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How to Cut a Watermelon (Without Stabbing Yourself)

by Margaret O'Malley /

We've all been there. You bring home a big, juicy watermelon and start slicing only to realize your knife is stuck half way in — and it doesn't want to come out. You push and pull and push and pull — and then, suddenly, the knife finally emerges from the melon with a jerk. And you're left with a hacked-up mess of a watermelon and a sneaking suspicion that you were just inches away from a trip to the emergency room.

It's just this mental nightmare that led us to ask chef and author of Kitchen Matters Pamela Salzman to walk us through the steps of carving a watermelon that'll leave our limbs and digits intact and the finished product Instagram-worthy. Here's how to do it.

How to Cut a Watermelon Into Bite Sized Pieces

What to Look for: To make sure you're getting the ripest, juicest watermelon, look for a melon that has a nice, hollow sound when tapped. It should also have a creamy, yellow spot on the bottom where it was growing on the ground.

What You'll Need: A cutting board, a serrated bread knife and — you guessed it — a watermelon.

How to Cut It:

Step 1: Cut crosswise through the watermelon. Think of it as the watermelon's equator.

Step 2: Take the cut sides and place them facing down on the cutting board and carefully peel away the skin on all sides of the watermelon.

Step 3: Slice skinned watermelon flesh into 1-inch slices and then stack them and cut into cubes. Voila! You have your perfect bite-size pieces — perfect for a healthy snack or summer salad!

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 A simple salad made with cubed watermelon, blueberries, feta and basil. NBC News

Red, White and Blue Watermelon Salad

An easy sweet and savory (and patriotic) take on everyone's favorite summer melon.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 3 basil leaves

Directions: Slice watermelon as described above and place in a large bowl or a platter. Cube or crumble feta cheese and add the blueberries and cheese to the watermelon cubes. Stack the three basil leaves, roll them up and slice into strips, and then sprinkle them over the finished salad. Serve and enjoy!

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