Pickled Watermelon: Summertime in a Jar

Updated on April 14, 2018
4.8 stars from 4 ratings of Pickled Watermelon

Pickled Watermelon?

I was very skeptical when my sister first introduced me to watermelon pickles. Who would take the sweetness that it is watermelon, add salt and vinegar, and pickle it? It was watermelon blasphemy!

But as a woman in my forties, I have resolved to expand my food horizons from just meat and potatoes. I have even learned to enjoy roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted cabbage!

I should have trusted my sister - the pickles were delicious! Tangy, with a hint of sweetness and the essence of watermelon. It is now my favorite wintertime treat. It lets me remember the hot sunny days of summer.

Some people like to cut their watermelon into strips, but I prefer mine in chunks that are just the right size for popping into my mouth. Enjoy!

Cook Time

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 2 hours 10 min
Ready in: 2 hours 55 min
Yields: 7 quarts
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1 large watermelon, seeded
  • 14 heads dill
  • 7 cayenne peppers
  • 14 carrot slices, (optional)
  • 14 cloves garlic

Canning Instructions

  1. Put the water, sugar, vinegar, pickling spice, and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Prepare remaining ingredients, cutting watermelon into approximately 1 or 2 inch square chunks. Leaving a thin strip of white rind on the pieces will help the chunks hold together. Let watermelon chunks drain in colander as the brine boils.
  3. Put one sprig of dill into a jar. Put 2 cloves garlic, 1 cayenne peppers, and 2 carrot slices into a sterilized quart jar. Add watermelon cubes, shaking jar gently to pack ingredients. Add the second sprig of dill.
  4. Pour simmering brine into jars to 1/2 inch below the rim of the jar. Wipe rim clean and put on canning lids.
  5. Completely submerge the jars in a canner and boil for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and let cool. Check for proper seal before storing in a cool place. Pickles should be ready in 3 to 4 weeks.

Have you ever eaten pickled watermelon?

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      • Gcrhoads64 profile image
        Author

        Gable Rhoads 5 years ago from North Dakota

        Thanks kidscrafts. It is delicious and it is a nice break from dill pickles. :)

      • kidscrafts profile image

        kidscrafts 5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

        I would never have thought of pickled watermelon! How very interesting! I don't know if I will ever do it.... but I hope I will be able to taste it first.

        May be I should give this recipe to my eldest son and his wife as they do all kind of recipes with pickled vegetables :-)

        Thanks for sharing!

      • Gcrhoads64 profile image
        Author

        Gable Rhoads 5 years ago from North Dakota

        I lived in NC for over 25 years and watermelon rind pickles are popular there, too. It may be a southern thing because I never heard of them where I grew up.

        I have yet to try a rind pickle, but knowing how good watermelon pickles are, I am definitely going to try them now.

        My mom always threw out the rinds for the chickens, too!

        Thanks for reading, Silva.

      • Silva Hayes profile image

        Silva Hayes 5 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

        My mom made watermelon pickles every summer but she pickled the white part of the rind, not the red part. We loved watermelon (still do) and she used every part of it. We ate the red part in either long slices with our hands, or in chunks with a fork, she trimmed off the white part, and discarded only the thin outer dark green rind. Sometimes she set some of the rind out as a treat for the chickens. Our favorite type of watermelon is the Black Diamond.

      • Gcrhoads64 profile image
        Author

        Gable Rhoads 5 years ago from North Dakota

        Hi Vacation Trip, please do try it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

        Thank you for stopping by. :)

      • Vacation Trip profile image

        Susan 5 years ago from India

        I have never heard of watermelon pickle. But this looks interesting. Will surely give it a try. Thank you for sharing.

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