Watermelon reminds people of summer, and because they are largely made up of water, they are the perfect fruit to have on a dry, boiling day.
The texture is also refreshingly crisp, and you can use it in a whole host of things. Unfortunately, a watermelon is usually huge, and you probably won’t use it fast enough, even if you keep it in the fridge.
What if you want to use it out of season? Can you get hold of it without paying an extortionate amount of money for it?
The good news is that you can freeze it. Before you go throwing the whole thing in the freezer, it’s worth mentioning that there are some caveats, which are covered below.
What You Need To Consider Before Freezing Watermelon
As watermelon is roughly made up of 92% water, you might think that you can’t freeze it. Well, you can, but the question should be should you freeze it?
Unfortunately, watermelon loses its characteristic bite, and the structure of the fruit becomes very mushy once you thaw it.
Does that mean you shouldn’t freeze it? It largely depends on what you want to use the watermelon for.
For example, if you wanted to freeze it and then use it raw, you might not want to freeze it at all. The texture radically changes, and it can lose some flavor as well.
However, if you’re planning on using the watermelon in a smoothie or a sorbet, freezing the watermelon ahead of time isn’t a problem, as the texture change isn’t that important.
But how do you freeze it?
How Do You Freeze Watermelon?
Preparing Watermelon For The Freezer
It does take a little preparation in order to freeze a watermelon (see also Can You Freeze Mangoes), as you might imagine, but the end result is worth it.
I don’t think I need to advise against freezing a whole watermelon, but I will (this also goes for pineapple. Don’t try to freeze it whole! See also How To Freeze Pineapple). It won’t freeze well, and besides that, how on earth would you fit it into the freezer?
To begin, cut the rind away from the watermelon, and cut the fruit into pieces. How large or small you cut them is entirely up to you.
You’ll also need to remove the seeds from the fruit before you freeze it (similarly to pomegranate), as this will save time when you come to thaw it. If you slice the watermelon, the seeds tend to be a little easier to remove.
Place the prepared watermelon on a baking tray which has been lined with parchment. Make sure the pieces aren’t touching, and they are arranged into a single layer.
Freeze the whole thing, until the watermelon pieces are frozen solid. This should take a few hours.
Remove the baking sheet from the freezer, and put the watermelon into a freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air, seal, and label.
You can keep watermelon in the freezer for about 3 months before it starts to lose quality.
It’s not recommended leaving it in the freezer longer than 10 months, as it will lose most of its flavor and what little texture it would have had.
How To Defrost Watermelon
To defrost frozen watermelon, simply drop the frozen watermelon into smoothies, sorbets, or cocktails.
You don’t want to fully thaw it before you use it, otherwise you’ll end up with very mushy watermelon in a pool of ice.
While freezing watermelon is possible, you should only freeze it if you’re planning on using it frozen, in cocktails, smoothies, or sorbets.
Using frozen watermelon in these dishes is perfect as you won’t notice the altered texture of the watermelon, but you’ll still get the taste, and you won’t have wasted anything.