to learn a quick and easy method to cube watermelon.
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Trim off the top and bottom end of your watermelon.
- Cut the watermelon in half, and place one half on the cutting board with the flat side down and the trimmed end on top.
- Trim off the rind and pith using your knife, getting as close to the fruit as possible.
- Repeat this as you work your way around the watermelon until the rind is completely off.
- Next, cut each peeled watermelon half into thirds horizontally. Be careful when doing this step, as the water content in the watermelon might make it tricky to get a good grip. Create a checkerboard pattern over the top by cutting vertical strips.
- Rotate your cutting board 90 degrees and cut vertical strips again so that you end up with watermelon cubes! You can adjust the size of your strips to get bigger or smaller cubes as per your preference.
How to Freeze Watermelon
There are a few different ways you can use for freezing watermelons.
What you need:
- Line the baking tray using parchment paper.
- Lay the watermelon pieces on the parchment paper, leaving at least 1 cm in between each watermelon piece so that air can flow freely between them. You might need multiple baking trays or to do this step in batches depending on the number of watermelon chunks.
- Place the baking trays in the freezer to flash freeze the watermelon chunks.
- You will have your watermelon chunks frozen and ready in 3 – 4 hours. You can then transfer them to freezer containers for safe storage.
Method #2: Freeze Watermelon in Sugar
This method makes up for some of the sugar content that’s lost when frozen watermelon is thawed.
What you Need:
- 5 lbs watermelon chunks
- 1 lb granulated sugar
- Freezer containers
- Place all the watermelon chunks in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle the sugar over the fruits and mix everything using a silicone spatula. The silicone spatula will help you mix everything without breaking the watermelon pieces.
- Transfer the sugar-coated watermelon chunks to freezer bags, leaving about 1-inch headspace for them to expand as they freeze.
- Label the containers with the freezing date and stick them in the freezer for storage.
Method #3: Freeze in Simple Syrup
What you Need:
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- Freezer Containers
- In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar.
- Bring this mixture to a boil on the stovetop, occasionally stirring it to help dissolve the sugar.
- Once the sugar has dissolved completely, take the pan off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Add the watermelon chunks to a freezer container and once the syrup has cooled down, add it to the container leaving about 1-inch headspace.
- Label the container with the freezing date.
- Place the container in the freezer and let freeze!
Frozen watermelon will last for 6 – 9 months, perfect for the summer season to come around again! While you could preserve the frozen watermelon for even longer, it’s important to note that watermelons lose their natural sweetness and texture the longer you store it, which is why we don’t recommend freezing the watermelon for beyond nine months.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to defrost frozen watermelon?
You can thaw watermelon by simply keeping it in the refrigerator overnight. If you are short on time, you can use running water to speed up the defrosting process. Just be careful to make sure that the container is sealed correctly.
How to use frozen watermelon?
You can use frozen watermelon to make a delicious watermelon smoothie. Simply blend watermelon with almond milk or some other non-dairy milk until you get a smooth consistency. You can also add in frozen strawberries or bananas if you wish.
You can also enjoy watermelon popsicles by freezing the watermelon cubes using a popsicle stick. Another way to enjoy the frozen watermelon is by popping the frozen cubes in a glass of water as refreshing summery ice cubes!
How do you check if the frozen watermelon has gone bad?
The first step check is the texture of the frozen watermelon. Mushy or slimy watermelon pieces are a clear sign that the fruit has gone bad. The next thing to check is the colour. A deep pink or red colour means that the fruit is healthy. However, if the fruit gives an off-odour or a vinegar-like smell, it indicates that the watermelon has turned sour, and it’s time to toss it.
Can I freeze watermelon slices?
You can freeze watermelon slices; however, they take up a lot of space in the freezer. In addition, if you plan on using the watermelon slices after thawing them, you will find their texture mushy and delicate to work with, which is not ideal. A better option is to use pre-cut watermelon chunks.
Watermelon can be a temperamental fruit to freeze, but well worth it! This guide shows you multiple methods you can enjoy frozen watermelon. Give any of the methods above a try, and you will be enjoying the taster of summer all year long!