A true summer experience is not complete without gorging yourself with sweet, juicy watermelon. After all, who wouldn’t want to beat the heat with a fruit that’s like a meal and a drink at the same time?
Luckily, watermelon is not a treat exclusive to summer. Yes, you can freeze watermelon and enjoy it all year round.
But you might be wondering, “won’t freezing affect the texture of watermelon?”
Well, you’re right. High-moisture fruits like watermelon tend to change drastically upon freezing. So, while you may not get to enjoy the same crispy texture of fresh watermelon, having a stock of watermelon in your freezer will allow you to make watermelon smoothies and watermelon salads whenever you want!
All that said, can you freeze watermelon? Indeed, you can. But like all other freezing methods, there is a correct way to do it.
Let’s find out more.
Can You Freeze Watermelon?
Yes, you can freeze watermelon and make it last for up to 8 months. In other words, freezing watermelon in the summer will give you a watermelon supply until it’s in season again.
But as we’ve said before, watermelon undergoes a significant amount of texture change upon freezing. The main reason for this is in the fruit’s name–water.
When the water in watermelon is frozen, it turns into ice and expands, which ruptures the fruit’s cell walls. Hence, watermelon loses its original texture upon freezing, making the texture soggier than ever once it’s thawed. (*)
That said, frozen watermelon may not be good to eat on its own. Nevertheless, it’s still good for smoothies, popsicles, homemade sorbet, and a ton of other recipes!
Unfortunately, freezing watermelon is not as simple as sticking a whole watermelon in the freezer (who has that much freezer space, anyway?). Instead, here’s what you can do:
How Do You Freeze Watermelon?
To start, pick a watermelon that is fresh and ripe. A good watermelon will have a solid rind, a vibrant color, and zero dark spots. (*)
Tip: Knock on watermelon to test for ripeness. If you hear a resonant hollow sound, the watermelon you’re holding is ripe.
Before you freeze your watermelon, here are some steps you need to take first:
- Wash the skin of the watermelon to remove dirt and pesticides.
- Cut the fruit into eights and remove the rind carefully. Try to glide the knife as close to the white part of the rind as possible so that you waste less fruit.
- Remove the seeds.
After you are done with these steps, your watermelon is now ready for freezing. There are two easy ways to freeze watermelon: in slices/chunks or in purée form.
Freezing Cut Watermelon
- Slice your watermelon into your desired thickness or shape. Bigger slices or chunks retain their shape better than smaller pieces.
- Place each piece on top of a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Separate the pieces with parchment paper in between to prevent them from sticking together in the freezer.
- Freeze your watermelon until all of the pieces are completely solid. This should take around 2 to 4 hours, depending on how cold your freezer is.
- Take out your watermelon, remove the parchment paper, and transfer the frozen watermelon pieces to an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Seal the container, label it with the date, and put it in the freezer.
If you want to use your watermelon for future smoothies and sorbet, we recommend turning your watermelon into a purée before freezing it. Here’s how you can do it:
Freezing Watermelon Purée
- Blend up your watermelon using a blender or food processor.
- Add a bit of water until the purée reaches your desired thickness.
- Pour the purée into ice cube trays.
- Put the lids on top of your ice cube trays. If your trays don’t come with lids, cover them with cling wrap instead.
- Put your blended watermelon in the freezer. They should freeze completely within a few hours.
As long as your watermelon remains frozen solid in the freezer, it will last for up to 8 months. That’s almost a whole year of watermelon reserves!
Sweet Tip: Watermelon can lose some of its sweetness during the freezing process. If you prefer your watermelon sweet, add a bit of sugar while blending your watermelon.
Now, what do you do when you’re ready to use your watermelon?
How Do You Thaw Frozen Watermelon?
Since watermelon contains a lot of water, it tends to melt quickly. Transfer your frozen watermelon to the fridge and let it thaw for about 1 to 2 hours.
If your watermelon is thawed only partially, the texture will be almost like fresh watermelon. So, if you want to eat your watermelon as is, don’t let it thaw out completely.
But if you’re using your frozen watermelon for smoothies, you can pop the frozen pieces directly into the blender like ice. Just add a bit of water if you want to make it less thick.
Watermelon is an all-time favorite summer snack. But can you freeze watermelon to enjoy it all year round?
As you know by now, the answer is a clear ‘yes’! But if you want to keep your watermelon as sweet and fresh as possible, be sure to follow the steps that we’ve outlined above.
Curious to know more about how to freeze food? Visit our blog for more articles like this!